The Future of Pest Management

Exploring research, trends, and technology

The pest control industry is always looking for a better way to control pests, such as rats and roaches, and there are some groundbreaking technologies in the works that will advance the way it manages and prevents pests on commercial properties.

With most of these innovations, the goal is to decrease the impact pest control has on the environment and on non-target creatures. Some of the new technologies have the potential to be more cost-efficient and effective than systems that are currently in use, improving bottom lines.

Real-Time Monitoring Devices

The College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University in College Station, PA, has developed a tool called PestWatch, a geospatial information system (GIS) pest database. The database is helping farmers track which pests are surging in their area.

Participating farmers set up pheromone traps to attract various pests and monitor the number they collect over time. Using the PestWatch tool, users can upload their data, which is then displayed as points on an interactive map.

The GIS technology allows users to input and view pest collection numbers across the country. While this is especially helpful to farmers and the agricultural industry, it also has applications for building maintenance, allowing people to see what rodents and other pests are surging in a particular area, so they can work to control the situation and mitigate pest problems in their facilities.

Highly-Targeted Options

As an alternative to traditional methods, pest management professionals can now control certain insects by using their own biology against them. Insect growth regulators, or replications of insect hormones, prevent pests from reaching full maturity by disrupting the insect growth cycle. This eliminates their reproductive abilities, which in turn, helps stop an infestation from occurring. The industry is now using this fertility control method to help manage animal pest populations, too.

Genetic Modifications

With new outbreaks of diseases, such as the Zika virus, which is spreading across the southern hemisphere and even north to the United States, more attention has been put on developing technologies to help fight mosquito-borne maladies.

A company called Oxitec Ltd. has genetically modified male mosquitoes so that when they mate with wild females, their offspring die before reaching adulthood. While Oxitec says this is more effective than current mosquito control techniques, not everyone is comfortable with introducing genetically modified mosquitoes into their communities. After the Federal Drug Administration approved the new treatment for The Florida Keys, vocal opposition from residents made the local mosquito control board slow down the trial process. The issue will appear on the state’s November ballot as a nonbinding referendum, so the effectiveness of the treatment remains to be seen.

Fighting Bedbugs With Bedbugs

Bedbugs are among the many insects that undergo the process of molting, or the shedding of their skin in order to grow. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside discovered that the skins bedbugs leave behind still retain their smell, which has been compared to that of rotting raspberries. They also found that living bedbug behavior is affected by the shed skins.

The bedbugs the researchers observed often settled in areas within close proximity of the shed skins. In the future, this information could be used for a practical application to develop small and inexpensive bed bug monitoring devices. The devices would allow pest control providers to easily monitor for bed bug activity, helping prevent an infestation before it can occur.

While some of this research and technology is still in its early development or testing stages, it’s clear that the industry is making a lot of advancements. This is good news for commercial properties fighting the battle against pests.

Posted On December 8, 2016

Ron Harrison

Director of Technical Services for Orkin

Ron Harrison, entomologist, Ph.D., is director of technical services for Orkin. He is an acknowledged leader in the field of pest management with more than 30 years of experience. Contact Dr. Harrison at or for more information, visit

Topics Tags

Also in Facility Management

commercial stone floors
June 18, 2020 Fred Hueston

9 Steps for Maintaining Commercial Stone Floors

May 11, 2020 Lori Strazdas

3 Steps to Take Before Reopening Your Facility

May 1, 2020 Chris Whiting

5 Best Practices for Reopening Your Facility

April 8, 2020 Laura Haupert

How Do I Get Rid of That Smell?

Sponsored in Facility Management

The Sequel is Never This Good
December 16, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

The Sequel is Never This Good

September 16, 2019 Sponsored by GEERPRES 

Perfect Combination for the Fight Against Cross-Contamination and HAIs

September 10, 2019 Sponsored by 3M BUILDING & COMMERCIAL 

Disinfection Tips for a Cleaner, Safer Floor Care Plan

June 6, 2019 Sponsored by ProTeam

Blue Valley Schools Go Cordless for Speed & Safety

Recent News

Meet the CMM Hard Floor Care Webinar Speakers
July 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

Meet the CMM Hard Floor Care Webinar Speakers

July 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

Preparation Sparks a Safe Fireworks Show

July 2, 2020 CMM Daily News

Coronavirus Government Response Update—Senate Extends PPP Loan Program

July 1, 2020 CMM Daily News

Tennant Names Top K-12 Custodian

The Future of Pest Management
Share Article
Subscribe to CMM