The Basics Of Pest Control

Pests are more than just a nuisance; they can damage property, introduce diseases, and destroy crops. Pest control aims to keep the number of unwanted organisms below damaging levels with minimum harm to the environment. Contact Exceed Pest Control now!

Threshold-based decision-making focuses on scouting and monitoring. Physical controls include traps, barriers, and screens. Chemicals can be used to kill or repel pests. Biological controls involve the use of natural enemies (parasites, predators, pathogens) or beneficial microorganisms.

pest control


The best way to deal with pests is to prevent them from getting into a building or home in the first place. Prevention strategies can include blocking points of entry, sealing food, removing garbage regularly, fixing leaky plumbing, and keeping buildings clean. It is also important to keep areas of the yard free from debris and clutter where pests may hide.

A common way to prevent pests from entering a house or business is to use traps. These are usually baited with food, like fruit or fish, and placed in high-traffic areas to catch pests before they can cause damage. Traps are particularly helpful in hygienic settings like food preparation facilities where rodents are most likely to be found.

Another method of prevention is to seal food in tamper-proof containers. This can be done with both food and non-food items such as clothing. For example, tamper-proof bags can be used to protect food in a fridge from insects, and clear plastic covers can be used to seal non-food items such as clothing. Insects can still enter if the bag or container is tampered with, however, so this method is not entirely foolproof.

Chemicals and pesticides are another way to control pests. When used correctly by a trained professional, this is generally the most effective means of control. The key is to understand the life cycle of a pest and choose a chemical or combination of chemicals that will be most effective against it at a point in its life cycle when it is most vulnerable. In addition, care must be taken to not kill beneficial insects and animals by using these agents.

Threshold-based decision-making involves monitoring pests in the field or facility and responding appropriately when levels of infestation are reached. For example, noticing a few wasps at a garden picnic probably doesn’t require immediate intervention, but seeing a large wasp nest in the backyard warrants a call to the pest control service.


Pests harm plants and crops, damaging them or serving as vectors for disease pathogens. They may also cause problems by eating or competing with other organisms for resources in the soil and on trees. Examples of pests include insects, diseases, and weeds. Pest control strategies aim to reduce pest numbers to an acceptable level without harming everything else in the ecosystem. These strategies are based on the principles of prevention, suppression, and eradication. Prevention is keeping a pest from becoming a problem; suppression is reducing pest numbers or damage to an acceptable level; and eradication is destroying an entire pest population.

Chemical pesticides are among the most common forms of pest control. They are available in aerosol sprays, dust, baits, and gels and work by targeting specific pest species, disrupting their nervous systems, or killing them. The types of chemicals used and how they are applied depend on the pest. Many are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit their risks to humans and other organisms, including beneficial insects and soil microbes that help keep the environment healthy. However, they may still be harmful to the environment when they run off into water runoff or other areas of the landscape.

In some cases, biological pest control can be as effective as chemical pesticides at lowering or eliminating pest populations. It can involve releasing predators or parasitoids into the landscape to attack the pest directly, or it can be as complex as breeding nematodes that specifically target certain pests and release the bacteria that kill them.

Some pests are highly visible, with grotesque appearances and aggressive behaviors, such as spiders, silverfish, and earwigs. Others sting, bite, or carry diseases, like ticks, cockroaches and fleas. They can even damage personal items, such as clothes moths, and pine seed bugs.

Predicting when and how a pest will become problematic can help managers choose appropriate controls. Continuous pests are those that are nearly always present and require regular control; sporadic pests are migratory or cyclical and require regular control periodically; and potential pests are organisms that do not need to be controlled under normal conditions but may become pests under certain circumstances.


Pests that are found in buildings, greenhouses, warehouses, and other indoor areas often require special strategies to eradicate them. Because these spaces are closed, it is more difficult for the pests to move from one area to another and escape control. Usually, indoor pest control goals are prevention or suppression. However, eradication is the goal for some indoor situations, such as in operating rooms and other sterile areas of health care facilities, where a zero tolerance level of pests is acceptable.

Eradication is a rare goal in outdoor pest control, because it is very difficult to accomplish. It is more common in enclosed areas, such as dwellings; schools and offices; and health care, food processing, and food preparation facilities.

Many pests can be controlled naturally by parasitoids and predators. These natural enemies feed on or kill the pests, and they can be supplemented by introducing more of these natural enemies to an area.

In addition to parasitoids and predators, some pests are attacked by pathogens (bacteria, fungi, or viruses) that reduce their feeding, slow or prevent reproduction, or even kill them. These pathogens can be introduced into a pest population by natural means, such as wind-blown soil from an infested field, or by artificial means, such as spraying of nematodes that target and destroy the pests.

Some pests are more resistant to chemical controls than others, so pesticides must be used sparingly. If too much pesticide is applied, it can disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and reduce the effectiveness of all-natural control agents. It is also important to use good sanitation practices when applying pesticides, to avoid contaminating other crops or plants.

A good weeding and cultivation practice can also be part of an organic pest control program because it provides a natural alternative to herbicides. For example, using a hoe to remove the tops of weeds instead of a rotary lawn mower can reduce the need for chemicals. Using mulch as an alternative to hay or straw for cover cropping can eliminate the need for some fertilizers. Weeding with a hand tool rather than an aerator can help avoid the need for tillage, which is hard on the soil and the environment.

Natural Forces

Several natural forces affect pest populations. These include the availability of food, water, and shelter. These forces are independent of human activity and can help or hinder pest control.

Predators and parasites are natural enemies that can control many pest populations. There is usually a lag time between pest population increase and the rise of natural enemies. This is a part of pest biology and can be minimized by proper timing of predator release and other cultural practices.

Sanitation techniques are also important. Maintaining cleanliness reduces the number of pests that can access plants, water, and food sources in outdoor areas. This is especially true for areas where crops are grown or stored. Sanitation efforts also include removing waste products and improving the frequency of garbage pickup in urban and industrial areas.

Natural barriers such as mountains and bodies of water restrict the movement of some pests. Natural features such as these can also restrict the overwintering sites of some pests.

The availability of roosting places for birds and other animals can impact the spread of some pests. As these roosts are reduced, the pests can no longer survive in those locations and their numbers decline.

Abiotic factors such as temperature and sunlight can limit the growth of some plants and, in turn, restrict the growth of pests that require those plants for survival. The amount of moisture available and the quality of the soil also can impact pests.

Biological control was more popular as part of a cultural management approach before the advent of synthetic pesticides. Generally, this includes the use of native or introduced natural enemies to control pests, such as predators, parasites, or pathogens.

It is important to classify a pest problem to decide the best course of action. It is also important to keep track of what worked and what didn’t. This way, the next time a similar problem arises, you will be better equipped to deal with it. It is also a good idea to learn everything you can about the pest in question. This will help you recognize it more quickly when it shows up and it will also assist you in finding resources to control the pest problem.