The Next Frontier for AI: Pest Control?

April 20, 2017 - By 
artificial intelligence

Does the notion of blending Artificial Intelligence (AI) and pest control leave you with the image of a massive chrome droid mowing down cockroaches with a flamethrower?

Well, it’s not that dramatic. Nor dangerous. And it’s also not just some futuristic vision.

In fact, many pest companies are already using AI in their daily operations.

Sure, there’s the possibility down the road of some fancy chrome robot handling your pest issues.

But for now, it’s possible that you work in pest control and may not even realize that your company is already using this technology.

And why not? Revenue from it is predicted to reach over $36 billion dollars by the year 2025.

So what are some of the current ways AI is being used in pest control?

Well, the list isn’t extensive. But the ways it’s being used so far has made it an effective addition to the pest control toolbox.

1. AI for marketing automation and lead management.

There’s nothing exciting or sci-fi about this.

But cost-effective prospect generation is always a challenge. And generating leads for pest control is no different.

Converting leads to customers can be even harder. Especially for smaller operations that may not have a sales team. Sales and marketing automation can activate emails that will appeal to undecided prospects.

Yeah, like we said, boring. But it’s still AI. And it’s valuable.

2. AI for route optimization.

One of the factors that make people uneasy about AI is the “replace the human” component that’s connected with it in sci-fi lore.

This is not the intention of route optimization tools.

The tools were developed to take out the inefficiency of what was once a painfully slow manual process so that employees can make the best use of their time. It’s still understood that only humans are capable of holding valuable domain knowledge that comes from being familiar with a place.

3. AI in the form of drones.

Okay. Now it’s getting interesting.

Imagine that you’re having issues with ant control in your home and these little drones come whirling in and eradicate them.

Again, not the way it works.

Drones are incredibly helpful for home inspections. But certified drone operators are needed to ensure the safety and privacy of the customer.

And there’s the additional issue of going through government procedure to make it legal to operate them.

Still, all of these extra hassles are worth it for many pest control companies because drones can provide views of hard-to-reach places where bugs or other wildlife may be entering unseen.

4. AI in the form of advanced rodent traps.

A UK-based pest control company is experimenting with rodent traps equipped with sensors and WiFi. The rodent traps forward data to a command center built by the company.

If a rodent is caught, a member of the staff is sent to the area to remove the animal. This is more efficient than conducting routine patrols only to find empty traps.

The cool part here is that the company uses the data to fine tune its digital pest control services. For instance, they can potentially identify rodent breeding or migration patterns, as well as infestation-risk hotspots, before it becomes a bigger issue.

AI gives pest control companies the option of shifting from a reactive approach to a more pro-active one.

When it comes right down to it, pest control businesses that incorporate intelligent technology into daily operations can reduce the behind-the-scenes time and make better use of technician time.

Posted In:  Technology