Innovations in Pest Control

Updated on April 3, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 10.06.13 AMBy Phil Pierce

With the potential to spread disease and infection, pests have no place in the healthcare environment. However, controlling pests in healthcare facilities can be a challenge. These facilities provide pests with all of their basic needs – food, water and shelter.  Nevertheless, with the help of a pest management professional and the latest technological advances, your facility can proactively prevent and combat pests.

Over the past few years, the pest control industry has introduced a variety of tools, technologies and services that can help your facility manage pests more efficiently, more economically, and even be less disruptive to the environment.

It is important to remember, however, that an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is still essential in preventing pests.  Technology should be paired with IPM, and in some cases, only used as a reactive measure.

Here are just a few of the latest innovations and trends to be aware of:

Information on Demand

Service documentation is a key ingredient in delivering superior service. As a result, the pest control industry has developed hand-held, mobile-tracking devices that can provide almost instantaneous information to facilities and their pest management providers. These devices can provide customized reports on-demand about inspection findings, sanitation, exclusion and cultural recommendation modifications. They help pest management professionals analyze pest data faster, which in turn helps prevent problems from becoming widespread.

Canine Detection 

Bed bug dogs are one of the most effective ways to search out bed bug infestations. Specially trained canine teams, consisting of a bed bug dog and a handler, can detect live bed bugs and viable eggs within minutes with a very high degree of accuracy. In fact, dogs are much more effective than human inspectors. What’s more, canine detection is 100 percent environmentally friendly.

Green Services

Today, being green is not just a trend; it is an important aspect of many healthcare facilities’ operations. Many pest control providers now offer green service programs that meet or exceed green pest management standards and comply with national third-party certification courses, such as GreenPro from the National Pest Management Association.

Green pest management services focus on eliminating sources of infestation rather than eliminating pests through the use of conventional pest control materials. They use minimally invasive pest control materials such as organic cleaners, as well as least risk/least toxic compounds.

Fly Lights

Fly lights themselves are not new to the pest management industry, but the latest designs are. Fly lights are now available in a variety of decorative styles, so you do not have to sacrifice your facility’s décor or make it obvious that pest control tools are present. In addition, as we learn more about the specifications of the more attractive light sources, we are able to use bulbs that are more effective in fly lights.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Research

Information obtained from field inspections predicts that 2013 will result in larger numbers of stink bugs than in 2012.  However, promising research by the USDA and other Agencies suggests that more effective control techniques are becoming available.  In addition to discovering insects that are effective predators, USDA researchers are on the verge of finding more targeted scent attractants that will make stink bug traps more effective.  Other successful research involves finding compounds that mimic the scent released by male stink bugs.  Scientists think they have not only found very good attractants, but also believe those compounds are easy to manufacture.

Rat Sterilization

Almost everyone who reads or listens to the news has heard about the large number of rats in New York City.  Recently, New York City’s transit and bus authority announced plans for a pilot program designed to curb the fertility of female rats that harbor in the subway system and beyond.  The authority plans to test a product that is administered orally through baits and designed to accelerate natural egg loss and permanently sterilize the rats.

Combined with IPM, the latest innovations in the pest control industry can help your facility save time, money and even prevent bigger pest problems down the road.  Talk to you pest control provider about the latest technologies and services  that might work for your facility.

Phil Pierce is the Technical Services Manager for Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest management company serving residential and commercial customers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Learn more about Western by visiting


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