How Remote Trap Monitoring Benefits the Environment

How Remote Trap Monitoring Benefits the Environment

Sometimes the woodland creatures that look so cute outside make their way into yards and homes, creating a mess, destroying personal property, and possibly even carrying disease. A pest or wildlife control operator undertaking the abatement requires understanding the impact actions could have on a homestead, a family, their pets, and the environment.

That’s where remote trap monitoring can help. With Skyhawk remote monitoring solutions, a pest or wildlife control operator will be notified through the app that a trap has been activated. This is important as some states require a limited window of time that a caught animal can remain in a trap.

Beyond being a valuable tool to support pest control goals, remote trap monitoring also benefits the environment in these critical ways.

  • Reduced use of rodenticide – Remote trap monitoring helps pest control companies significantly limit or eliminate their use of rodenticide, which removes the worry about a family’s pet ingesting a poisoned creature and suffering ill effects. Beyond the threat to Rover and Tabby, most families just don’t want any kind of chemicals in and around their residences. With Skyhawk, sensors on each trap alert the user when tripped, requiring the field tech to tend to the trap. No rodenticide is needed.
  • Increased biological sustainability – Expanding the picture, using less rodenticide also positively impacts the longevity of any birds of prey and carnivores up the food chain. And looking even further, this leads to less rodenticide being leached into waterways, decomposing, polluting the ground, and more.
  • Decreased fuel usage – Another positive is that our remote monitoring minimizes the need for the traps to be visually checked multiple times a week. This reduces fuel usage and emissions of the technicians who previously had to drive to locations across a dispersed area, often finding empty traps and rendering their trips useless.

Read our case studies to see examples of our technology supporting environmental and sustainability needs.

 

Get to Know Skyhawk–and How We Can Help You

Get to Know Skyhawk–and How We Can Help You

Skyhawk was created to address a great IoT market opportunity. As a division of the PICA Group of companies, we have the deep engineering expertise and manufacturing resources to design and build innovative products that meet specific target market needs.

Our origin story

About five years ago, cellular carriers launched a new IoT connection technology that enables the rapid and portable deployment of IoT devices that are independent of any local infrastructure including power, or as we like to say “No Power, No WiFi, No Problem.” We launched our first product the Kiwi which enables a small battery-operated device to monitor a remote location for years at a time with no user intervention. We expanded upon this cost-effective solution with local RF technology that we call FLOCKSENSE™ enabling the monitoring of hundreds of devices within a locality all using the same easy-to-deploy battery-powered technology, all at an ultra-low cost.

IoT or the internet of things is a very broad concept, it typically means a device or sensor, such as a thermostat or light switch, hooked up to a local internet access point. In our world, many devices are dependent upon electrical outlets and wifi access. We deliver battery-operated, cellular-connected drop-in monitoring and take those limitations out of the picture.

Embracing this opportunity, we decided to expand our business model by designing our niche IoT products and taking advantage of our manufacturing know-how to produce devices. We realized it would be possible to monitor various things remotely in ways that were previously unpractical. We applied our technical expertise, examined personal experiences, and determined good opportunities.

“For example, I’m a snowbird and spend my winters in Florida. While there, my house up north flooded due to a water pipe break. One of the products we are launching shortly provides remote monitoring for water leaks. We also examined a slew of other uses and, from those options, curated products and use cases that we felt met previously underserved markets and needs.” – Rich Shevelow, President/Owner PICA Group of Companies

As we’ve learned from severe weather events across the country, cellular connectivity is the last thing to go down and the first thing to be back online. Since cell towers have remote generators because they are considered an essential service and vital to emergency response. If there’s a hurricane in Florida and people go without power for weeks at a time, with our solution, a house would be able to be monitored for a water leak, high humidity, or some other event, independent of power or that home’s internet connection. Operating on the cellular network helps make Skyhawk a portable and highly reliable remote monitoring solution.

What Skyhawk technology can do

If you need to monitor a remote location–either in the middle of the woods or across town– you can rely on Skyhawk. Service providers can just drop in our devices without worrying about local infrastructure for either power or wifi.

Helping businesses and individual consumers

● Remote monitoring of private property – If you own a boat, RV, or vacation home or rent a storage unit, the Skyhawk Kiwi provides a cost-effective way to remotely track the security of your possessions. It’s also a good fit if you own a vacation rental property, as with our technology, you’ll be able to monitor what is happening without intrusive video.

● Animal trapping – Whether you are a homeowner looking to deploy humane traps to catch the critter destroying your garden or own an animal control business looking to reduce labor costs, we have it covered. With Skyhawk Kiwi or Hub & Sensors, traps can be monitored remotely, sparing you an unnecessary drive to a location by alerting you if an animal is captured.

● Water leak monitoring – Property management companies need to know what is happening in all their properties. Highrises, midrises, and connected townhouses can see tremendous damage from an unreported water leak event. With these connected buildings, it can be a challenge to monitor each individual unit. Skyhawk makes it simple.

The Skyhawk difference

We provide highly reliable remote monitoring solutions for residential and commercial use.

The Skyhawk Kiwi is an economical and portable security system for the long-term remote monitoring of locations such as RVs, mobile storage units, remote storage lockers, and boats for the presence of movement. Our Hubs are pre-connected to the internet using advanced low-power cellular connectivity for reliable nationwide coverage, while Sensors detect movement and communicate with the Hubs using ultra-low power RF technology. You can deploy as many sensors as you need, with a much longer range than wifi without needing power outlets, wifi passwords, or pairing.

● Remote capability – Skyhawk solutions run on cellular services, making them highly reliable. In the event of an outage, Verizon, AT&T, and the other carriers take pride in quickly getting their services back up and running. And our hardware can handle all of the different environmental conditions that can be thrown at it.

● Compact devices that run on batteries – Our monitors do not need to be hardwired or plugged in. Our first device was launched with three AAA batteries and will last for over two years in the field. Our other devices typically run on a couple of AA batteries, and the sensors will sometimes last for 10 or more years. There are similar solutions available except that they need electrical outlets or wifi. We have developed the technology to operate on batteries for an extended time.

● Strong support and expertise from our parent company – Skyhawk products are developed and produced by PICA Product Development, part of the PICA group of companies. Located in Derry, New Hampshire, PICA has a global presence and nearly a 30-year history of helping numerous companies bring innovative products to the marketplace that are commonly used today.

Contact us to see how we can help you and to learn more about our remote monitoring solutions.

 

 

Release Notes for Skyhawk CE Mobile App Version 5.9.5

Release Notes for Skyhawk CE Mobile App Version 5.9.5

Version: 5.9.5 (BUILD ID: 8079625)
Date: 07/12/2022

Changes and Improvements

  • Remote Updating of Sensor Sensitivity – You can now remotely update the sensitivity of a sensor without directly interacting with the device itself. Please note, this functionality requires a hub with firmware C018 or higher.
  • “View all devices” feature in Enterprise View – The “View all devices” feature which was added to the CE Deployment view in our last release has now been included in the EE Location view as well. This can be found when viewing the device details and selecting the ‘Location’ tab. From there, any devices that are deployed with the same customer/location ID will can be displayed on the map for your reference by clicking on ‘View devices with the same Customer ID’. Note that this should only be visible for devices that have external customer/location IDs associated with them.
  • General UI/UX Improvements – A variety of minor UI/UX improvements were made including: Heartbeat tile updated to simply show if device currently has a ‘Good heartbeat’ or ‘Missed Heartbeat’
    • Updated and streamlined content for the “Getting Started” introduction.
    • Improvements to clarify language across various modals and notifications within the app.
    • Hub and sensor heartbeat tiles showing the correct interval currently being communicated by the devices.
    • Improved form validation to be more consistent across all forms.
    • Enterprise users will note an update of the logo when logging in. The new logo highlights “Skyhawk EE”, our enterprise edition brand.
    • Support, Terms of Service and Privacy Policy were updated to reflect our new website.

 

Fixed From Previous Release 5.9.0

  • The “Date Added” sorting on the ‘All’ devices view has been corrected to display devices more accurately. Previously you may have noticed that devices (Kiwi, KiwiIR, Hub) were grouped separately from sensors. They now will sort correctly based on the date they were added.
  • The sensitivity tile for a Kiwi device previously would show ‘Disabled’ until it was tapped. This was corrected and will show the current sensitivity setting on load.
  • For Enterprise users, customers or locations that have been archived will no longer show up in the mobile app as options for deploying a device.

Impacts

On next app launch, the mobile app will auto-update.

Remote Trap Monitoring: The Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

Remote Trap Monitoring: The Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

By James Nase, Moyer Technical Service Manager

Over the past ten years, I have had the privilege to work alongside nuisance wildlife personnel and professional pest control operators in residential and commercial accounts, providing rodent control and wildlife services. During that time, technology-based remote trap monitoring systems have become more prevalent. I have had the opportunity to test a few early versions, played a part in developing those systems, and have continued testing the hardware and software. In this article, I’ll share my expertise and experience in trapping and remote trap monitoring to debunk common misconceptions, explain the benefits of various devices, share the importance of trap alerts in our business, and how remote monitoring solutions save time money, and resources. Read on for my recommendations for various remote monitoring devices, favorite traps, and tools of the trade.

The benefit of remote trap monitors and alerts

In my early experience testing remote trap monitors, I discovered that gray squirrels and groundhogs were captured quickly after initially setting the traps. With the amount of nuisance wildlife work performed in primarily residential neighborhoods, being aware of the timing was essential since the sooner I removed captures from the traps, the better. With today’s remote trap monitoring systems, there is no guesswork in knowing that capture occurred because the device uses repeated alerts versus in the past when you would receive a one-time notification that a trap door closed. A remote trap monitoring system can let you know the exact time of the capture, which helps the wildlife professional better prepare to remove the capture under many different circumstances. If I set a gray squirrel trap and a notification comes in at 2:00 AM, it’s apparent that I didn’t catch a squirrel but rather a skunk, opossum, or raccoon due to their nocturnal activity. Ideally, it helped me be better prepared to remove a captured skunk!

Technology benefits for remote monitoring

Technology has been an enormous benefit for remote trap alert monitors. The remote trap monitoring system I currently use and have had tremendous success with is the Skyhawk’s Kiwi Trapmate with the Skyhawk CE smartphone app. The Kiwi Trapmate is quick and easy to set up; unlike other systems, it requires no power source and allows the user to adjust the sensitivity and even put the alerts to sleep as they start to come in. A notification is sent to your smartphone via text or email, giving you an intuitive, familiar view to aid in trap alerts and monitoring. Once the app is downloaded, it allows the user to quickly set up trap monitors, enter the location and adjust the sensitivity. Once alerts start coming in and continue to register movement, the alert can be paused until you can estimate how long it will be before reaching the site. On average, the alert is activated, and within 30 seconds, a notification is received by email or text that the remote sensor is active. The app allows for two text users and up to five emails to receive alerts.

Skyhawk’s CE App is easy to use

Easily Mark Location

Easily Mark Location

One Button Sensitivity

One Button Sensitivity

Enter Text and Emails

Enter Texts and Emails

The Kiwi Trapmate – ideal for single traps

Skyhawk has two options for remote trap monitoring, the Kiwi Trapmate and the Hub & Vibration/Magnet Sensors. First, the Kiwi Trapmate is a standalone monitor that can be placed on almost any trap on the market. I rely on the Kiwi Trapmate for single traps to confirm that I have captured an animal and determine how I should respond. The Kiwi Trapmate works exceptionally well on “One Way Door” devices and will send alerts when an animal enters. When I receive repeated notifications, it is clear I have a capture. While testing the Kiwi Trapmate in the early stages, I received just one alert and no follow-up alerts from the testing location. I always set multiple traps no matter what I was trapping for and did not necessarily need to respond as quickly as I did. Still, this alert prompted me to visit the site where upon arrival, I saw that a tree branch fell on the trap triggering the trap and the vibration monitor.

The benefits of a magnet “pull” versus an accelerometer as a capture notification

The Kiwi Trapmate can be used with a magnet attached to the trap. Once the magnet is removed, you will receive a ”magnet removed” message meaning that it was “pulled” and warrants a visit to the site. If the trap is bumped by someone or something, but the magnet is not pulled, you will still receive an alert, but it does not indicate a capture. Therefore, saving time and money considering the cost of gas and labor running to and from the site for unsuccessful trapping. I have used the magnet on cage traps, quell traps, conibear traps, and others with the standalone Kiwi Trapmate on traps without the magnet attached. One of the outstanding features of the Kiwi Trapmate is that it does not need to be attached to the door. You can place it on the top, sides virtually anywhere you want.

Versatility

Skyhawk’s remote trap monitors are truly versatile systems. Skyhawk’s second option for remote trap monitoring is the Hub & Vibration/Magnet Sensors, which share many of the same features as the Kiwi Trapmate. However, The Hub & Vibration/Magnet Sensors give you the ability to monitor multiple traps within their given range. One of the best examples in my experience was a warehouse that had to be serviced for a significant house mouse issue. The situation was complex as it spanned three warehouse levels, and 40 mouse traps total was set on all three levels. When alerts came in, the technician was directed to the correct floor and the precise traps to be checked. This capability was a tremendous time-saver, and the technician was more satisfied when checking traps with confirmed captures versus checking every device for potential captures every time. Around this time started using a different style trap for vole control. I would place the sensor on top and ran the line to the trap with the magnet attached. Again, I could tell the technician which trap was triggered.

Cost

When nuisance wildlife or a pest control operator explores the pros and cons of any product, it always comes down to cost. How much will this set my business back? How much will it financially benefit me? There is the cost of the equipment and the usage fees associated with the equipment. Ask yourself this, how much are you spending on gas alone to check traps that may be empty? Hiring quality personnel to perform trap checking has become a real issue. Checking traps without captures time and time again can be very frustrating to a technician. The trapping shows no end in sight as far as resolution and compensation.

My recommendation is to research information on remote monitoring systems. Multiple companies provide remote monitoring solutions, and it would benefit you to evaluate several relevant to the service you offer and what works best for your business. The Skyhawk remote trap monitoring system works for me. It has all these features and benefits and does not have to use a customer’s electrical source since it runs on batteries, it’s easy and quick to set up, and weatherproof. All of this together makes this the ideal tool for me.

I would enjoy hearing from anyone interested in remote sensors and would be happy to answer any of your questions about traps and sensors and how to make them work together. Please feel free to email me your questions at Jim.nase@emoyer.com

Happy Trapping!
James Nase
Moyer Technical Service Manager

Release Notes for Skyhawk CE Mobile App Version 5.9.2

Release Notes for Skyhawk CE Mobile App Version 5.9.2

Version: 5.9.2 (BUILD ID: 7936264)
Date: 04/19/2022

Changes and Improvements

  • New Deployment View for CE Customers – When in the device detail view, you now have access to a new Deployment view. In this view you can add some details pertaining to where you might be placing your device including: ‘Customer ID’, ‘Customer Name’, ‘Deployed by’, and ‘Address’. The previous Location view is still available and functional from this screen by clicking on ‘View Map’. Also, ‘Device name’ and ‘Description’ have been moved to this view (previously these were found on the Settings view).
  • Map view of devices with the same Customer ID The map view was updated to include the ability to view, on the map, devices that are assigned to the same Customer ID in the Deployment view. Tapping this option will refocus your map and show, via pins, the GPS location of the associated devices. NOTE: Any devices that do not have assigned Customer IDs will, for the time being, be grouped in this view. A future update will change this so that the “View devices with the same customer ID” is only available for devices that have a Customer ID assigned.
  • Improved pin dropping on the map – We have enhanced the ability of the map to allow a simple tap to move the pin placement of your device. Whenever this is utilized, the exact GPS location for the device is recorded, and using Google Place, we dynamically update the closest street address for the device.
  • General UI/UX Improvements – A variety of minor UI/UX improvements were made including: Heartbeat tile updated to simply show if device currently has a ‘Good heartbeat’ or ‘Missed Heartbeat’
    • When a tile has no data to display, it shows a more relevant message
    • Improved formatting of phone numbers
    • A confirmation when phone or email notifications are turned off
    • On the additional of a new device, the user is taken to the appropriate dashboard matching the added device type
    • And more…

Fixed From Previous Release 5.9.0

  • Fixed the incorrect ability to set the pause time to 24 hours and 59 minutes, when devices only allow for 24-hour pauses.
  • Updates to correct error handling issues during form validation, including the allowing for
  • certain special characters, but limiting the use of emojis in input and text fields.
  • Resolve typos and misspellings.
  • Improvements to general UI to ensure design and layout is as similar as possible across multiple device types with varying screen sizes.

Impacts

On next app launch, the mobile app will auto-update.

Wildlife Monitoring Technology That Works

Wildlife Monitoring Technology That Works

Wildlife Monitoring Technology That Works

After years of product development and research, Skyhawk has developed a new, innovative wildlife monitoring technology called the Kiwi. With features that overcome the challenges in nuisance and wildlife control, the Kiwi is a device that remotely monitors your traps using a sensor that detects movement.

Skyhawk’s remote monitoring capabilities bring vast amounts of implications for those who use live animal traps and trapping supplies. With real-time alerts, it’s possible to monitor when an animal trap has been triggered and keep track of its location with a modern, easy-to-use phone app. Skyhawk wildlife monitoring technology monitors traps using accelerometers and sends an alert when the device is triggered due to trap activity. Users are able to control the sensitivity of the sensor as well as the frequency of notifications. Additionally, Skyhawk animal trap products are rated for up to 3+ years of battery life (or roughly 2,500 notifications) by using standard, replaceable batteries and optimized cellular technology.

Deploy Animal Trap Monitoring Almost Anywhere

Powered by Verizon, Skyhawk live animal trap products can monitor traps that are set virtually anywhere in the United States. Skyhawk wildlife trap products are able to monitor your traps in practically any location with coast-to-coast LTE coverage, even in areas with low cell signals. We fully know that our wildlife monitoring technology and products are exposed to the elements and subject to wear over time; that’s why we run tests that would imitate where the traps were set, including but not limited to: drop tests, water proofing, signal strength, accelerometer sensitivity, placement testing, and over the air (OTA) updates.

Start Saving Time with Effective Animal Trap Monitoring

Skyhawk wildlife monitoring technologies have been designed to streamline more difficult processes, save time during the day, and ultimately relieve some of the stress of having to manage several traps at once. It can be a guessing game to determine if a trap has caught anything and traveling out of the way to find that it was a misfire is a waste of time and resources. By cutting back on the hassle of having to constantly physically monitor traps, a 24-month subscription to one of our remote monitoring devices can pay for itself over just a couple of months.

Affordable Trap Monitoring Solution

Consider an example scenario: a nuisance and wildlife management company hire a field technician to go on an hour long trip each week to check a large animal trap, which costs the company $10 each way. This costs the company $1,040 a year at the rate of $20 per trip, whereas the cost of 1 Kiwi is less than $300. Using a wildlife camera trap, such as the Arlo Go, can cost over $800 for unlimited coverage on the same network.

Reducing Risk with Wildlife Monitoring Technology

We think it’s also interesting to note the savings on liability. For example, if the wildlife management company set live traps for raccoons in hard-to-reach places, then the field technician would spend less time on the road and in dangerous areas.

We take pride in providing high-quality wildlife monitoring technology and hope to simplify the day-to-day with alerts that are proactive and not reactive. With network coverage virtually everywhere, we want you to be able to spend time deploying more traps, and not driving around checking them.