Pest Control

Pest Identification

Pests can cause serious damage to structures, crops and human health. They can also spread diseases such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, leptospirosis, plague, and salmonellosis.

Bed Bug Control Boise includes a variety of strategies. These include pest proofing, traps and barriers. Natural methods such as nematodes are also available. They are slower-acting but will eventually drive out harmful pests.

Pest identification is the first step in establishing an integrated pest management strategy. Identifying pests allows you to determine which control tactics are appropriate, and can minimize damage to your crops, structures or property. This requires a good understanding of the biology of the pest in question. For example, a weed seedling looks quite different from a mature plant, and management tactics are often most effective when applied at the correct stage in the growth cycle. Many insect species also change appearance as they grow from eggs to larvae and then into adulthood – correctly identifying each stage is critical for successful management.

Similarly, some pests have specific habitat requirements, such as a damp or dark environment or nocturnal activity. Properly identifying the pests you are dealing with can help you determine where they are spending their time and what their feeding habits may be, so that your pest control efforts can be focused on the most vulnerable parts of their life cycles or environments.

Knowing the characteristics of your pests will also allow you to determine whether or not action is even necessary. For instance, if you have a few cockroaches in the library, it may not be worth your while to call the exterminator, as they are only eating crumbs and may not be causing a serious problem for students. However, if you have thousands of cockroaches running rampant through campus steam tunnels and facilities closets, then you will probably want to take some action to eliminate them.

Likewise, if you have a few house centipedes or spiders in the living room, it is likely that they are simply preying on other insects and will not cause any significant problems for humans. In such cases, prevention will likely suffice – a few traps or pheromone strips in the living room should reduce their numbers. On the other hand, if you have a pest infestation that requires the use of pesticides, then it will be important to know exactly what type of pest you are dealing with in order to ensure that the pesticide is effective and will not cause unnecessary harm to people, plants or animals.


Pests pose a threat to people because of the diseases they carry or the damage they cause. They also threaten food supplies, property and the natural environment. Pest control is the process of managing pests, such as rodents, cockroaches and fleas. It includes strategies to prevent their infestation in homes and businesses, as well as eradication once they get out of hand.

Prevention includes reducing their access to food, water and shelter. It includes sealing gaps and cracks in the home or business, regularly removing trash from areas where pests can hide, and keeping the surrounding area free of rotting logs, piles of wood, and other debris. It also involves regularly inspecting and cleaning spaces where pests can hide or breed, including inside ductwork, beneath houseplants, behind kitchen appliances, in cluttered closets and under sinks.

It also means reducing the use of chemicals. This is accomplished by rotating pesticides based on the pest’s life cycle, and using spot treatment and strategic spraying to reduce environmental contamination. It also means choosing pesticides with lower environmental persistence, using them in the most precise manner possible to ensure they reach their target, and applying them with equipment correctly calibrated to minimize drift.

Some pests can be controlled naturally, such as cockroaches. These can be aided by using sanitary practices such as washing dishes in the sink and not leaving food or crumbs on countertops. It is also important to keep food in tightly sealed containers and to dispose of garbage frequently. Rodents can be controlled by preventing them from getting into buildings and eating food or bedding, and by installing wire mesh in crawlspaces.

Other pests, such as beetles and aphids, require more intervention. It is important to monitor populations to determine whether they can be tolerated or whether control is necessary. It is also helpful to have information about the pests, such as their biology and environmental conditions, in order to select the best management strategy. This information helps to avoid over-use of pesticides and protect the ecological balance. It also allows for the use of less-toxic alternatives to chemical pesticides.


A pest is any organism that damages plants or causes injury to animals, humans or other organisms. Pest control involves stopping this damage. The goal is to do so without harming other important parts of the environment or people. There are three broad types of control: prevention, suppression and eradication. Prevention prevents a pest from becoming a problem; suppression reduces the number of pests to an acceptable level; and eradication destroys all pests. Prevention is most desirable, but in many situations this is not possible. In outdoor situations, it is common to establish action thresholds, below which a pest will cause unacceptable injury or harm. Thresholds may be based on esthetic, health or economic concerns. In indoor situations, such as in homes or food processing plants, eradication is the goal.

Natural enemies, such as parasitoids and predators, can limit pest populations. Their effectiveness depends on the availability of the pest’s food, the habitat in which it lives and the presence of other natural enemies. The ability of a natural enemy to suppress a pest also can be affected by the spatial configuration of other habitats. For example, some natural enemies overwinter in seminatural habitats and provide protection to crops nearby. In these systems, pest suppression increases with the distance of crop fields from the overwintering habitat.

In addition to natural enemies, methods such as resistant varieties, cultural practices that reduce pest abundance and damage, or manipulation of pest mating or host-finding behavior can be used to control pests. In some cases, pheromones or juvenile hormones can be used to manipulate pests and prevent them from reproducing.

When using chemical controls, you must be sure the pesticide is appropriate and used correctly. You should use only as much pesticide as necessary to achieve the desired level of control and avoid damage to other species, including beneficial organisms. You should also rotate pesticides and avoid repeated application of the same one to the same pest population, as this can lead to resistance.

If you choose to apply pesticides, follow local, State and Federal regulations and observe good agricultural practices (GAP). In general, use the least toxic option, avoiding spray drift and other environmental hazards. Also, always test the effects of a pesticide on a small area before applying it to an entire field.


Pest control involves the regulation of species that impact human occupancy, territories, or health. It can range from weeds, rodents and birds to bacteria, fungus, viruses, mites, nematodes and ticks. Pests can be a nuisance, irritating, or harmful, and may carry diseases such as rabies and Lyme disease. They can also damage the environment and destroy crops, affecting the food supply.

Eradication is a rare goal in outdoor pest situations, where prevention and suppression are usually the preferred strategies. However, in enclosed environments such as indoor spaces and food processing or preparation facilities, eradication is an important part of pest management. In such cases, the use of chemicals that kill the pests is more acceptable than allowing the organisms to continue to infest and damage the environment and the crops and food that depend on them for survival.

The success rate of eradication programmes varies depending on the type of pathogen under consideration. For example, attempts to eradicate fungi and oomycetes have been most successful in Mediterranean climates (93%), with intermediate success rates in continental climates (71%). In contrast, eradication of viruses has only been successful in temperate climates (64%).

Achieving a high level of control requires a comprehensive understanding of the complex interaction between the pathogen, its vectors (hosts that allow the microbe to spread from one host to another), and the environment and the habitat in which it occurs. The reproductive rate, R, of the pathogen must be maintained below 1.0, and all reservoirs of the pathogen must be eliminated.

In addition to chemical methods of pest control, there are mechanical and physical controls that kill the pests directly or make the environment unsuitable for them. Traps for rodents, steam sterilization of soil for weeds and barriers such as screens to keep birds or insects away are examples of these types of control methods. In general, the higher the level of pest control achieved, the lower the amount of pesticide required. This is why it is important to practice preventive and non-chemical pest control whenever possible.