What is Pest Control?

Accurate pest identification is critical to any pest management program. Most pests have fact sheets available that address their biology and life cycle. These can be obtained from commodity or industry organizations, Cooperative Extension offices and State land grant universities.

Threshold-based decision making involves scouting and monitoring. Control is triggered when pest numbers or damage reach unacceptable levels. Contact Pest Control St Charles MO now!

Pest control is the act of eliminating or managing unwanted creatures like rodents, ants, termites, cockroaches, and more. These creatures are not only a nuisance, but they also pose a threat to human health. Some carry pathogens that cause serious diseases that could affect your family’s well-being. They may also contaminate your food and other daily-use items and worsen existing medical conditions such as asthma.

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is one of the best methods of pest control. Using multiple approaches, this approach targets pests where they live, nest, and breed. It also takes into consideration the ecosystem where the pests are located and how they interact with each other and their environment. This method is better for the environment as it avoids overuse of chemicals.

The most common physical pest control methods include removing or destroying nests, blocking holes or cracks in walls, windows and doors, and temperature-control techniques that kill the pests. Traps are often used to capture pests and remove them from the area. Physical pest control is most effective if you know the habits of the particular species you are targeting, such as when and where they move to find food.

Another type of pest control is the use of parasitoids, which are insects that feed on other insects. Parasitic nematodes, such as the roach-eating Steinernema carpocapsae, can be sprayed to target grubs and other pests without damaging plants. This technique is environmentally friendly, but you need to be careful when choosing the correct nematode for your pests.

There are also a number of chemical pest control techniques. These are usually more effective against large infestations, but they can also be harmful to humans and the environment when overused or applied improperly. Only qualified and licensed pest control professionals should be allowed to use these chemicals, and they should always follow the manufacturer’s label instructions when applying them.

Prevention is the most cost-effective and least disruptive form of pest control, but it requires a consistent effort. Make sure to tell your customers when simple steps like caulking a door or window can prevent future pest problems, and encourage them to keep up the maintenance.


Pests spread diseases, contaminate food and daily-use items, and can cause severe damage to crops or structures. They are also a nuisance that can worsen medical conditions like asthma. This is why pest control is necessary in homes, offices, farms and gardens. Pest control techniques vary depending on the type of pest, its location, and its population size. Usually, pest control methods combine several approaches to reduce or eliminate the problem.

The first step in pest control is to set baits or traps for the unwanted creature. This is especially true for rodents, cockroaches, and spiders. The bait is normally placed in a place where the pests are most active, such as inside cabinets or in clogged drainpipes. Some of these baits are made from plants that attract pests to the trap, such as zinnia for Japanese beetles. These plant-based baits are generally less harmful to the environment than chemical pesticides.

If preventive measures fail, then pests need to be removed by physical means. This includes removing contaminated produce, cleaning soiled areas, and blocking access to places where pests can hide or breed. This may include caulking cracks and crevices in walls, using steel wool to fill holes, or placing rat-proof traps. In some cases, a pest control professional may need to use chemical pesticides in addition to other controls.

Chemical pesticides kill or repel the pests, but they must be used sparingly and with great care to minimize their effect on people, pets, and the environment. Only qualified and experienced pest control professionals should use chemical pesticides, as they are highly toxic and potentially harmful if ingested or exposed to the skin.

Natural or organic pesticides are made from plants or other substances that are toxic to pests, but not to humans and animals. These are a sustainable option in the long run, as they can decrease the need for chemical pesticides and are better for the environment.

Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a process that helps people and businesses solve their pest problems while minimizing risks to human health and the environment. This involves monitoring pests, assessing risk, and selecting the best course of action for each situation. This method is often a more effective approach to pest control than using pesticides alone.


An eradication programme is one that seeks to remove a pest from an area and prevent it from returning. This type of effort is usually more intensive than suppression and may involve the destruction of crops, equipment and facilities. Eradication programmes are often costly, time-consuming and difficult to carry out. They also have the potential to disrupt trade and the economy. As a result, they should be undertaken only after a thorough evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the detection of a pest and its identification, the risk assessment carried out by PRA, and the feasibility of an eradication programme (see ISPM 7).

Eradication decisions are made at different levels in government. They are often influenced by the availability of financial and human resources, the perceived risks of a pest, and political and socio-economic issues. The objectives of eradication, suppression and prevention should be clearly stated and the costs and benefits of each approach compared.

The first steps in an eradication programme are to gather data and information on the pest. This includes information on the type, origin and impact of damage, the level of pest incidence and the extent of its spread. It is also necessary to understand how the pest arrived in the area. This will help to identify weaknesses in phytosanitary measures that can be corrected before the outbreak of a new pest. Pathways of entry and spread should also be determined, to ensure that a future eradication programme is not jeopardized by a new pest entry, and to assist in the development of exclusion options.

In addition to the delimiting survey, a monitoring programme should be implemented to check the status of an eradication programme, or to test the effectiveness of control measures. This can include a surveillance survey based on the pathway studies, inspection of clonally or contact-linked material, and other targeted surveys. The monitoring programme should be reviewed at regular intervals, preferably at pre-set intervals, to analyse the information gathered and to check that the objectives of the eradication programme are being met.

The term eradicate, which is used to describe the removal of a pest, comes from the Latin verb eradicare, which means “to pull up by the roots.” Although eradicate was once synonymous with extirpate, today the word more commonly refers to an action that leaves behind nothing but evidence of the pest’s presence.

Natural Forces

Natural forces influencing pest populations include climate, natural enemies, and physical barriers. These are all independent of human intervention and may either help or hinder pest control. Climate influences the rate of a pest population’s growth by affecting the host plant it feeds on, the chemical defenses it has against predators, and the conditions in which it grows. In general, weather that is warm and sunny helps pests while rain, frost, or cold temperatures discourage them.

A variety of biological controls can be used to control pests without the use of harmful chemicals. These organisms can include viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and insects. They can be introduced intentionally or may occur naturally in an area. Some of these organisms require maintenance, as they are not self-perpetuating. They are a good supplement to other pest control strategies, but they should not be relied on alone.

Scouting is an important part of any pest management program. This involves regularly searching for, identifying and assessing numbers of the unwanted organism. It is essential for determining whether or not an established population requires control and if so, what methods are needed. Scouting also helps you to develop a better understanding of the habits and life cycle of the organism in order to predict future problems and take preventive action.

Eradication is a goal rarely achieved in outdoor pest situations, but when possible it is the most desirable method of pest control. It can be accomplished with a combination of biological, cultural, and physical controls. Eradication can be especially effective when the targeted organism is a continuous pest that needs regular control or a sporadic pest that requires periodic control under specific circumstances.

Maintaining diversity in your home landscape is an excellent way to attract beneficial insects and keep unwanted pests at bay. Adding plants like the perennial herb fern-leaf yarrow (Achillea filipendulina), which attracts parasitic wasps, and the mellow yellow flowering alyssum (Lolium multiflorum), which draws beneficial bees, will provide an added layer of protection against many common pests found in gardens. Keeping good records is key to successful pest management. By keeping track of what worked and what didn’t, you will save time and energy in the future.