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How to balance AI pest control with human expertise

Vijay Khandekar

AI Pest Control

The AI pest control market is expected to reach $9.47 million in total revenue by 2032. And many large pest control companies—including Rentokil, Ecolab, and Anticimex—already use AI for detection, monitoring, and prevention.

So, if you’re considering adding AI to your pest-fighting arsenal, you’re in good company. But before you hop on the AI bus, it helps to know the pros and cons of this new tech. 

We’ll explain how AI pest control can help you monitor and exterminate pests, plus share some example scenarios where AI can improve your pest control profit margins. Last but not least, we’ll help you decide when to use AI-powered pest detection methods versus traditional tactics. Let’s jump in.

What is AI pest control?

AI uses algorithms—or a set of instructions that tells the AI how to complete a task—to analyze and learn from large amounts of data. This data can include text, images, audio, and video.

The algorithms help the AI to find patterns in the data, allowing it to predict outcomes and make decisions. Different analysis techniques, like machine learning, help the AI process and classify the data.

Once the AI learns, it’s ready to go. The best part is that AI is never really finished learning. When it finds new data, it uses it to improve its performance. In short, the more you use AI, the smarter it gets.

Now that we’ve got the basics of AI down let’s talk about how it’s used in the pest control industry.

Automated monitoring and detection

AI is perfect for early detection and accurate identification of pests. This helps your pest control company stay on top of monitoring so you can respond before an infestation gets out of hand.

Some examples of AI-powered pest control monitoring tools include:

  • AI-powered cameras and sensors: No more hoisting yourself up into attics to check for pests. Install an AI-powered camera or sensor in hard-to-reach places and get a heads-up if the AI detects pest activity.
  • Smart traps: Using sensors to identify trapped pests and calculate population rates, these traps send out a pest control “bat signal” if populations start to grow.
  • Aerial drones: Monitoring crops and large commercial areas just got easier thanks to aerial drones. These high-flying cameras use AI to monitor pest activity and keep tabs on crop health.

Look at AI like it’s a security guard who never takes a coffee break. It’s always watching and ready to sound the alarm at the sight of any pests.

Pest outbreak prediction

What if you could predict infestations before they happen? AI uses weather, pest behavior, and historical data to predict when and where new outbreaks might occur. It’s like having a fortune teller tell you when and where to be before you need to be there.

Targeted pest treatments

Using pest behavior and location data, AI can keep your pest treatments on target. This also helps you reduce your chemical treatment use and keep supply costs in check. 

Here are some ways AI helps you zero in with targeted pest treatments:

  • AI-powered sprayers and bait dispensers: These AI-powered tools let you skip potentially costly treatments of an entire field or property. Instead, this equipment uses AI to apply targeted treatment and adjust the concentration so it’s just enough for the number of pests detected. Win-win.
  • Optimized treatment plans: AI recommends treatment plans that balance cost, environmental risk, and effectiveness. It does this by analyzing data on pest type and density, weather, environmental conditions, and any operational constraints, such as pesticide resistance or the need to minimize runoff.
  • AI-powered devices: Robots can go where your pest control technicians can’t, allowing them to survey large areas or hard-to-reach places quickly. If they spot pests, they can treat the area then and there.

As you can see, targeted AI pest treatments can help you wrangle your operational costs and also increase the sustainability of your pest control business.

How to use AI for better operations management

Now that you know a little bit about how pest control companies use AI in the field, let’s explore how AI can optimize your operations.

Provide 24/7 personalized customer service

No need to hire a customer support team for 24/7 coverage. Instead, AI chatbots can instantly answer common customer questions. Additionally, you can use AI to remind customers of appointments or check in to see if they need more services after your initial visit.

AI can also automate your scheduling. This frees up time for your staff to focus on more complex customer issues. 

On top of that, AI has evolved far enough that it almost feels like talking to another human. And thanks to its ability to learn, AI can customize interactions based on customer preferences and past activity. 

Assist with invoicing

GorillaDesk Invoice Software

GorillaDesk lets you automate your invoices and work orders. (Source)

AI and automation help you juggle admin tasks like invoicing and data entry. This helps your pest control business operate more efficiently without having to worry about incorrect or missing information.

Pest control software like GorillaDesk has built-in automation that processes invoices and work orders more efficiently. With GorillaDesk, you can automatically:

  • Email invoices or work orders when a job’s status is set to complete
  • Charge the card on file or apply credit when a job’s status is set to complete
  • Email a receipt when an invoice is paid
  • Pull materials from the previous service to the next recurring active job
  • Mark generated invoices as sent and update the balance due

For example, GorillaDesk syncs with QuickBooks Online so all of your customers, invoices, and payment information update in real time between both platforms.

Optimize business operations

AI analyzes your business data to spot patterns. It then provides actionable insights about how to boost profits, adjust your pest control prices, and optimize your employee workloads.

How AI improves pest management in the field

Let’s walk through a few examples of how AI technology is used in the field:

Predictive models for proactive pest control

Predictive models for proactive pest control
Doktar’s AI-enabled pheromone trap provides real-time updates through a connected mobile app. (

Doktar’s Digital Pheromone Trap is a great example of how monitoring and predictive analytics work together to predict pest activity. The trap records air temperature, humidity, and pest populations to alert you when an outbreak is likely to occur. 

The trap’s sensors detect even tiny pests like Tuta absoluta or the tomato leafminer. Its accuracy allowed farmers in Turkey to reduce their chemical use by 20%, and the trap contributed to a 500 kilogram per decare (roughly 4400 pounds per acre) reduction in crop yield loss.

Pest monitoring

AI for Pest Monitoring

Trapview’s pest traps are ideal for monitoring large crops. (Source)

AI pest monitoring is a lifesaver when it comes to detecting infestations in small areas, out-of-reach places, and large yards, buildings, or fields. A single Trapview trap, for example, can monitor anywhere from a few hectares to more than 100 hectares, or almost 250 acres, depending on terrain. 

Another unique AI-powered pest management tool comes from FarmSense. Flying pests are harder to monitor. Traditional methods involve using sticky traps to collect and analyze pests, but these traps can’t tell you when pest populations are increasing or when to take appropriate measures.

The FarmSense FlightSensor detects pest wingbeats and then uses AI to identify the species and provide real-time data. 

Precision insecticide and pesticide application

AI-powered precision pest control sprayers

Greeneye developed AI-powered precision sprayers to reduce herbicide usage. (Source)

Using AI can greatly reduce the amount of pesticide you use thanks to its precision targeting recommendations. And a more environmentally conscious approach may be what you need to convince customers to choose your business over the competition.

While it’s focused on weed removal instead of pest removal, Greeneye’s herbicide sprayers use AI to apply targeted treatments. It uses AI to tell which plants are weeds and which plants are crops, then uses precision sprayers to apply herbicide only on the weeds. 

Greeneye claims this reduces up to 90% of herbicide usage and reduces the chance that weeds develop resistance to herbicide treatments.

Similarly, Critter Solutions is developing a trap that uses AI to identify species and only triggers when it identifies a pest. The self-resetting traps ensure only pests are removed, while any species you’re not called in to take care of are released unharmed.

Are AI pest control tools accurate?

In a word, yes. 

Research shows that AI pest control tools are very accurate when it comes to detecting and identifying pests.

A 2023 study tested the accuracy of an AI-powered bait dispenser that only dispenses bait when a target species visits the area. The bait dispenser achieved 90% accuracy during field testing.

Studies published in 2024 tested the accuracy of AI for crop monitoring. The first study resulted in a mean average precision rate of 95%, while the second study achieved a 99.65% pest detection accuracy rate.

When to use traditional pest control tactics instead of AI tools

While AI pest control offers lots of advantages, a balanced approach using both AI and human expertise is likely best.

1. Dealing with complex situations

You may run into unique situations where human oversight is necessary. This could include dealing with rare or uncommon species. 

Since AI relies on data analysis to learn and prescribe the best possible actions, it may lack the necessary information about a pest it’s never encountered before.

2. Matching customer preferences

GorillaDesk’s scheduling software

GorillaDesk’s scheduling software allows you to balance customer requests while streamlining technician schedules. (Source)

Sometimes a personalized human touch is the only thing that can reassure customers and build trust. Some potential hesitations may involve data privacy and potential bias in AI data. 

Scheduling presents another area where customer preferences may require a human to provide the best possible service. Thankfully, pest control software like GorillaDesk is equipped with technology to help you optimize scheduling while still considering client needs.

3. Responding to feedback

GorillaDesk Review Generation Tool

You can schedule automated follow-ups in GorillaDesk that ask customers to rate and review your service. (Source)

Reviews—even negative ones—present an opportunity to improve customer relationships. However, using AI to answer customer feedback defeats the purpose. It leaves you unaware of what customers say about your business, and it removes the human touch that’s often necessary to resolve complaints.

So, while automating requests for reviews is fine and even more efficient, leave writing responses to a human.

Grow your business with GorillaDesk automation

There’s no doubt that AI pest control is helpful, but it may be more cost-effective to use solutions that balance automation with human decision-making. You can even double-up by using AI pest control tools like sensors and traps alongside software like GorillaDesk to automate repetitive tasks like invoicing, customer follow-ups, and notifications. 

Pairing your pest control software with automation can improve your efficiency, potentially reduce the number of callbacks, and let you focus on growing your business. For example, Nukingstreet Pest Control used GorillaDesk to automate manual tasks that were taking time away from providing a better customer experience, allowing them to grow their business while processing over 7,500 invoices in 12 months.

Find out how GorillaDesk can help you maximize profits and focus on business growth. Start your free 14-day trial today.

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