Trap tech proves its worth with nothing left to kill

Trap tech proves its worth with nothing left to kill

A business built around humane pest control technology has demonstrated its value with trials that show its traps hit all their targets, as Peter Kerr writes in Stick and Sciblogs.

Any business that gets itself into a financial position to employ others is, by default, doing OK. If that operation starts with a completely new product, to survive long enough to (at least) thrive, is even better. So it is great to hear of pest and predator control company Goodnature coming up trumps in an extensive DOC test in a two-year project at two trial sites at Boundary Stream Mainland Island, Hawkes Bay, and Onepu, Northern Te Urewera.

“We’ve set a whole new standard for rat control with traps,” says Goodnature head of marketing and market development Stu Barr.

“For us and DOC the trial results are exceptional and beyond the expectations set at the start of the project. “To put it in perspective, the pass mark for the trial was five percent. To get zero percent at both trial sites has set a whole new standard for future developments. At zero percent all the rats are gone and therefore all bird and native species vulnerable to rat predation are going to thrive and grow in numbers.”

This is a level of control previously only achieved by toxins. Goodnature’s A24 automatic humane kill-traps for rats and stoats resets itself up to 24 times powered by a 16 gram compressed CO2 canister. A bolt to the animal’s head results in an instant kill.

The Goodnature A24 rat and stoat trap

And while the innovative design of the traps (which, in a larger version also kill possums) was part of the design team’s approach, over time the Wellington company’s found much of its ongoing research and development aimed at perfecting longlife lures to attract the pest to its death.

Barr says the constant trap and lure improvement were vividly seen when the 2013 technology version traps were deployed in 2013. The humane killing technology, along with pest-specific lures, is now being use in more than 15 countries around the world. As well as further rat control, Goodnature’s automatic resetting traps are helping eliminate the introduced mongoose in Hawaii, and mink in Scandinavia.

All of this hasn’t happened overnight, of course. Goodnature, founded by three mature design students, started in 2006. But there’s now eight people onboard – and you can only be an employer if you’re making money. The constant trap and lure improvement is part of the company’s design philosophy.

The trial alongside DOC, and more importantly the 100% kill statistics all help Goodnature position itself as a viable est control method beyond poisons.

Undoubtedly too when Goodnature started, they considered themselves in the pest killing business. Over time they’ve found themselves just as much in the pest-attraction business – as the ‘kill’ part of the trap itself is increasingly honed to perfection. It is this eye for constant improvement that is helping the company grow.