Bait Point Dating

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Why Pest Control Bait Points must be dated?

1) Checking Rat and Mice Bait Points

Rodenticides and non-toxic monitors use a food base to attract rats and mice – cereal-based in most cases. This means that all baits are prone to degradation by dampness, insects, but also slugs and snails outdoors.

To ensure the palatability and therefore the effectiveness of the baits, it is paramount that each bait point is checked during every routine inspection by the pest control operator, so it can be replaced when necessary.
There are 2 common methods used by pest controllers to make sure all bait points on site are checked regularly: Barcode systems and Manually Dated systems.

Barcode Systems vs Dated Systems?

Each quality control system has pros and cons:

Barcoded Stickers:

  • Fast to scan
  • Site visit cannot be completed until all barcodes are scanned
  • Compile results automatically
  • Slow to setup
  • Stickers fade and crack over time
  • Technicians must carry replacement stickers and reprogram regularly (time/costs added to the service)
  • It is possible for technicians to make copies of the barcodes and scan the duplicates (from their vehicle) instead of the real ones (on-site)!
  • Managers/Customers cannot physically check if the control points barcodes have been scanned or not

Manually Dated Stickers:

  • Durable vinyl stickers (6+ years)
  • Managers/Customers/technicians can physically verify that each control point has been checked
  • Very popular with Environmental Health Officers and external Auditors
  • Creates a ``service history`` summary at each control point - retrospective control with technician's initials
  • Allows accurate performance monitoring (KPI) for each staff member
  • Stickers must all be changed at the same time when the calendar is full
  • Permanent markers are harder to use on wet days
  • Pest activity is manually recorded at each numbered control point
owl-pest-control-service-sticker-in-bait-box
Bait Points-Owl pest control Ireland

After years of experimenting with the two systems above, it has been determined by Owl’s management that the Manually Dated System offers a much better and reliable service quality, especially on 24/7 sites where customer representatives are not present.

In addition to this system, we rotate technicians on all our sites at each visit, allowing for “an extra pair of eyes” and identifying any internal issue that may arise.

Inefficient or No control measures?

Customers should always request a physical proof that control points are checked regularly and carry out spot-checks. Otherwise, you may experience a pest control programme that is not serving its intended purpose. This is illustrated in the pictures below during random site surveys:

Internal Mouse bait Station - Owl pest control Dublin

Bait eaten by slugs as the box is not checked regularly enough

Tray Red Medium - Owl pest control Dublin

Loose grain eaten by moth larvae over a long period of time (box not checked at regular intervals)

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

This station obviously never gets opened and cleaned, making it useless in the programme.

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

Box dirty and empty of bait for a period of time

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

Box not checked regularly

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

Rat burrow under Bait Box

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

Box unanchored & unlocked

External Bait box for Rodenticide - Owl pest control Dublin

Overgrown weeds blocking access

2) Checking Insect Monitoring Points

Insect monitoring devices are little glue boards on which an insect pheromone attractant is added, either directly inside the glue or else on a separate pill that is placed in the middle of the board. Most commercially available pheromone lures will last no more than 8 to 12 weeks in an indoor setting. The glue is also rapidly covered in dust and therefore be ineffective in trapping insects, especially in businesses such as bakeries, were flour is used abundantly.

Each monitor setup date should be clearly indicated on the device, so its lifespan can be established:

  • When control points are dated, Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Auditors are reassured that all premise areas are checked regularly indoors and outdoors.
  • It is also a proof of service which can be used during an inspection if some pest control reports have been misplaced or lost.
Insect Monitor - Owl pest control Dublin