The Basics of Pest Control

Pest Control is the process of using physical, biological, or chemical means to manage pests that damage plants, crops, property or animals. This is done by identifying the pest, determining its behavior and needs, and choosing a management method that will be effective against it. There are many factors to consider, such as esthetic, health and economic concerns, and threshold levels (the numbers of the pest that will cause unacceptable injury or harm).

Prevention is an important part of Pest Control. This includes keeping the environment around a home or business free of debris that can provide overwintering or breeding sites for pests, such as piles of leaves or stacks of newspapers. It also involves removing or regularly emptying water-holding containers that can harbor mosquitoes. It is also important to inspect the inside of a home or business and eliminate places where pests can hide, such as stacks of books or cardboard boxes. Caulking cracks and crevices is another good preventive measure.

When prevention is not possible, the use of chemical pest control London methods may be necessary. The type of chemical used will depend on the pest, its habitat and needs, and the level of damage it is causing. There are many different types of pesticides, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are residual, meaning they remain in the environment and continue to kill or affect pests long after application; others are nonresidual and break down quickly in the environment. Some pesticides are fungicides, which kill fungi that damage plants; others are herbicides, which kill weeds; and some are insecticides, which kill insects.

Some pests are more easily controlled with natural means than others. Preventive measures such as soil amendments and crop rotation can help reduce the need for chemicals. Other controls include the use of plant pathogens (organisms that cause diseases in plants) and beneficial organisms, such as nematodes (microscopic, worm-like creatures). These natural predators or parasites can be more effective than chemicals at controlling certain pests.

There are other natural forces that can influence pest populations, including weather, natural enemies, the availability of food and water, and barriers to movement. These factors are often more important than pesticides in controlling pests, but they can be difficult to control.

The most important step in successful Pest Control is inspection. This includes talking with the customer, looking for clues to the pest, such as fecal droppings or egg cases, finding harborage areas and nest sites, and determining the method of treatment (disinfection, vacuuming, spot treatments, dusting, baiting, etc). It is not uncommon for it to take several hours to determine the nature of the pest problem, how it will be managed, and what materials are needed. Often, customers will rush in and spray whatever is available over the counter without ever taking the time to thoroughly inspect the site. This can be very wasteful. A thorough inspection can save money and time in the long run. It can also help avoid the need for costly repeat treatments due to incorrect applications or inappropriate chemical selection.