When pests become a problem in homes or other structures, they can damage property and create nuisances. Control methods include exclusion, sanitation, physical removal and chemical treatment. The goal is to prevent the recurrence of pests and minimize harm to the environment, people or pets. Pest control may also involve the use of biological methods, such as sterilisation programmes.
Step 1: Learn about the pests you are trying to manage. The better you understand a pest, the easier it will be to control it. Identifying the pest can help you determine a suitable method of control. Accurate identification also enables you to determine the pest’s life cycle and its vulnerability to control measures.
It is important to eliminate any food sources that attract pests, especially those within your home or business. Store foods in sealed containers, remove more useful resources garbage regularly and keep compost bins covered. Keep kitchen benches clean and wipe down outdoor toys after each use to reduce the risk of bringing pests indoors.
Using less harmful methods to prevent pests is always preferable to using more harmful chemicals. However, different pests require different control tactics. For example, a spider web set by red weaver ants can be removed by physically removing it or spraying it with an insecticide. Pesticides should be selected carefully, applied according to the label instructions and used in a manner that minimises risks to people and the environment.
If you are unable to prevent pests, eradication can be the next best thing to a cure. It can be difficult to achieve in outdoor situations, where pest populations often build up to an unacceptable level before they are controlled. However, in some situations, such as when a foreign pest has been introduced to an area and is rapidly causing serious economic or environmental harm, eradication can be the desired objective.
Pests can also affect the health of humans and animals by spreading disease or causing discomfort. They can also spoil food, cause structural damage and degrade the appearance of buildings or landscapes. In some cases, pests can even threaten human life.
Taking steps to prevent pests can be very effective in avoiding problems. However, if you suspect that you have a pest problem, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. A trained pest control expert can advise you on the most appropriate course of action to eliminate the pests and protect your property. It is also a good idea to ask a pest control company for a material safety data sheet (MSDS) on any chemicals that are used in your home and to dispose of pesticides correctly. This will help to avoid risks to family members, children, pets and neighbours. Using less toxic forms of pest control such as baits or crack and crevice treatments can be more effective than surface spraying and can be safer for the environment and for people. This approach also has the added advantage of being cheaper than conventional pest control methods.