When you think of a business that uses IoT and cellular connectivity, it’s likely that you’ll have images of a company working with software, machinery and other technology forming in your head. It isn’t every day that you’ll think of an industry like pest control. But that’s the beauty of IoT – it’s enabling game-changing innovation across all kinds of businesses.
- It’s not common knowledge, but the pest control market is huge – every business involved in the handling of consumables in the food industry are required by regulations to have traps for all kinds of vermin such as rats, mice, moths, and cockroaches.
- This means that every establishment that handles food, from restaurants to bakeries, to supermarkets, will have to consider pest control in their day-to-day operations. Market research valued pest control globally at $18.2 billion in 2017 and that figure is expected to increase by 50% to $27.6 billion by 2025.
Pest control in its traditional state has been bad for the environment and living creatures, since most solutions utilize combinations that involve poison. To meet health and food safety requirements, traps must be checked individually on a weekly basis for potential vermin. This is an incredibly expensive, manual process that consumes a lot of time and labor.
Digitalizing the pest control industry with smart, connected products
EMnify’s customers in pest control are digitizing their industry by providing smart traps and infestation monitoring systems. These solutions are managed in a portal powered by EMnify’s API, so technicians can view the locations where the devices are deployed, which ones are active and, when something has been caught, which trap got triggered by the catch. All while removing the need to physically inspect all the traps daily.
As a connectivity provider, EMnify addresses all the needs of pest control companies that make smart traps:
- EMnify’s global, multi-network SIM cards allow for connections to many networks across nearly 200 countries, allowing smart traps to be deployed in nearly anywhere worldwide.
- The SIM cards can also connect to more than one local network operator in most countries. This allows them to prioritize the best network in any given location and facilitate network signal in difficult-to-reach spots such as basements and indoors.
- EMnify’s honest, transparent and highly scalable pricing scheme allows pest control companies to keep costs affordable and tuned to their low data usage needs.
- EMnify’s powerful RESTful API powers pest control portals, letting technicians check on deployed traps in just a few clicks
More innovation in a greener pest control space
One of EMnify’s customers, Futura, have traps that do not require batteries or any external power source – all the energy required to power the “connected” part of the device and send signals is
produced via the tension of an open trap. When a trap is triggered, the energy generated from the snap is enough to send a signal that it caught something.
Futura is working on monitoring solution that leverages LPWAN / NB-IoT for insect detection (for dealing with moths and cockroaches), where the device sends an image of the bait area back to the servers several times a day. Using image recognition, Futura’s system identifies changes in imagery to detect the presence of caught pests. This allows technicians to be efficiently sent to the site on an as-needed basis.
Aside from the time and cost savings in labor, electricity and resources, smart pest control solutions also address environmental issues that have been traditionally associated with pest control:
- Traditional pest control companies still use poisons such as rodenticides in 90% of cases, which adds up to 1,000 tons of poison every year in Germany alone!
- On top of that, the poison tends to not kill rodents immediately which causes suffering (internal bleeding and suffocation) while they die a slow death.
- Other animals, both domestic pets and wildlife in the vicinity may also be harmed; either directly or from consumption of rodents that have poison in their system. Many studies indicate secondary poisoning of predators and scavengers, such as owls and hawks, is a huge issue.
- Some users can also be careless about where and how much poison they deploy. This may cause traces of it to enter drinking water supplies.
Futura’s smart trap solution does away with poison and conforms to animal protection laws by ensuring any animals do not suffer unnecessarily before death. This new smart solution is now the quickest, most humane way to detect and eliminate pests.
The possibilities of IoT in business use cases are endless. The pest control industry is just one example of how the introduction of cloud infrastructure, to digitally transform the business can bring a massive boost in operational efficiency and revenue potential, while reducing their environmental footprint and adhering to regulations.