News, Insights & Updates

How smart systems are outwitting pests

June 30, 2020

The shift to smart buildings, enabled by new technology, is providing opportunities to enhance efficiencies and reduce costs for businesses. It is also providing an opportunity for facility managers and pest controllers to join forces and outwit pests. 

Companies that embrace new technologies will give themselves a competitive edge over the old way of doing things. Those who utilise technology can reduce operational costs and move their pest management programme towards a proactive, ‘always on’ approach, diverting staff time from reactively handling infestations to proactively managing other matters. 

Addressing age-old problems

Pests of all shapes and sizes have inflicted financial and operational pain on businesses for generations. They have the potential to contaminate buildings, spread disease, damage stock, gnaw wires and ruin reputations so you need to be alert and respond thoroughly and quickly when pests emerge.  

Pest control has often been viewed by business leaders through a ‘wait and see’ lens: Wait for the pests to appear, cause damage or breed to infestation levels, and only then activate a pest control programme. Placing traps after a rat has been seen, calling in sniffer dogs to locate pests or conducting a visual inspection for bed bugs - which may only measure around 5mm - have long been standard procedures for most commercial pest management plans. Smart technology, such as detectors, offer a more proactive way to manage pests in commercial environments. 

Opportunities of IoT systems

The diversification of Internet of Things (IoT) devices allows businesses to address age-old problems. Artificial Intelligence is advancing the role of detectors to provide information and insight to problems previously monitored by trained staff. Using sensors and machine learning, detectors are able to assess and identify problems, providing the necessary insight to resolve challenges.

Many companies have reported 10 to 15% cost savings from IoT projects, so it’s important you look at the value devices can bring and the operational savings they offer when considering smart systems for your business. 

A new approach

Pests can be a big problem for many hospitality businesses (find out just how much in our blog post on the cost of bed bugs). At a time when staff resources are stretched and business risk is high, a new approach must be taken to pest control in your business. Working in tandem with a pest management professional, smart IoT devices including detectors can help in areas where previously only people or animals were capable. 

Tackling problems from rats to bed bugs

In recent years we’ve seen pest traps become increasingly intelligent, capable of identifying rats and mice, and evolving to detect even some of the smallest of pests like our Bed Pod. IoT devices can analyse and identify pests, before sending digital alerts which advise you of the type and location of the pests. This lets you deal with pests in a targeted way to reduce overall treatment costs and prevent damage a large infestation may cause.

By enabling businesses to be responsive to pest problems, IoT systems help reduce the need for human monitoring. They do this best when they are designed to be ‘fit and forget’. To achieve this devices need to be low maintenance, long life and only need very infrequent servicing. Bed Pod achieves this by delivering a one-year service interval and not needing any power or WiFi while delivering always-on monitoring.

IoT devices are a welcome tool to businesses in addressing challenges and to facility managers who struggle to identify problems which are hidden from view. New devices and applications are capable of sharing information through online portals or email to provide a complete review of the building and highlight any problem areas. 

Smart networks reduce costs and enhance environments

The challenge for businesses is to find a way to connect these systems and ensure each device is capable of working in buildings without interference. Coverage is particularly essential for older buildings to become smart: we’ve all experienced wifi dropping off in large, old and complex buildings - which is no good for IoT devices that need an ‘always on’ approach to deliver value. 

Suitable IoT networks use technologies such as LoRa (short for long-range) wireless radio because it covers a long range at low power and low cost, unlike troublesome WiFi systems. With a robust LoRa network, businesses can onboard new smart devices quickly in the race to modernise, reduce costs and provide better living and working environments.

Boost your building’s IQ

Today’s technology is helping teams work together and buildings operate more efficiently. Boosting your building’s IQ by installing smart systems will help your business save time and money. 

Find out more about Spotta smart pest systems here


Topics: Bed bugs, IoT, smart tech