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How data and actionable insight are changing pest control to improve food safety

The global population is expected to reach 8.6bn by 2030. By 2050, it’s been predicted that we’ll need a 70% increase in calories to feed that population. Yet still, vast quantities of food are wasted across the supply chain with contamination by pests, severe weather or because goods are left to spoil or be discarded, amongst other factors.

Every year, pests cause enormous economic losses in the food and beverage processing industry. In addition to disruptions to the production process, decreased revenue and threats to health, safety and sanitary compliance, pest infestations can also lead to a lasting loss of customer trust and damage to brand reputation.

If things continue the way they are, this will soon become an increasingly unsustainable situation that stretches the capacity of the food industry to its limits. But what if there was a new way, based on intelligent methods of analysing data, that could start to solve these problems?

In the pest control industry, this is a possibility that we’re actively pursuing right now. Our digital pest control solutions use unrivalled insights, data and reporting to help you proactively manage and prevent infestations 24/7.

Changes to data gathering are opening up new opportunities

Data is nothing new in pest control. It’s always been there in the form of various reports and documents. At Rentokil, for example, we have been gathering data for decades via thousands of our technicians who visit businesses, assess infestations and record their recommendations in reports.

But, the way that data is recorded is now changing. Our technicians are visiting sites and recording information which is now stored in myRentokil, a digital pest management reporting and analysis system that provides trend reporting, recommendations, interactive maps, charts and analytic tools that help support pest control measures and audits.

We’re also generating data in new ways. Our Rentokil PestConnect solution, for example, is an ecosystem of connected traps that detect, capture or kill pests and alert our technicians when any activity has occurred.

With over 70,000 devices worldwide, the system helps to generate huge volumes of new data on pest behaviour in different food production environments and regions.

All pest activity detected by PestConnect devices is recorded and uploaded to the secure myRentokil customer portal.

Using drones for agricultural pest control

One such example comes from work Rentokil has carried out in the agriculture sector, which also features a novel way of gathering data. We designed a bespoke drone with thermal imaging technology to monitor a tomato plantation. The drone recorded critical data, such as small changes in temperature, to track and identify the movements of rodents.

This insight made it possible to predict when rodents are likely present in the fields, target pest control measures more effectively and ultimately prevent rodent hairs from contaminating raw produce.

Using predictive data modelling to evaluate pest control risks

Another good example comes from the food retail sector, where we’ve partnered with a US supermarket chain to create predictive data models. These models evaluate a site for pest risks, create targeted solutions and even recommend changes in building design before a new store is built.

This kind of activity is the future for a pest control industry that needs to evolve to become more informed by data insights, more proactive and more intelligent in the way it helps manage pests that impact food safety.

Using data and insights to improve pest control, reporting and regulatory compliance

The most important thing to recognise is that generating data is not a solution. It’s the action you take from it that counts.

Data must be used to analyse root causes, predict future infestations and generate insights that inform the planning and implementation of preventative measures. When that happens, there’s clear evidence that tangible benefits follow.

Our digital pest control solutions provide businesses in the food processing sector with an innovative solution to proactively control pest infestations while providing superior data and knowledge to support reporting and regulatory compliance.

We work with multiple food and beverage processing businesses across the globe to manage their pest control activities to meet the increasingly complex food safety compliance requirements.

Discover how Cargrill are improving the way it manages pest control and regulatory compliance

Digital pest control

Technology and data-driven digital pest monitoring for effective, smart pest management solutions

  • Our digital pest management system monitors constantly, reacts instantly and reports directly
  • Real-time alerts and data-driven insights help mitigate risk and inform preventative measures
  • Rapid response pest control from your local service team to tackle pest problems fast
Find out more

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