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Making Pest Control More Effective—and Green: The Latest Advances in Pest Control Technology

Written by  Ron Harrison, Ph.D.

In the past decade, new technologies have given facility managers and BSCs the opportunity to make their buildings run more effectively and efficiently. The same goes for the pest management industry, which over the past few years has introduced new technology that can help your facility manage pests more efficiently—and with less impact on the environment.

The pest management industry is always working to create new, effective, and environmentally-friendly treatment options to help facilities prevent and combat pests. Within the past few years, several new technological tools have entered the marketplace, from environmentally-conscious treatments to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that take a new, proactive approach to pest control.

BSCs who offer pest control services should be aware of the latest technological advances that might work for their properties. These innovations can help save time and resources and could even help prevent a big pest problem down the road. Here is a list of just a few of the latest advances in pest control technology

Active Monitoring: One of the latest technological innovations is using “active” monitors and detection devices to locate and track resilient pests. While other monitors use synthetic copies of insect pheromones to attract pests to glue traps, active monitors use advanced heat, carbon dioxide, and scent technologies to draw in pests that are dwelling within your facility.

Odor Neutralizers: New technologies are available to help control persistent odors commonly found around facilities with dumpsters, trash chutes, and waste management areas—all of which can attract unwanted pests. This specialized equipment can be designed to use negative ions, bacteria, proteins, and even ozone to bind to pollutants and odors and remove them from the air or at their source.

Fly Lights: While fly lights themselves are not new to the pest management industry, the latest fly light designs are. Fly lights are now available in an array of decorative styles, so you don’t have to sacrifice your building’s décor. For example, a fly light may be designed to look like a light sconce to blend in with the existing light fixtures at your facility. Installed near entrances, these devices trap insects on a non-toxic sticky board inside a confined unit. Replace the sticky boards regularly and the specialized light bulbs every few months for the best results.

Heat Treatments: Heat treatment is an effective alternative for properties that need broad-based, non-chemical treatments for pest infestations in a convenient and timely manner. The heat treatment process involves heating an infested area and its contents to a high temperature using a portable heater and duct system. The heat is maintained for a predetermined time and penetrates deep into pest harborage areas, including furniture and electronics, to eradicate pests.

While the intended purpose of these high temperatures is to target infestations, they also serve several other additional benefits. Heat treatments can help stop the growth of mold, bacteria, and viruses, while also reducing odors and filter pollutants with commercial-grade air scrubbers. Although they may take upward of a day to complete, heat treatments can be used where traditional treatments are not feasible.

Information on Demand: The pest industry has developed a hand-held device similar to a smart phone that can provide almost instantaneous information to BSCs and other pest management providers. Mobile tracking solutions provide customized reports on-demand, providing information about a facility’s pest management program, including services performed, pest activity and trends, storage and sanitation issues and recommendations, pesticide usage, and interactive hierarchy reports.

These devices work by scanning discretely placed barcodes in designated areas throughout a facility to log information into a master system. Data is then stored and managed in a central database for online access. By allowing BSCs to analyze pest data faster, mobile tracking devices can help stop pest problems before they become widespread.

Going Green
Many pest management providers now offer specialized service programs built on the principles of IPM that meet or exceed green pest management standards. Some programs even comply with national third-party certification courses, such as the National Pest Management Association’s GreenPro and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). In fact, reducing the environmental impact of your pest management program can be a relatively easy way to obtain two LEED credit points.

Green pest management services follow an escalating set of protocols that start with non-chemical controls and only allow for chemical treatments in certain circumstances. If chemicals are necessary, they must be authorized by the customer and selected from a specific, pre-approved list of low-impact products.

Talk to your pest management provider to learn about the new technologies and service offerings available for your facility. These advancements can help you save time and resources; provide easier, more efficient, and eco-friendly pest management solutions; and help prevent an even bigger pest problem down the road.

Ron Harrison, Entomologist, Ph.D., is Director of Technical Services for Orkin and an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management. Contact Dr. Harrison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit
www.orkincommercial.com for more information.


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