Ask the Expert (Pest Management)

How do we rid our campus of rodents?

Smart technology gives us new ways to address old problems in our homes, places of business, and in public spaces. One great example is a sensor, invisible to the eye, that fits in a waste receptacle and collects valuable data it can then transmit to users—be they facility management, civil engineers, or sanitation departments.

It measures everything from weight and fill level to temperature and landfill diversion. With GPS, it can track whether the receptacle has been moved and the location where it should be returned. The data, both real-time and historical, are used as a planning tool to optimize routes and make significant boosts in efficiencies, including labor costs, time and environmental impact.

The smart technology now features a user-enabled rodent detection mode. It looks for specific patterns in the measurements it records that indicate rodent movement within the container. The data that are collected can be used to uncover specific problem areas with dense rat populations and identify key surrounding contributors, such as discarded foods and litter in overflowing dumpsters, alleyways, restaurant trash cans, and the street. Over time, the data allow users to measure the success of a rat-abatement initiative.

What makes the new feature a huge benefit is that it gets to the infestation’s root causes and does not simply treat the symptoms.

Rats are smart. But this technology is smarter.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of College Planning & Management.

About the Author

Emma Skalka is vice president of Sales and Marketing at Victor Stanley in Dunkirk, MD.

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