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Technology provides a more sustainable future for rodent management

The use of technology is the ‘norm’ for facility managers and is already being used to improve efficiencies and sustainability in many areas of the business. However, pest management has been slow to the party, with limited digital options on the market, but there’s now a solution available.

Gary Nicholas, the Digital Pest Management sales manager at Bayer Environmental Science, says with all aspects of sustainability high on the agenda for businesses, facility managers should be adopting the technology out there to help improve the efficiency, traceability, accountability and transparency of rodent management.

“Facility management businesses use technology such as vehicle recognition on entering sites and digital login systems and pest management, should not be any different,” he says.

This tool can provide facility managers with accountability for rodent management on their site, as it gives them access to all the required resources to be confident in the system they have in place.

“Digital Pest Management provides a full trap activity history, ensuring complete traceability and transparency. It also helps reduce the manual aspect of rodent management and reporting, which can be inaccurate and hard to interpret. Live reporting removes the risk of any mistakes and is always up to date.

“It also allows facility managers to adhere to current stewardship guidelines. It uses smart traps, allowing rodenticides to be integrated into the wider rodent management programme and used in a very controlled, precise and targeted way,” adds Gary.

“When it comes to sustainability, an automated, digital system like this can help improve efficiency and effectiveness, which can reduce the financial investment required for rodent management. The targeted and precise use of rodenticides also helps improve environmental sustainability,” he explains.

“From a social aspect, this system is also much safer for people and wildlife, as there’s a greatly reduced need for rodenticides on site, which are of course toxic.”

Gary says facility managers have been using technology for several years and so now a solution is available for rodent management, it makes sense to use it to help improve the sustainability and efficiency of this across facilities.

For more information, please visit or contact the Pest Solutions Team on

5 Minutes With… Bayer Environmental Science’s Gary Nicholas

In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series we spoke to Gary Nicholas, UK & IE Sales Manager (DPM) at Bayer Environmental Science, about Digital Pest Management, the role data & analytics can play in controlling pests and the rewarding nature of working with the facilities management community…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

The Bayer Group is managed as a life science company with three divisions – Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science, Bayer are very well known for our chemical products and we’re now combining these with digital solutions.  Solutions such as Digital Pest Management (DPM) to enhance our professional pest management products range.

What benefits and ‘value adds’ does DPM offer FMs?

DPM allows for real time 24/7/365 chemical-free remote rodent monitoring.  The software is able to produce trend analysis and other analytics from the data capture. Benefits and ‘value adds’ of this for FMs are such thing as:

  • Real time live digital site plans showing the precise location of each individual trap. Smart traps that can be represented on the digital site plan by coloured icons which change colour depending on their status.  No more guessing or ‘not knowing’ where traps are located and what state of service they are in.
  • Real time trigger and capture notifications which can be sent to QA and pest manager’s devices, or indeed anyone who is authorised to receive alerts through the system software. Vastly reduced reaction lead time to pest sightings and activity.
  • Reducing the use of chemicals and rodenticides to a point where usage is very precise and very targeted and used only when absolutely necessary.
  • Heat mapping technology which provides invaluable data on current and historic rodent activity, where activity is reducing, increasing and importantly where there is no activity.
  • Daily diagnostic system checks on every trap on every site, which provides QA and pest managers with automated digital, data driven reports on status and activity. This is the equivalent of having all traps inspected, serviced and digitally reported on 365 days a year.  Real time 24/7 integrated pest management systems.
  • Audit ready systems supported by the manufactures.
  • Transparency of service.

All of this would be impossible to achieve without DPM.

Do different types of site require different DPM solutions – what are the key considerations?

Not necessarily different solutions, but each site will have individual needs.  The system is flexible enough to allow bespoke solutions to meet those – Key considerations would be:

  • Nature of the business.
  • Size of the particular sites where DPM is to be installed.
  • Are non-chemical solutions preferable? I.e. food & beverage manufacturing, critical health care, and the impact of using chemicals on the business and surrounding environment.
  • Levels and locations of recent, current and historic rodent activity
  • Will the customer benefit from an audit ready digital platform? Invariable the answer to this will almost always be ‘Yes’.
  • Tailoring the system to the exact requirements of individual managers and their sites.

What is your biggest priority in 2021 (in terms of developing the DPM solution)?

To ensure businesses managers, FM managers and pest managers are aware that our system is available and on the market.  To demonstrate its functions and all the benefits of DPM.  We’ll also be ensuring that everyone’s able and confident to work with our system on their sites. Myself and the Bayer DPM team are dedicated to offering our full support to all users for as long as it is needed.

Tell us about the underlying technology in Bayer’s DPM solution

It’s a cloud based, remote management system, developed in conjunction with Microsoft that uses LoRa technology to connect smart traps, both rat and mouse, to a central Gateway.  It can be used indoors and out, plus smart traps are water and dust resistant. Continual development and data refreshes bring new features and functionality – ultimately the solution is designed to enhance and compliment the skills and abilities of the service technicians and the wider pest management industry, bringing all the benefits of digital to their customers.

What role does data and analytics play in more effectively managing pests?

In short, monumental improvements in ‘knowing’ the pest status of sites, every day of the year.  In particular, trend analysis helps PCOs understand and get to the ‘root causes’ of infestations, control infestations in a very targeted and much quicker manner, and predict when and where future activity may occur, understanding the rodent behaviour and  acting accordingly. Therefore, the data protects people, property, assets and reputations from rodent damage. Plus, using data to ensure when chemicals and rodenticides are needed and employed means the system is very targeted, precise and therefore sustainable.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

The widespread use of mobile apps to self-manage medication and personal healthcare. Providing real-time status on such things as vaccinations and wellbeing.

Which person in, or associated with, your industry would you most like to meet?

All of my Bayer colleagues in our team. COVID restrictions have so far meant that we have been unable to meet in person since I joined Bayer last October.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?

Not surprising, but certainly what I have learnt most is just how much I enjoy working with the FM industry. It’s challenging at times in terms of tailoring specific solutions to such diverse needs and requirements, but always great fun and very rewarding.  I’ve met a lot of lovely, interesting people, surveyed some iconic and often fascinating buildings and locations, and made some life-long friends from within the FM industry/sector.

You go to the bar at the Facilities Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

Sauvignon Blanc – Chilean if available, and a large one, thank you!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Being the person at Bayer ES leading the commercialisation of, in my opinion, professional pest management’s latest and most exciting innovation in the past 50 years or more. I get let loose on the technology and get to showcase it to businesses and people across the UK, Ireland and also into Europe! That’s amazing!

And what’s the most challenging?

Helping the pest management industry to shift its mindset from age-old ways of thinking and working and getting those people to share our vision that digital innovation brings.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be yourself. Trust and believe in your own ability and never stop learning.

About Gary Nicholas

Over 35 years working within the pest control industry, the last 20 of which have been working closely with Facility Managers and Building Managers, previously as Surveyor & Account Manager and now as UK & IE Sales Manager (DPM) for Bayer Environmental Science. Lives in NW England in the beautiful Fylde coastal town of Lytham St Anne’s with wife Paula. Outside of work, enjoys watching Rugby and MotoGP as well as having a keen and active interest in aviation and flying.

Innovation in pest sector benefits facility managers

By Bayer

Digital Pest Management can change the way facility managers offer pest management services to clients across their business portfolio, by improving efficiency, traceability and transparency.

Gary Nicholas, Bayer sales manager for Digital Pest Management explains that traditional methods of pest management are very manual, which is time consuming and inefficient, but new innovative technology means there is now a solution to this.

“Digital Pest Management has been designed in conjunction with Microsoft to make rodent management across commercial sites much more efficient, transparent and targeted.

“It’s a cloud-based system which remotely inspects every bait station, every day of the year, producing a digital report that includes real time capture alerts when rodents are active,” he says.

The rodent traps are similar in appearance to those already widely in use, but what makes Bayer’s unique, is the specialist smart technology contained within the base of the trap.

Gary says this technology can provide a wealth of data to facility managers including:

  • A digital site plan showing the precise location of each individual trap. The smart traps are represented on the digital site plan by icons which change colour depending on their status. No more guessing or ‘not knowing’ where traps are located and their state of service.
  • Real time trigger and capture notifications which can be sent to facility manager’s devices, or indeed anyone that is authorised to receive alerts through the system software.
  • Heat mapping technology which provides invaluable data on current and historic rodent activity, where activity is reducing, increasing and importantly where there is no activity.
  • Daily diagnostic system checks every trap on every site, which provides facility managers with automated digital reports on status and activity. This is the equivalent of having all traps inspected, serviced and digitally reported on 365 days a year. A real time 24/7 integrated pest management system.

For more information, please visit contact the Pest Solutions Team on

FMs urged to put safety first with wasps this summer

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is flagging up safety issues surrounding wasps to facilities managers.

As the summer heat soars and more people embrace the outdoors, the BPCA expects to see a rise in wasp activity.

As a result, the Association is urging FMs across the UK to be pest aware and protect their assets by taking a proactive approach, which puts safety at the heart of their operations.

Natalie Bungay, BPCA’s Technical Officer, said: “Commercial and public sector premises can be affected by a wasp outbreak.

“If service users and visitors experience a high level of wasp activity, then complaints are likely to ensue.

“This alone is damaging, and if a staff member or customer gets a sting, or worse still, receives multiple stings, then the presence of wasps can be seen as detrimental to public health.

“The matter becomes serious if a sting sends someone into anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

“Even if someone has been stung by a wasp before and not had a severe reaction, it doesn’t mean that they cannot have a bad reaction if stung again.”

BPCA has a range of information to provide further insight and help FMs become more pest aware.

The new ‘Worried About Wasps’ guide, at gives an overview of information including biology and behaviour, prevention and control.

The guide is free to read, download and print. A short video guide is also available to view at

Bungay added: “If an organisation is troubled by wasps on their premises, it could point to the fact that a nest is nearby.

“It’s important to note that not every wasps’ nest needs destroying. For example, if it’s well away from a building or in a rarely used part of the garden where disturbance is unlikely, it might be best to leave it alone.

“However, when wasps are causing a nuisance or endangering human health, then steps may need to be taken.

“By appointing a pest management professional, facilities managers can take steps to protect staff, customers and visitors, and minimise disruption to the business.

“They have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional products which are not available to the public to tackle the issue effectively.

“They’ll have appropriate protective equipment, and professionals can work in an environment that focuses on safety, not just for themselves, but the people and environment around them.”

If FMs need help with wasps, BPCA’s ‘Find a pest controller tool’, available at shows only pest management companies with the correct insurances, fully qualified technicians and who have been audited to the British and European standard in pest management.