The Basics of Pest Control

Pest Control is the process of removing or preventing unwanted pests from living in or on structures such as homes, hospitals, and factories. This is done by a variety of methods, depending on the type and severity of the problem. Some methods require physical exclusion, while others may involve chemical or biological applications. Pest control professionals have the knowledge and equipment to select the most effective method for each situation, considering such factors as the environment where the work will be done, the nature of the pests, and the limitations of the structure or building.

A good pest control strategy begins with identification of the pests. This information can then be used to determine basic pest biology and behavior, as well as the conditions that favor their presence as a nuisance. The information also helps to establish when control measures will be most effective. For example, controlling the grubs that feed on lawns will help to prevent adult beetle damage, but it won’t prevent the beetles from finding other landscape plants to eat.

Prevention is the most desirable goal in any pest Pest Control Boynton Beach situation, but this is often not possible or practical. The best preventive measure is to provide a hostile environment for pests, making their existence there less likely. This can be accomplished by removing food sources, water, and shelter. It is also important to fix leaky plumbing and to clean up crumbs, trash, and other debris that could attract pests.

Suppression is the goal in many pest situations, although it can sometimes be difficult to achieve in outdoor settings. Suppression reduces the number of pests to a level where their interference with humans or property is no longer acceptable. Control measures that suppress pests include insecticides, traps, and mechanical controls.

Eradication is rarely the goal in outdoor pest situations, but it is a common objective in indoor spaces such as dwellings; schools and other buildings; health care facilities; and food processing and storage locations. In these areas, specific pests are often regulated or prohibited for public health or economic reasons.

Biological pest control involves the use of natural enemies to destroy harmful species of insects, weeds, and other organisms. Suitable natural enemies are discovered and studied, then collected and reared to the point where they can be safely released in the field. This is a time-consuming process that requires extensive knowledge of the biology of both the target pest and its natural enemies. Careful application of the natural enemy, with attention to proper timing in the pest and enemy life cycles, can minimize any negative effects on other organisms.

Some types of plants, woods, and animals are more resistant to some pests than others. These types can be chosen when building or landscaping. Also, some pests are more easily controlled with cultural practices than with chemicals. For example, mowing the lawn at the right time of year will discourage grubs from damaging grasses, while mulching will deter aphids.