Rodent control: Electronic sensor suppliers weigh in


March 13, 2018

In this rodent management roundtable, seven sensor suppliers weigh in on where the industry segment is headed in 2018.

Sensor Roundtable Participants

Photo: ©

Photo: ©

Pest Management Professional (PMP): Thank you, gentlemen, for participating in our rodent management discussion and helping readers better understand electronic remote monitoring systems. What opportunities do you believe they will offer PMPs who use them?

Broaddus: They can help PMPs implement more proactive programs for medium-to-large commercial accounts where rodent control is mission critical. As we continue to develop Bayer’s platform, we anticipate opportunities to offer similar monitoring services for the residential market as well.

Fugate: Utilizing electronic monitoring will not only help save labor costs and make servicing more efficient, it also will help streamline service records. Saving time and money is always a great opportunity.

Goldstein: Using new or emerging technologies to service customers in a more efficient and intelligent manner helps PMPs achieve optimum results and control. Connected rodent traps allow PMPs to monitor accounts 24/7. They can know instantly when and where rodent activity is occurring, and then respond with needed control measures quickly to protect the customer’s facility. In addition, by using remote monitoring technology, PMPs build up history and documentation that can be reviewed and used to precisely target control measures where they are most needed.

Hanson: PMPs can use remote monitoring as a predictive and preventive tool to set a higher bar for food safety and public health. Rodents are smart, highly successful pests; the house mouse is the No. 2 most successful mammal on the planet. Remote sensing gives PMPs the power to understand rodent behavior like never before, and that in turn will be a leap forward in our industry’s ability to protect public health.

Nielsen: PMPs now can sell the knowledge and proof of a rodent-free environment. Today, many customers pay PMPs for taking care of rodent problems. With new systems, customers will know, with data proof, that they don’t have a pest problem. They will pay PMPs for delivering peace of mind, instead of solving an ongoing problem.

Velte: With new technology comes the opportunity to learn to use and experience new data results that can help with long-term planning and solutions. Other opportunities for rodent management include saving time for the work of monitoring inspection sites, the ability to monitor devices in real time, instant notifications when there is activity, and accurate commercial trending reports with detailed rodent activity.

Vickery: Pest management companies can put a different emphasis on rodents and the way they sell rodent control services. It can be more than a one-time program; they can sell rodent control on a quarterly basis.

PMP: Electronic remote monitoring systems include features traditional rodent control solutions don’t offer. What are a few of the ways in which their use may change how rodent management is performed?

Broaddus: We predict that rodent management will be driven by smarter data analytics platforms. These platforms can enable PMPs to become more predictive and preventive in their processes, programs and services. This is a shift from the reactive approach taken today. When a PMP is armed with the tools and predictive analytics to protect a client, he or she increases value to that client. This is the future for the entire pest management industry, and rodent management can lead the way.

Fugate: Rodent management is heading down the road of electronic monitoring. With so many products becoming available, it will help streamline the process of rodent management in the upcoming years, if not months. Technology will help streamline the rodent management process, saving time and money — while at the same time making PMPs much more efficient at getting the job done.

Goldstein: Both residential and commercial accounts continue to demand more from their PMPs. The rapid spread of information via social media and the internet is creating a zero-tolerance mindset among end-users when it comes to rodent activity on their properties. As a result, the market will continue to grow, but it will consolidate around PMPs who provide better, faster and smarter services, leveraging all of the tools available, such as new technology, exclusion and consulting.

Nielsen: Today, PMPs make a lot of assumptions, and qualified guesses based on their expertise, to decide how to handle rodent infestations. Tomorrow, PMPs will make their decisions based on monitored, recorded, proven facts. PMPs will become experts in interpreting data to take the right actions, at the right time, to avoid infestations for true preventive pest control.

Velte: The rodent management market will head toward a more defined and effective technique to eliminate rodents. PMPs will use the captured data generated by sensors to monitor many different environments and devices being utilized in the industry today.

Vickery: Enabled devices have a future in the pest management industry. PMPs will fit them into their standard operating procedures. As with all products in our industry, though, PMPs will have to adapt and figure out what works best for them and their customers. The use of enabled devices will slowly grow throughout the industry.

PMP: Some PMPs may not be eager to adapt to new technology. What is the learning curve for using electronic remote monitoring systems?

Broaddus: Technology is transforming the pest management industry, enabling rodent management to become a more automated, proactive process. While adopting the new technology is relatively easy, the biggest challenge for PMPs is implementing the new business model that comes with it. Bayer is working with third-party experts who understand the importance of business model innovation and how changes impact the PMP’s bottom-line, and they are helping us deliver the tools PMPs need to overcome this challenge.

Nielsen: At Anticimex, we have worked with our SMART concept for several years worldwide and have learned a lot about how to operate businesses around it. But change is hard, as always. You need to fall off the bike several times before you learn how to ride it. Luckily, we can now gain all that knowledge when we launch this concept in the U.S., and get our customers up to speed faster.

Velte: PMPs will need to overcome the changing of IPM (integrated pest management) protocol for rodent management to include new technology and solutions, which will help increase clinets’ and prospects’ perceptions of PMPs.

PMP: Final thoughts from each of you?

Broaddus: We are confident that technology and internet-of-things-driven platforms can enable PMPs to proactively transform our industry, and continue to elevate the role of the service provider. As time-consuming tasks are automated, PMPs gain more time to add value, protect clients’ businesses and safeguard public health. We understand transformation is challenging, but we are here to partner with and support the industry on this journey. This is why we are committed to creating an ecosystem of connected devices for PMPs to help achieve better performance and business outcomes.

Fugate: Get excited! With technology being readily available, there is no reason you shouldn’t be. This is truly a great time to be in rodent management.

Goldstein: Rodent control and the demand for service continue to grow. The greatest obstacle for the PMP will be having the correct tools to service that demand properly. PMPs will need new tools that allow them to service the evolving needs of accounts more efficiently and effectively. These are exciting times, and we must be willing to take advantage of new tools and technologies as they emerge.

Hanson: These systems will help change a mindset that has had to be primarily about reactive rodent control to a service that is predictive and preventive.

Nielsen: PMPs need to know how to put these new tools into the right content, with the right human interaction, and combine them with the enormous amount of knowledge we have within our organizations today. Only then will the customer gain the full potential value.

Velte: Sensor technology will become an essential tool — as important as the technicians’ flashlight — in rodent management.

Vickery: Integrated snap traps designed around bait stations have a lot of value. We believe they will become the new standard for the industry, because they will be more effective, self-explanatory and easier to use.

[Read more on electronic remote sensors.]

You can reach Managing Editor Diane Sofranec at or 216-706-3793.

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