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Sigfox catches rats in Singapore

Steve Rogerson
September 13, 2017



The IoT and Sigfox are helping a pest control company in Singapore catch rats.
 
Cre8Tec – Singapore's first integrated rodent risk management company – has partnered with UnaBiz, a Sigfox operator in Singapore and Taiwan, to address the $22.4bn global pest management industry.
 
Cre8Tec's Ratsense is an integrated infra-red sensor-based system backed by data analytics that works on-demand as-a-service. By embracing IoT and cloud computing, the system uses infra-red sensors as electronic eyes that monitor and capture real-time data on rodent movements round the clock. Those data are then analysed to track, trend and map rodent movement and behaviour, providing building managers with insights and location-based information on rodent infestations.
 
Intelligence from data analytics identifies movement pathways, breeding and harbourages of rodents, boosting the efficacy of traps and glue boards.
 
Public health concerns and reputational risks arising from rodent incidents adversely affect organisations globally. Rats and rat fleas can carry and transmit various diseases, with these diseases set to increase further with global climate change. This results in reputational risks that can be expensive.
 
"The last two years have seen the rise in rodent activity at a global level," said Cre8Tec director Deanne Ong. “Rats have adapted well to urban environments, multiplying quickly in poorly managed premises. Ratsense will change how building owners globally perceive and mitigate rodent related risks. In the new sharing economy, the ability to analyse data on rodent behaviour will impact how rats are managed in our urban landscape. We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of businesses through sustainable and proactive innovations."
 
Ratsense is connected to the cloud via cellular network or wifi. In areas without cellular or wifi coverage, transmitting data to the cloud would be impossible if not too costly, especially when the system needs to cover large or obscure areas. That is where UnaBiz has provided the answer.
 
With Sigfox's low-power wide-area network, sensors can collect and transmit data directly to the cloud. This allows for large-scale deployment of devices immediately and effortlessly. With Sigfox, Ratsense determines rodent behaviour cost-effectively, and also allows for an increase in sensor battery life.
 
Cre8Tec and UnaBiz are keeping their eyes on the big prize. According to recent papers, the global pest control market is projected to reach a value of US$22bn by 2021.
 
With UnaBiz, Ratsense can use Sigfox's global network and distribute its integrated pest management system worldwide, wherever the Sigfox network is present.
 
"The future of pest management is data, data, data," said Jonathan Tan, vice president at UnaBiz. “Ratsense is the solution to subjective manual visual inspection. The captured data are hardwired and provide an objective response. Sigfox's low-power wide-area network is the perfect fit for Ratsense, evidently deployed as agriculture and environmental sensors for soil moisture monitoring, disease detection and frost warning surveillance. Its proven effects on mitigating rising manpower costs make it a no-brainer for a network. As the enabler of massive IoT, UnaBiz will provide the backbone for Ratsense in effective data collection, accumulating greater insights and streamlining of processes and resource utilisation.”
 
According to experts from the National Environment Agency, the key to effective pest control is to identify the source and activity areas of the rats. Monitoring of the problem should be done continuously so any recurrence of pests can be treated accordingly. However, physical monitoring of large buildings and areas is cost prohibitive, and it only provides a snapshot in time while inspectors are unlikely to note rodent activities at the time of inspection.
 
"This is where Ratsense's 24/7 monitoring is critical,” said Ong. “Risk mitigation tools need to be permanently in place as a proactive measure for early detection of rodent presence. Cre8Tec sees a huge potential in Apac as an emerging market with numerous and untapped regions, a new growth opportunity for market players. Driven by factors such as developing economies, urbanisation and technological growth in agriculture, the potential for growth is significantly higher in the Asia-Pacific region."
 
Singapore has stringent health and hygiene standards enforced by government agencies for rodent related incidents in the public sphere. Currently, under the Control of Vectors & Pesticides Act, premises found to have an infestation of pests shall be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5000. Building management who fail to comply may be liable to a fine of up to $20,000 and such rat-related lapses may also be published on the National Environment Agency web site.