The Basics of Pest Control

Pests are organisms that negatively affect humans, plants or animal species. They can destroy crops, damage buildings and displace desirable wildlife and plant species. For more information, click the link provided to proceed.

Using preventative measures like keeping garbage in tightly closed containers and hanging fly paper can help keep pests away from homes. When you do have a pest problem, there are several treatment options available.

Identifying pests correctly is one of the most important steps in any pest control program. This is because it allows for targeted treatments that limit damage to crops and the environment.

Correct identification can also help prevent unnecessary spraying. Many pesticides are not appropriate for use on certain crops or are harmful to consumers, and identifying the problem can avoid overuse of chemicals that may harm people or the environment.

To accurately identify pests, first look for signs of infestation. These include soiled or damaged leaves and fruit, distorted crops, and holes in the plants. You can also look for evidence of the pest’s presence such as droppings or their nesting materials. These materials vary by pest, but can include dried rodent droppings, which can cause disease and salmonella poisoning, as well as nesting material such as straw or hay for birds, which can irritate the respiratory system.

Once you’ve found evidence of a pest, take notes on what you see. Then use online or book-based identification guides to find out what kind of pest you are dealing with. The guides will provide information on the life cycle, habits and damage caused by the pest, as well as procedures for its prevention or control. Ideally, the pest will be identified to species level. This is because species within the same family and even genera can behave very differently, have different natural enemies, and require a different management strategy.

Inspecting for pests on a regular basis is another part of effective IPM. This means looking around your workplace or field on a daily or weekly schedule and checking for signs of infestation. It is a good idea to set a route to follow when inspecting, such as along the edges of buildings or through a specific garden area. This will allow you to keep track of your findings and quickly address any problems.

Other identifiers to note when examining for pests are color, shape and size of the pest and its eggs, markings or stripes, and leg counts. Sometimes a pest can seem so similar to another that it’s difficult to determine what kind it is, especially when the pest moves too fast or hides from detection. In such cases, a pest expert can collect the bug and examine it more closely in a lab.

Pest Prevention

Pest control measures are intended to prevent or stop the spread of pests. Pests can contaminate food, damage property, and cause diseases in people and animals. Preventive pest control methods include removing or eliminating their food, water and shelter sources. These steps may also involve sanitation and repairing or blocking their entry points.

Many pests are attracted to crumbs, garbage and organic matter that provide them with food and water. Removing these sources of nourishment will significantly reduce their numbers. Discarded or decaying garbage should be regularly taken out of the home and placed in sealed containers. Keeping garbage cans tightly closed will also help to deter pests. Regularly cleaning the kitchen, basement and garage will prevent the build-up of crumbs.

Most pests enter homes and businesses through openings such as cracks, crevices, holes, loose siding, utility lines, vents, and screens. Some openings can be difficult to detect and may require professional inspection. Eliminating these entrance points will stop pests before they start. Regular interior and exterior inspections will help to spot problems early. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible will also help to keep pests out of a building.

Some pests annoy people and animals by biting or chewing, droppings, causing allergic reactions and disease or staining clothing and personal items. They can also contaminate foods, create fire hazards by chewing through wiring and damage buildings or landscapes. Pests that carry disease, such as rodents, cockroaches and fleas, can be dangerous to health.

The most effective way to implement pest prevention is to follow a pest management plan. This involves scouting and monitoring, reducing moisture levels, adjusting air flow, using trap crops, applying insecticides or using biological controls.

For food facilities, the best way to prevent pests is to carefully inspect incoming products and practice FIFO (first-in, first-out). It is also important to use plastic pallets instead of wood, and to store food and supplies away from the outside of the facility. In addition, food safety checklists can help to ensure that employees are following proper hygiene practices.


A pesticide is any substance that is used to kill or control unwanted insects, weeds, fungi, rodents or other organisms. They can be found in many products that we use every day, including insecticides (like insect repellent), fungicides (to kill mildew and mold) and herbicides (to kill weeds).

Pesticides come in many forms, from solids to liquids and powders. They are often grouped into chemical families because they have similar properties or act on the pest in a similar way. The type of pesticide you need will depend on the type of problem you are trying to solve.

Before using a pesticide:

  1. Read the label carefully and follow all instructions.
  2. Keep children, pets and other non-essential people away from areas where pesticides are being applied.
  3. Always apply pesticides in well-ventilated areas and do not mix different types of pesticides unless the label says to do so.

If you think that you or a family member has been exposed to a pesticide, call your local poison control center right away. Poison control centers are staffed by trained professionals and can provide advice on treatment options.

Using pesticides wisely can be effective in controlling some problems. However, pesticides are not a cure-all and should be used only when other measures have failed or are impractical. In addition to proper application, some preventive actions include removing debris from the yard that could shelter pests, avoiding overwatering or over-fertilizing plants, repairing any leaks in gutters or pipes and cleaning birdbaths regularly.

Pesticides can be toxic to people and other animals as well as to plants. If you suspect that you have been exposed to a pesticide, rinse your skin immediately with running water and seek medical help.

Keep pesticides in a locked shed or cabinet when not in use and store them away from food, feed, fertilizers and water. Also store pesticides with a tight lid and out of reach of children. If you have a large amount of unused pesticide, bring it to a community household hazardous waste collection site for safe disposal. Avoid spraying in windy conditions or after a rainstorm. These conditions encourage chemicals to drift beyond the target area and pose a danger to nearby residents, wildlife or vegetation.

Termite Control

When you suspect termite activity, your pest control specialist will take a thorough look at the outside of your house. This includes examining your yard, fence line and sheds to see whether these are at risk. He or she will also look at neighboring houses to ensure that there is no termite activity beyond your property boundaries.

A common way to detect a possible termite problem is to look for mud tubes, which are the protective pathways that subterranean termites build between their nest and their food sources. Often, these are visible on foundation walls and in crawl spaces. Other signs of potential termite infestation include tiny, granular droppings known as frass, which may be found along baseboards, door frames and window sills. These droppings are composed of digested wood particles and are usually lighter in color than the surrounding wood.

Once a threat has been identified, your pest control professional can offer a variety of options for treatment and prevention. Liquid treatments create barriers in the soil that prevent termites from entering structures, and they are also lethal to any termites foraging in treated areas. These types of liquid termiticides have been around for decades and are a very effective option for controlling existing termite colonies.

Alternatively, there are direct chemicals that can be used inside of your home. These are typically injected into cracks, crevices and voids where the termites are located. This type of treatment offers a quick and effective solution to an existing termite infestation, and it is also an excellent choice for new construction.

Other methods of controlling termites are designed to prevent them from accessing the cellulose that they need to survive. Physical barriers, such as steel mesh and sand, have been shown to be extremely effective. These types of barriers can be incorporated into the building process during construction, or they can be installed afterward to protect against future problems.

Keeping moisture levels to a minimum will also help deter termite infestations. This can be accomplished by installing and maintaining gutter systems, repairing leaky pipes, cleaning out clogged drains and preventing water buildup near the foundation of your home. Additionally, you should stack firewood away from your house and do not leave tree stumps in your yard.