Urban Pest Control: Addressing Pest Challenges in Cities and Suburbs

Pest Control St Charles MO is the reduction or elimination of unwanted organisms that damage plants or animals. It can include prevention – keeping pests from entering; suppression – reducing the population to an acceptable level; and eradication – killing all of the organisms.

Crawling pests like mice and rats can carry diseases that affect people and pets. They can also exacerbate conditions like asthma and allergies.

The best way to keep pests from entering your facility is through preventative control methods. Preventive pest management focuses on controlling the environment in which pests live, rather than killing them, explains the International Pest Management Association (IPMA). This approach uses a combination of physical, biological and chemical techniques to limit the impact on the surrounding ecosystem, which is important because many pests are part of the food chain or serve as pollinators.

The first step in prevention is to remove pests’ access to food, water and shelter. Make sure your trash cans are securely covered and that food waste is removed regularly, especially from the kitchen. Clutter provides places for pests to hide, so regular cleaning should be performed, including emptying closets and storage areas that are rarely used. The outside of your home should be inspected regularly for pest entryways – seal cracks in the foundation, trim trees and bushes, cover vents and other open spaces.

Insects and rodents can cause serious health risks if they invade your home or workplace. If you suspect a problem, it’s important to hire an experienced pest control company that offers both preventative and reactive services. A reputable pest control company will have a history in the area and offer references from local clients, along with information about the experience and expertise of its technicians.

During preventative treatment, technicians will check for and repair any potential points of pest entry in your home. In addition to sealing up cracks, the pest control company will also inspect the exterior of your home or business for anything that could attract pests such as wood piles, loose siding and other materials.

If the scouting and monitoring process indicates that there is an infestation, pesticides can be used to kill the pests. However, it’s important to remember that pesticides are often poisonous and can affect other organisms such as wildlife and pets, so they should be applied only by licensed pest control professionals who follow the instructions on the product label.

Some people opt for non-toxic pest control methods such as sticky traps, which use a large adhesive pad placed in high activity areas to catch and hold pests until they are either eaten or are freed. Other non-toxic methods include baits, which provide an attractive alternative to harmful chemicals and work well for some insects such as mice and cockroaches.


Pest control deals with the removal and suppression of unwanted organisms like cockroaches, ants, termites, rodents, birds, weeds, etc. These organisms cause serious problems by infesting homes, businesses or contaminating food. They also damage property and erode soil and water quality, causing health risks to humans and animals. Pest control is necessary to protect public health by stopping the spread of diseases carried by these organisms, safeguard agriculture and food supplies, preserve buildings from damage, and maintain ecological balance by preventing invasive species from disrupting ecosystems.

Suppression techniques involve the use of chemicals and other solutions to prevent or eradicate infestations. These include repellents that discourage pests from coming into an area, fungicides to kill fungi, and insecticides to destroy insects. Most chemical pesticides are very toxic and pose a risk of harm to humans and the environment upon exposure, so they must be used carefully under the guidance of a trained pest control expert.

Physical traps, netting and barriers are other common methods of pest control that don’t require dealing directly with the pests. These are most effective when the pests’ habits and movements can be determined, allowing the trap to be placed in a spot that they travel through or pass regularly. For example, a bait station that uses a food lure can be placed where roaches are known to crawl through.

Ultra-low volume (ULV) fogging is a chemical pest control method that sprays an entire room with pesticide to quickly exterminate any pests in it. This technique is highly effective and can be done in a way that reduces exposure for people in the space. It should only be used when no other options are available, however.

Nematodes are microscopic worms that are often sprayed by the millions to eliminate insect populations in the ground. They’re typically helpful — for instance, the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae targets cockroaches — but harmful species can be introduced as well.

Rodents are a major pest problem that many facilities teams deal with, especially in the retail and food preparation sectors. They can carry a wide variety of diseases, damage building structures, and disturb the flow of business operations. Safe and effective rodent control includes:

  • Cleaning up rat droppings.
  • Blocking access points to areas where food is stored.
  • Monitoring employees for proper food handling procedures.


When pests cause unacceptable damage to people, plants or property, they must be controlled. Control methods vary with the type of pest. They may involve prevention, suppression or eradication. Prevention methods include preventing the pests from getting into the premises in the first place, such as through screening and ‘pest proofing’. Physical traps, netting and decoys can be effective for some species of pest. Others, such as termites, must be killed and removed by chemical means.

Pests are also often controlled by natural enemies, such as predators and parasites. Adding more of these to an area can reduce pest populations, although there is usually a time lag between increased numbers of enemies and a resulting decrease in the number of pests. Biological control can also be used to modify the behavior of pests. For example, pheromones (natural chemicals that attract or repel certain insects) can be used to confuse males so they cannot reproduce, and the introduction of juvenile hormones can keep pests from growing into mature, reproducing adults.

Using multiple pest control methods is generally the best way to manage a problem. This is because many species of pests have resistance to one or more types of control method. A qualified pest control technician will be able to advise on the most effective methods for your particular situation.

Eradicating a pest infestation can be difficult and expensive. However, it is the most desirable method of pest control, since it will eliminate the threat that the pests pose to the environment and the economy. Eradication is generally reserved for the most serious cases of infestation, where other control methods have failed.

It is important to remember that pests are a natural part of the environment and need to be treated in a similar manner as other natural organisms. A pest control program should be designed with this in mind, to minimize the use of pesticides and other toxic substances. A balanced approach to pest control, incorporating prevention, suppression and eradication strategies, should be implemented at all times. This will help to reduce the need for chemical controls and allow the beneficial organisms to do their work.

Biological Control

The use of living organisms (predators, parasitoids, pathogens) to suppress pest populations. Biological control is an important part of pest management systems, especially in greenhouses and some field crops such as vegetables and fruits that can withstand moderate levels of natural injury.

In biological control, natural enemies are used to reduce the number of pests below levels that would cause economic injury. This is usually done through direct attacks by the natural enemy on the pest, but can also be indirect via disruption of the pest population by other biotic factors such as competition and food availability or by induction of intrinsic plant defenses by co-occurring companion plants.

Biological control is generally considered a “least-toxic” method of controlling pests, and can be employed along with cultural, physical and chemical controls. Biological controls have the advantage of not disrupting the ecological balance that otherwise governs pest population growth, but they can be slow-acting and may require a longer time to reach optimum effectiveness.

There are three general approaches to biological control: importation, augmentation and conservation. Importation is used mainly for introduced or “exotic” pests, where the country of origin of the pest is known. A search is conducted in the native region for natural enemies that might be effective, and these are imported and released. Ideally, these natural enemies will become established and reproduce in the new environment, but this is not always possible.

Augmentation involves increasing the population of existing natural enemies in an area so that they can effectively suppress pests. This can be done by:

1) conserving the existing natural enemies and establishing a permanent population; or, 2) mass rearing and periodic releases of natural enemies (on a seasonal basis or inundatively) to increase their abundance. The latter is often called “assisted release.”

Some biological control agents, such as predatory mites and wasps, can attack a variety of pest species. Others, such as the fungus Bacillus thuringiensis, are specific to a single pest. Inundative releases of these specific biological control agents are commonly used to manage a number of different pests in fields and greenhouses, or on vegetable crops that can withstand a high level of pest injury.