Tips and Tricks: Technology is no replacement for knowledge


February 13, 2013

By James Rodriguez, Western Territory Manager

Technology can assist you in many ways when facing a stored food pest infestation — but it’s no replacement for knowing the pest, its abilities and life cycles.

Today, we can search our industry journals online for articles about stored food pests. We also have the iPest2 smart phone app from the University of Florida to help with identification and habits of various insects. It’s inevitable that the pest control industry will be better able to handle a pest problem with this new technology. However, for some, having the tools and applying the knowledge are two different things.

In fact, we may have reached a point of “information overload.” Some, for example, may find that a drugstore beetle infestation is too time-consuming when they are found infesting leather or furs or in a museum setting. Others may attack the problem as they would a bed bug job, with a written procedure and reasonable timeline and easily communicated treatment strategy.

Some tips to help give you peace of mind when working on a stored food pest job:

• Keep detailed notes (with photos) on the larva cycle of the various stored food pests, on your smartphone or a readily available notebook.

• Keep insect cocoons and damage in vials to help train technicians in identification, or to show your customers.

• Become a master at determining what is an internal feeder or external feeder.

• Use your smartphone to take pictures for later identification if there’s any doubt

• Use monitoring devices with large catch surfaces or pheromone traps where possible.

• Attend educational events on a local and national level when there are speakers on this topic, to stay in the know on the latest technology and techniques.

With a knowledge-based approach, any problem big, small or complex can be solved with equal effort and excellent results.

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