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A MODERN APPROACH TO RODENT MANAGEMENT

Peter McCarthy, Director of Pest IT, outlines the shift in attitude towards rodent management and offers solutions for device-driven, non-chemical rodent control. 

With presentations at recent conferences (including Rapid EduCon) relating to the newly updated Rodent Management Code of Practice, it has become abundantly clear that our industry has become heavily reliant on toxic rodenticide baits for rodent control. However, a truly professional and modern rodent management program involves much more than the placing of baits.

Typically, a new commercial account is set up with the chosen rodenticide spaced between 3-9 metres, inside and out, depending on the situation. What is interesting is that many commercial accounts have the capability to do this themselves, given how simply we as an industry approach rodent control. The proliferation of DIY products for sale on eBay, at Bunnings and on various websites is a reflection of this and should raise some level of concern. Yet, a true professional rodent management program will focus on inspection, detection and identification, monitoring, population mapping, trend analysis, detailed reporting and trapping of rodents. And as the Rodent Management Code of Practice suggests, using rodenticides is the last piece of the puzzle rather than the first.

Today’s market is demanding a more modern, technologically advanced and sustainable approach, with customers questioning traditional methods of pest control and requesting more environmentally sound alternatives. From a modern, ecological and environmental standpoint, pest managers may opt to consider working with clients on how to reduce toxicity in the workplace as well as in the environment.

To meet this market demand, Pest IT plans to continue developing non-chemical, device-driven options for the control of rodents. The recent introduction of the Viper range typifies this approach, which includes live capture and control traps for rats and mice. The image below of the Viper L Catch Rat Trap, for example, demonstrates successful rat control without the need for toxic baits. (The Viper Hi Sec Rat Trap is shown in the main image, above.)

Viper L Catch Rat Trap with capture and lid open

When rodent trapping is combined with synthetic lures and rodent sensor technology such as Ratsense, Australian pest managers can manage rodents in a far more advanced way through IoT (Internet of Things). With Ratsense, its devices capture rodent activity and store the data in the cloud. Pest managers can create automated reporting, heat mapping, population density diagrams, report directional movement and receive an early warning prior to the need of escalation and potential food contamination.

The use of sensor technology such as Ratsense offers a technological and data-based management system for modern and professional rodent control. This allows for improved compliance and mitigation of the customer’s reputational risk, without toxic bait waste entering the environment.

Ultimately, sensor technology makes rodent management more quantifiable and demonstrates the expertise professionals lend towards control. This is a significant win in terms of sales and profitability for pest managers, and customers will be satisfied that new advancements are being deployed to help them remain rodent free.

Over the past 15 years, the Australian pest management industry has seen Pest IT develop products, offer training opportunities, and advance the area of bird management. As the trend for more ecological and sustainable practices in rodent management gains momentum, Pest IT will continue to further technological and product-based progression in this area too.

Peter McCarthy, Director, Pest IT