Case Study

The SMART Way To Catch City Rats


Flick has established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading pest control and hygiene companies. Our powerful disinfection services have been in demand throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as have our SMART rodent-catching solutions.

Rats are a hardy species which prove particularly challenging in cities at the best of times. As carriers of disease, it is crucial that authorities be proactive about eradicating an infestation.

The pandemic has also catalysed an exponential increase in rodents in urban areas, as rats look for new sources of food in abandoned businesses and residential areas, driven into the open by scarcity.

Find out how we’ve been using automated, non-toxic pest control to help a large Council keep rats under control.


The Challenge

Many metropolitan areas had been witnessing an increase in rat populations before the pandemic. A lack of natural predators, high reproduction rates and plenty of food scraps meant they were thriving.

The Flick team began talking with one of the largest Councils in the last quarter of 2019. Until then, they had been using traditional methods of rat management, with poisonous bait.

Unfortunately, they had begun receiving complaints that rat numbers were nevertheless increasing, indicating that rats were building up immunity or the bait stations were ineffective.

Several pet owners had also complained that their dogs had received secondary poisoning. Traditional solutions can be a hazard for domestic pets and children.

The Council was interested to see whether Flick’s non-toxic, digitally monitored SMART Box solution could effectively replace their increasingly redundant toxic bait station program.

The Solution

After initial scoping meetings, site inspections and presentations, the Council agreed to run an initial three-month trial with Flick SMART Boxes.

Flick SMART is an intelligent system that uses digital monitoring and interconnected boxes. By combining automation and expertise for commercial enterprises, we can quickly get a wide-scale rodent problem under control.

The non-toxic boxes trap rodents, while the innovative sensor system detects any new infestations, communicating the information back to the SMART Hub.

Monitoring the boxes 24/7, the Flick team can build a picture of the situation and take further action if required. In October 2019, we installed 20 Flick SMART Boxes across seven sites, including public parks and laneways, both known places for rodents to thrive.

We compiled weekly reports for the Council and undertook a full review of the SMART program when the trial period ended in January 2020.

The Result

Flick SMART boxes are a transparent solution with tangible results. The Council was delighted that our reporting and data could be used to justify their investment.

The 20 boxes during the trial period (Phase #1) led to a significant reduction in numbers over the course of the three months, trapping 142 rodents across the seven sites. The Council was ready to spread the digital net further.

Phase #2 rolled out in February 2020, with the number of boxes doubling to 40 across an extra 12 sites.

We provided weekly reports to the Council on the number of rodents the sensors were detecting in each area. It became obvious that the Covid-19 pandemic was leading to increased visibility of brazen rodents who had previously been subterranean.

This increased above-ground activity is reflected by the fact that total monthly SMART Box catches rose from 53 in February 2020 to 128 in March. The Council became concerned that there was also increased activity in areas that they were unable to track due to old technology.

As a result, Phase #3 was rolled out in April 2020, with 60 Flick SMART Boxes now monitoring 30 key locations across the city.

Flick SMART Boxes are also used by leading commercial groups in large metropolitan areas.


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