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Over the past decade, technology has driven better pest control across the food industry and beyond. Digital traps and devices have given pest controllers new levels of efficiency, enabling 24/7 monitoring and the ability to interact with a customer site without needing to be there. Similarly, technology is also used for targeted treatments – drones facilitate mosquito control by distributing insecticides from the air, making it much easier to access remote locations.

There are so many ways technology has benefited pest management, and there’s no doubt that emerging AI technologies can enhance it further. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, there’s great potential in how the pest control industry harnesses the abilities of AI in combination with their existing technologies. This blog explores one example – a mix of camera technology and intelligent identification and detection – that is already starting to change the face of pest control as we know it.


The Cutting-edge Technology Transforming Pest Control

Using cameras for observation is nothing new, but the application of AI – more specifically, machine learning – can revolutionise how we use these tools. Machine learning is a subset of AI that uses algorithms and statistical models to help systems learn and improve. In combination with camera technology, machine learning can teach computers to recognise and locate specific things in images or videos.

When used in pest management, this technology can work in the following way:

  1. Cameras can be placed anywhere in a site, including hard-to-reach areas or places where pests are suspected to be harbouring. When any movement occurs, such as a rodent running in front of the device, the camera is triggered to take a photograph or record video.
  2. Images then continue through a pipeline where advanced machine learning technology identifies the presence of pests and confirms species types.
  3. After identification, images/footage with confirmed pest activity can be sent to technicians who can remotely pre-determine their response to the identified infestation, enabling a more efficient and effective approach.

By itself, the camera taking pictures of pest activity gives you the changing state within a setting, but adding AI to this technology removes the need for humans to monitor and verify these images. It provides a more reliable, accurate confirmation of pest activity and means pest controllers can build a trend analysis over time.


The Future of Pest Control for Food Safety

By confirming and providing more insight into pest activity, this combination of camera technology and AI can help make interventions more targeted and sustainable. For example, by pinpointing precisely where pest activity is taking place, any treatments such as rodenticides can be used only where needed, reducing the amount used. By identifying patterns and trends, the data these devices capture can also help us understand pest behaviour better and enable more accurate predictions on handling future pest threats.

As businesses become more automated and fewer of their employees are on the ground to spot risks or signs of pests, camera technology can also step in. In addition to capturing footage of pests, the cameras can provide insight into an environment. Pest controllers can use this information to offer recommendations that can reduce the potential for pest infestations to occur – such as shutting a door or emptying bins more often.

Essentially, using AI for intelligent identification and detection makes faster, more accurate and more proactive responses to pest infestations possible. In your food business, that can mean a safer, more compliant site with solutions to future-proof against potential pest activity and reduce unnecessary costs, revenue losses and production downtime.

As we look to the future, it seems that AI and digital technologies are set to create solutions for even more sustainable, effective pest control for food safety. We’re only just starting to see the many benefits of this combination, but as it evolves, the sky is the limit.




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