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The future of pest management

October 29, 2013  By Dr. Alice Sinia

The world’s hum of innovation is not lost on the pest management industry. In fact, a wealth of new advances are plotting new territory and creating the new reality for pest management programs.

Quality for the price remains the top value driver for foodservice consumers, followed by fresh ingredients and choice, according to a recent NPD Group foodservice study.1 As you strive to meet consumer demands, there is one constant threat to these factors that all commercial-scale fruit and vegetable producers face: pests. Flies,
cockroaches and rodents are prime suspects and can compromise your harvest and your bottom line.

But before jumping into exciting new digital process tools, the first step to help reduce the presence of these pests is to implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This comprehensive approach focuses on preventive measures such as sanitation to minimize pest attractants like food and water, and facility maintenance to block pests’ access to your business. New pest control technologies can teach and help you manage such pest activities in and around your facility better than ever before. Work with your professional pest management provider to ensure that your facility stays on the cutting edge with the latest pest control technologies and that you are working smarter, not harder.

Consider these new options and stay up on the latest in TECH:

T – Training is top-notch. Hands-on training opportunities mesh with technology driven, web-based training to provide pest management professionals with the latest industry news. Digital learning networks keep professionals in the know and allow instantaneous contact with industry people around North America.

E – Electronic reporting replaces documenting pest pressures by hand. Advances allow for scanning and electronic reporting to create customized reports that measure trend data over time. This technology allows your pest management provider to determine which areas of your facility are most prone to pest activity and at what time of the year, allowing you to target hot spots quickly and effectively. Not only are they faster and easier to access than handwritten reports, but also they are readily available and more accurate. A barcoding system on pest management devices allows for quicker, easier and more accurate inspections while making the process paperless. Once you have these reports, you can share them electronically with others in your business and digitally archive information so it will always be available for audits and inspections – unlike the binders you may be using now.

C – Consider installing ultrasonic devices. Ultrasonic devices have been used for some time, but recent advancements have improved their effectiveness, especially in deterring rodents. These deterrents use specific sound pressure (frequency) and power (intensity) to deter rodents from entering your facility. They are most effective when used around the exterior of building as they create rodent-deferring buffer zones.

H – Hang insect light traps in the interior of your business in strategic locations to combat flies. These newly designed traps attract flies using ultraviolet light and capture them on a non-toxic adhesive trapping board inside the unit. The silent devices are discreet, so you can place them in virtually any location. This goes for food-storage areas as well, since the technology uses a non-toxic glue-board for trapping, meaning you don’t have to worry about airborne contamination from the insect body parts as you would with the traditional “bug zapper.” They also operate around the clock so you have a continuous defence against flies.

Other advances in more traditional tools such as pheromone traps, organic cleaners and insect bait traps have increased their efficiencies. Using technology to your advantage can ensure an effective IPM program and, more importantly, a safe and consistent product for consumers. ❦



Dr. Alice Sinia, PhD, is quality assurance manager of regulatory and lab services for Orkin Canada, focusing on government regulations pertaining to the pest control industry. With more than 10 years of experience, she manages the Quality Assurance Laboratory for Orkin Canada and performs analytical entomology while providing technical support in pest/insect identification to branch offices and clients. She can be contacted at

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