Technology driven pest control

16 March 2020

IP&E catches up with Brian Monaghan, CEO Pest Pulse, to find out more about the innovative start up.

What’s the story behind Pest Pulse?

Pest Pulse was founded in 2017 by me and three partners, Tim O’Toole (Chief Commercial Officer), Wassim Maginn (Chief Hardware Architect) and John O’Gara (Chief Technology). We’re a team with a mixed background in technology and pest control from companies including Google, GrubHub, Pestguard, and Firmwave.

Pest Pulse uses cutting edge technology to help businesses maintain pest-free environments in reliable, cost-effective and eco-friendly ways, as the world's first technology-driven pest control company. Having launched a year later, in 2018, our business grew quickly and now delivers pest control services to household brand names and commercial clients across the UK and Ireland.

In May 2019, at less than two years old and just six months after launching, Pest Pulse was acquired by ServiceMaster, a US giant in pest control and cleaning services.

What problem does the product solve?

Normally, businesses pay an annual fee for pest control, including regular site visits – typically monthly – presenting a number of key problems. All businesses have different risks when it comes to pests. These risks depend on a number of factors, including the type of business, and number, size and location of premises. Some businesses are low-risk and simply don’t need frequent, expensive site visits. Others are high-risk and require more proactive monitoring.

Regardless of how regularly a site is audited, rodents and other pests can infest at any time, so a problem could begin as soon as the technician’s back is turned. Pest Pulse offers a service that addresses a pest problem before an infestation can occur, with smart sensors linked to the Internet of Things that are eco-friendly and 100% non-toxic.

How is Pest Pulse disrupting the market?

Pest Pulse understands that all businesses have different risks and requirements when it comes to pest control. We have developed smart devices and analytics software for businesses that monitors conditions on the premises for any pests. We are the world's first technology-driven pest control company, offering 24/7 monitoring, real-time analytics and instant notifications whenever a smart trapping device is triggered. This information is instantly relayed to our cloud software platform and a technician is dispatched to solve the problem before an infestation can occur.

Even more important than the technology is the way data generated within the software is used to deliver a better pest control service. This data can help better understand a customer’s risk and create a risk-based strategy for deployment of resources to customer sites that need more, or less, attention.

We compete with really big names in international pest control, with the ability to try and replicate what we are doing and put greater resources behind developing it – but they would struggle with disrupting their 100-year-old operational model, which is focused on regular visits, scheduling and route density. That’s where we are disrupting the pest control industry.

Who are their customers? 

Three of Pest Pulse’s larger brand name customers include international fast food heavyweight Five Guys, multinational brewery and pub chain BrewDog, and health-conscious counter-serve chain LEON.

One of the major challenges across food- and drink-related industries is managing the threat of pests. All business premises are at risk – but where there is food, that risk increases. Pest infestations can be catastrophic to brand reputation and potentially harmful to the health of employees and customers, resulting in loss of trust, loss of revenue, failed audits and closure orders.

In May 2019, LEON opened its first of 20 restaurants comprising the new LEON Ireland franchise, in Dublin’s Temple Bar, with the remaining 19 all due to open in the next five years, boosting the Irish economy by creating 600 new jobs and recreating the UK menu with Irish suppliers.

LEON appointed Pest Pulse for its entire LEON Ireland franchise from the very beginning, well before the opening of our first store. This enabled a consultative approach, with Pest Pulse advising throughout the pre- and post-build process and delivering a robust pest control solution that filled the management team with confidence.

What’s the future for Irish Manufacturing? 

In terms of pest control, the manufacturing sector is particularly high-risk due to demanding hygiene and cleanliness standards that must be adhered to. Businesses supplied by manufacturers require assurances for them, and their customers, that processes are compliant and pest-free throughout the production line. We predict an increase in smart technology across all industries and the continued use of connected products, as well as a greater emphasis on greener solutions that span the supply chain.