Pests consume and spoil food, damage buildings, and spread disease. Controlling them is an important part of our daily lives.
Professionals identify and inspect the pest problem to determine the kind and extent of control needed. They use only the least toxic methods that are effective.
Homeowners can help by eliminating breeding sites and keeping the house clean, dry, and warm.
Pests can damage food and property, and create health and safety hazards. Some, such as cockroaches, produce allergens that can cause asthma attacks in sensitive people. Other, like termites, can eat away at wood, creating structural damage and posing fire hazards.
Pest control is most effective when it is preventative. For instance, buildings should be inspected and sealed to limit the entry of unwanted pests. Regularly removing trash and cleaning up spilt foods can also help reduce pest problems.
In general, routine spraying with chemical pesticides is not appropriate unless a building has a consistent pest problem that cannot be controlled by other means. A better approach is integrated pest management (IPM), which focuses on changing environmental conditions that attract pests and reduces the need for chemical controls. For example, sealing cracks and gaps, storing food in containers with tight lids, and fixing leaky pipes can all help reduce pest problems. IPM also teaches building residents and tenants proper Pest control in Jaipur practices, so they can do their part to keep pests out of their homes or offices.
Once a pest problem is detected, the goal is to keep it below a level that is unacceptable. This is often accomplished by using preventive control methods and by responding to a pest’s “windows of opportunity”.
These are the times when it is most easy to eliminate or reduce a pest population. For example, rodents are easier to control during their juvenile and adult stages; weeds are easiest to kill when they are young and just starting to grow; and diseases are most easily controlled as they occur in the growing plant or animal.
Some physical barriers and changes to the environment can help to suppress pests. These include netting over small fruits, screening in greenhouses, and mulch to inhibit weed growth. These are called cultural controls. Changing the amount of water or humidity can also discourage some pests. Chemicals used to alter the environment can be effective, but care should be taken to ensure that they are safe for humans and other organisms that share the treatment site.
The goal of pest control is to prevent or eliminate organisms that harm humans. This includes organisms that transmit disease, cause destruction or are merely a nuisance. Examples include cockroaches, which produce allergens that trigger asthma attacks; rodents that chew electrical wiring and spread illness; and airborne insects that can carry bacteria and other contaminants.
Good building design, sanitation and procedures reduce the risk of pest infestations. However, even with the best prevention and suppression measures, pests can still infiltrate buildings. They enter through open windows and vents, through sewer lines and other drains and through poorly sealed doors and walls. They can also be brought in on artifacts and merchandise.
Detection is the process of monitoring for and identifying pests, their damage and their locations. This is a crucial step in any pest control program. Detection methods include visual inspection, scouting, traps and pheromone monitoring. Physical controls such as netting and decoys are also important.
Pest control aims to reduce the numbers of pests to an acceptable level. Often this involves both suppression and prevention. Clutter provides hiding places for many pests. Regular cleaning and removal of debris can prevent these pests from multiplying and causing problems.
In addition to physical barriers, preventive measures include preventing food from being spoiled or becoming contaminated. This includes a range of practices such as storing food in sealed containers and keeping kitchens clean.
In many cases, pest control is dependent on weather conditions. Rain, freezing temperatures, or other adverse weather conditions can destroy or suppress pests. Similarly, climatic conditions can affect the growth and survival of certain plants, making them more or less susceptible to pest attacks. Biological controls, such as predators, parasites, and pathogens can also reduce pest populations. Pheromones and juvenile hormones can also be used to control some pests. These are often called biorational methods of pest control. They are usually considered more environmentally friendly than chemical pesticides.