Seed storage facilities naturally attract rodents. They not only offer an endless source of food, but their sheer size can allow rodents to harbor without detection.
That was the case for an 800-foot-long seed storage facility in the Midwest. The location was experiencing increased rodent pressures following the return of seed bags that had been opened and stored on farms for weeks or even months. Filled with plenty of food and stored opened for months in a farmer’s shed before being returned, rodents had hitchhiked their way into the facility after nesting in the bags.
Because of the size of the facility, manually checking multi-catch traps meant considerable time spent on-site for the technicians from the company’s pest management provider (PMP), Fumigation Service & Supply (FSS).
A better solution was needed — one that would allow FSS to efficiently monitor trap activity and minimize routine tasks to focus on higher-value activities, including increased root cause and trend analysis. Upon the recommendation of FSS, the facility management agreed to have the ActiveSense® system installed to remotely monitor rodent activity 24/7 in and around the seed storage facility.
“When we first inspected the facility, we found a rather significant rodent harborage that no one knew about,” said John Moore, director of integrated pest management at FSS. “And we knew that continuing to run around the perimeter and service traps wasn’t going to help.”
“By putting ActiveSense in, it freed up my rodent experts and top technicians to take a deep-dive into that facility and find some root causes and actually solve some problems instead of simply checking traps,” Moore said. “That’s what I valued: the time required to accurately address the scenario unfolding before us.”
In May 2020, FSS placed 222 sensors in rodent stations and six hubs throughout the warehouse and a second seed storage location. The large number of sensors installed ensured every inch of the 800-foot-long facility was covered, and helped Moore confirm that all rodent activity would be precisely monitored 24/7.
With the sensors installed, the FSS team began monitoring for rodent activity in real time — and results came pouring in.
With more time to invest in high-level strategic inspections, FSS was able to devote time to investigating the rodent harborage found in the facility as well as successfully manage the rodents being brought to the site through returned seed bags.
“Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time with seed storage facilities, the infestation is being brought right through the front door,” Moore said.
With the ActiveSense system in place, FSS knows in real time when rodent activity has been detected. With less time spent checking traps, technicians can use their technical knowledge and expertise to proactively address pest-conducive conditions, leaving the seed facility better protected in the long-term.
“Electronic remote monitoring technology is something I firmly believe in, because having my technicians spend 80 or 90 percent of their time checking traps is not pest control — it doesn’t solve or prevent problems, and it certainly doesn’t help protect a customer’s facility,” Moore said.
Plus, the added efficiencies allowed technicians to focus on more immediate pest pressures, such as increased Indianmeal moth activity. With the ActiveSense system helping FSS keep tabs on rodent activity, technicians were able to tackle an increase in Indianmeal moth populations before the problem escalated, bringing in added revenue from the additional services rendered.
“If I can free up my technicians’ time to do tasks that are of higher value to the customer, we can actually solve problems and get a higher level of food safety, control, integrated pest management and, of course, a higher level of brand protection,” Moore said. “Because that is our purpose as pest control providers: we offer brand protection.”
Thanks to its successful use of the ActiveSense system, FSS secured a long-term contract to protect the building as well as additional site locations.
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