There are lots of pests in this world, and at some point, everyone will find themselves battling a pest. Pests can invade our garden, our home, buildings; the list goes on and on. Pests can be bugs, plants or animals. Just the mention of fleas, cockroaches, dandelions, mold, mice, and rats can elicit strong emotions. Pests present a health hazard to your family, pets, and garden.
It is important to know how to properly control these pests that invade our lives. It is nearly impossible to eliminate pests, but it is imperative to control these invasive pests. There are various methods of controlling pests; these can include chemical control, biological control, mechanical methods, or a combination thereof.
Mechanical pest control is usually the most cost-effective and if implemented before a vast infestation takes place can produce desired results. Mechanical methods include hand picking (such as pulling weeds) and traps (such as a mousetrap). Mechanical methods of pest control are usually the most environmentally friendly.
Biological pest control includes insecticides that are derived from plants or other naturally occurring substances such as microorganisms.
Chemical pest control includes the use of more toxic synthetic pesticides. Chemical pest control is not environmentally friendly and is never considered as an organic method of control.
“Integrated Pest Management is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information along with available pest control methods, including cultural, biological, genetic and chemical methods, to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment”. (Proceedings of the National Integrated Pest Management Forum. 1992. American Farmland Trust)
Integrated Pest Management stresses the use of complementary methods of pest control such as the introduction of natural predators. This method of pest control is much more ecologically sound than relying on chemical methods.
The first step in pest control is to identify the problem. Particularly when plants are involved, the problem may involve poor growing conditions instead of an attack from an invasive pest. Sometimes identifying the pest is obvious, if you see a mouse scurrying across the floor it is obvious you have a need for pest control. The next step is to identify how serious the infestation is, or is this just one mouse that has found its way into your home, or is there a family of mice that has taken up habitation in your home. One mouse can often easily be eradicated using a mouse trap or possibly the family cat. However, if you have a large infestation of mice, you may need to resort to stronger chemical methods or find it necessary to hire a professional exterminator to rid your home of the pest problem.