Legislation requires pest managers to inspect their pest traps quickly and efficiently, a job made quicker and simpler with the use of digital monitoring products. 

With growing awareness and legislation surrounding animal welfare, most states require Australian pest managers to adhere to 24-hour monitoring of vertebrate live capture traps. This includes rodents in repeating traps, or larger vertebrate cage traps for animals such as pest birds, feral cats, possums and foxes.

However, continuous monitoring to ensure the ethical entrapment of animals can also result in increased costs, as it means having employees available to hit the road 24/7. This is why new technology in trap sensors such as MinkPolice and Ratsense (main picture, above) are such attractive options for pest managers.

MinkPolice is a new kind of trigger sensor that is mounted onto an animal trap in order to monitor the trap status. The MinkPolice sensor is activated by the door closing on a cage trap, the result of a magnet sensor moving or becoming dislodged. In the case of bird traps, a pigeon walking across the trap floor can activate the sensor when it crosses the line suspended from the trap wall to the sensor.

When MinkPolice is activated, a ‘push’ message is sent immediately to the pest manager’s phone and desktop, alerting them to the trap activation. This signals the need for immediate action to attend to the trapped animal.

Ratsense is a high-tech rodent surveillance system that offers two sensor options: a passive infrared sensor (Ratsense-i) and an active trap sensor (Ratsense-X). Available in late 2019, the IP65-rated Ratsense-X sensor is activated by an animal passing the sensor ‘eye’, which detects heat and movement.

Ratsense in use within a Pigeon Magnet trap

When the sensor is triggered, the Ratsense system will send notifications to the pest manager via several platforms. The information populates a dashboard for single or multiple rodent cages or traps. According to Peter McCarthy, Pest IT director, analytics for Ratsense are sophisticated, allowing pest managers to generate alerts, heat maps, analyse trends and access a variety of statistics for client reporting.

With these advancements in trap technology, Mr McCarthy reminded, “Real-time monitoring is not intended to replace daily physical checks as current legislation is yet to fully recognise new technology; however, this new sector of pest management monitoring tools will enhance the current procedures that are in place.

“The sensors are robust, waterproof and ideal for urban and remote monitoring as long as the 4G network is available.”

Pest managers looking for more information on the forthcoming Ratsense-X sensor should contact Pest IT.