The Pros & Cons of Remote Pest Monitoring

Pest control technology is just like all technology. There is always something new on the horizon, but until the technology is tested in real-world settings, you can’t really know how effective it is. Remote pest monitoring is the new pest technology you should be thinking about, but there are pros and cons to these pest control systems. They can make business owners complacent in their pest control and erroneously assume these monitors can replace the detailed work professional pest control technicians can do. But these remote pest monitoring systems are not designed to do that and just plain can’t. If you consider the pros as well as the cons of these new pest monitors, it will help you decide how they can be beneficial to your company.

The Pros:

Remote pest monitors and advanced pest technology can actually give your pest company’s technicians the time to focus their efforts on more investigative pest measures instead of taking time checking what could be empty traps. Instead of wasting time chasing wild geese, so to speak, they can use that time to implement real IPM strategies as well as identify the entry points instead of just where pests got trapped. Besides the extra time for the techs, the notifications these remote monitors send can help show evidence of pests earlier instead of waiting for the next time you have a scheduled appointment. Restaurants and food processing plants in particular will benefit from that benefit since pest issues in those industries can bring with them serious consequences. The notifications usually come with a timestamp, too, giving the technicians important information on what was happening in the building at the time of the pest activity. In addition to the timestamp, the time and space data can be used to investigate root causes and quickly resolve them (for example, certain shift sanitations, supplier issues, trash removal scheduling, and facilities exclusion weaknesses). Remote pest monitors also provide excellent data as long as you are using a professional pest control company that will partner with you to analyze it. Additionally, it’s important that they not only analyze it for you, but your pest control company should help you create the correct pest monitoring system for your building’s specific needs. There are a lot of pros to remote monitoring systems and that can provide one of the best benefits of all: peace of mind.

The Cons:

Peace of mind is great but not when it brings complacency. Remote pest monitors can cause a false sense of security, and complacency can mean vulnerability. This can lead to missed introductions if businesses try to use this pest technology to replace a professional pest control service. There are cost savings that will come with adding remote pest monitoring devices like less time wasted (as explained above), but they should be used to provide an efficient strategy to put some investment money toward rather than a total cost savings technique. Another con of these systems is the sheer volume of false positive notifications you can get. Should someone accidentally kick the monitor, that can prompt a false positive. Depending on the type and amount of monitors you have, those notifications can become overwhelming and possibly cause you to miss an important notification. So, not only can it potentially waste the business owner’s and the pest technician’s time, it can cost you money if you miss something. Constant visits from your pest control company can add up, too, especially if those visits are based on false information – that cost can negate whatever savings you got from the monitors in the first place. Those false positives can also take your technician away from doing real pest control work. New, more advanced pest technology will certainly help the cons column get smaller, but for now, we have what we have.

It’s smart to keep in mind that balancing the strengths and weaknesses of these monitors is the most beneficial way to use them. The pros are only benefits if you use them in addition to professional pest control, not to replace it. Your pest control partner can and should help you use them in the most effective way possible, so you can meet or exceed your pest prevention pre-requisites. While remote monitors are not the end all be all, they are a positive when you pair them with a trained eye, and the disadvantages can decrease as more advanced pest technology is introduced. But they will never be able to replace the knowledge of a Board Certified entomologist. Use them wisely.