Third-quarter 2023 reader poll responses


October 26, 2023

Photo: Olemedia/E+/Getty Images

Photo: Olemedia/E+/Getty Images

Since we last compiled Pest Management Professional (PMP) magazine poll results, we have received some excellent insights from readers in our monthly polls.

We also post the same question to our columnists and PMP Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) members each month in print, to get their responses. The answers that don’t fit on the “Question of the Month” page for the print edition are always included in the online version. For example, what follow are some of our most recent polls, with a link to the contributor/EAB responses and with a few of our favorite reader responses, too.

Here’s just a sampling of the best of the best from the third quarter of 2023:

July: How has your training program changed in recent years?

  • PMP Contributor/EAB responses
  • “Emerging generations of technicians, as well as new technologies, has changed the way that we present training information. We have increased the use of ‘micro-learning’ tools into the continuing education/training processes that we have used over the last two years. This has allowed us to train employees to what is needed and where/how they want it. Five-minute modules on safety, technical and application topics have all been helped by this. We can now train where, when and what is needed in a very timely manner. Add this to a very structured in-class and in-the-field training program that is hands-on and in-person, and our training has become very well rounded and appreciated by all of our teams.”
  • “When I started in 2012, we did not have a dedicated training program. Instead, you were simply given the state books and went with whoever had the hardest day. Now present day, we have a dedicated training department that covers everything from preparing for the state exam to on-the-job training following our company’s standard operating procedures (SOPs).”
  • “It has become more robust.”
  • “We’ve gone from all in-person training meetings to covering the basics in recorded video presentations and holding in-person sessions for discussion topics.”

August: How do you think artificial intelligence (AI) will affect — or is already affecting — the pest management industry?

  • PMP Contributor/EAB responses
  • “I’m not aware of any effect on our industry yet.”
  • “It could help ‘predict’ pest population increases by proactively recommending schedules, frequencies of service, products to use as well as assisting in the scheduling of the affected customers. It could also be developed to provide better inspections up to and including coupling with scanning technologies that utilize various light spectrums.”
  • “AI is and will continue to affect just about every aspect of our lives including our industry. From writing of articles such as this one, to creating prep sheets based on aggregated data, to making decisions about the best course of treatment at a particular type of property. This will continue to evolve and perhaps even get better over time; however, what will never go away is that there will always need to be original thought (people) unique to a situation. The inputs for AI to operate will always need to be present. So, if we focus on what the positive could be: We as pest management professionals need to hone our skills surrounding inspecting, communicating and implementing solutions. AI can help steer us to treatment types, appropriate chemicals, understanding biology, habits, etc. If you want to focus on the negative, you will just fall behind. Yes, there will be inaccurate information that comes from this, especially until all the correct inputs are in place. We need to weed out the bad information on the internet at some point. AI, like the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, will help us humans be better and more efficient if we let it and make sure the resources it has to help with decision making is accurate.”
  • “Revolution in pest control…
    • Real-time detection — IoT sensors powered by AI swiftly detect pests, identifying species, and sending 24/7 alerts — saving manpower.
    • Predictive insights — AI forecasts infestations by analyzing weather, seasons, and past trends, enabling proactive measures.
    • Drone surveillance — AI-equipped autonomous drones swiftly scan vast areas, collecting crucial data on pest populations for smart interventions.
    • Precision treatments — Autonomous robots offer targeted, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient pest solutions.
    • Enhanced training — AI aids in training through virtual simulations, deepening knowledge on pest ecology and effective practices.
    • Supply chain mastery — AI streamlines the production and distribution of pest management products.
    • Seamless communication — AI updates clients on services and offers valuable pest insights.
    • R&D boost — AI speeds up the evaluation of new pest management innovations.
    • Regulatory adherence — AI ensures adherence to regulations by monitoring pesticide use and sending timely alerts.”

September: How can pest control companies become more eco-friendly?

  • PMP Contributor/EAB responses
  • “Practice integrated pest management, use green products where possible, update fleet to hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs).”
  • “Less product applied and more exclusion. Educate the client about pressure and tolerance.”


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