The Three Levels of Pest Control

Pests can damage property and create health problems for humans and animals. They carry disease-causing pathogens such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonella and more. They gnaw wires and cause electrical disruption, and they eat or destroy plants and crops.

Pest control may involve the introduction of natural predators or pathogens to reduce a population, or it may require the use of chemical sprays and baits. Pest control is most effective when it is based on a thorough understanding of the pests and their environment. This allows managers to choose the most appropriate method of control for each situation.

When choosing a Pest Control service, look for a company that displays a state license. Ask to see the license and the labels for any pesticides that will be used. Reputable applicators will be happy to show their credentials and answer any questions you have.

A pest control professional will assess the problem and provide an estimate of costs and time needed to treat the pest infestation. They will also explain how to prevent the pests from returning and offer a follow-up appointment. If they are going to apply pesticides, make sure children and pets are removed from the area. The pesticides could irritate their skin or eyes. Also, cover or remove food, cooking utensils and other items that may be affected by the chemicals.

There are three goals for pest control: prevention, suppression and eradication. Preventing pests from occurring is the most desirable goal. This can be achieved by making the environment unattractive to the pests and by providing alternative food sources. Suppression is the next level of pest control, which means reducing the numbers to an acceptable level. This can be done by altering the environment so that it is less favorable to the pests, such as removing food or water sources or adding barriers that will prevent them from entering.

Eradication is the last level of pest control and involves destroying all of the pests. This is only done when other methods of control have been exhausted. It is usually not done on a large scale and can only be accomplished in a limited number of situations, such as when a pest threatens human health or safety.

There are several things that you can do to make your property less attractive to pests and more difficult for them to invade. Keep garbage and compost containers covered. Pick up debris regularly. Clean up animal droppings as soon as possible. Do not feed birds or other wildlife from open-sided feeders. Drain puddles, birdbaths and other standing water. Ensure that clogged gutters are cleaned out regularly. If you have ornamental ponds, consider using mosquito-eating fish. The water in such ponds should be changed at least once a week.