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The Importance of Pest Control

Look for a pest control company that has a long history in the area. This tenured legacy gives the company time to perfect their methods.

Pest control is about prevention, suppression, eradication and monitoring. Understanding the four Ps of Pest Control is essential for managing pest populations effectively. Contact Pest Control Springfield MO now

Many pest problems can be prevented by observing good hygiene practices. Food shipments should be inspected for pests and rodents, and warehouses should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of organic debris and food residues. Containers that carry food, beverages and other products should be sealed tightly. Cooler temperatures and lower relative humidity will also slow the rate of infestation.

Infestation can be avoided by blocking points of entry to buildings, repairing cracks and crevices, and removing rotten wood and material that provide shelter for pests and their offspring. Doors and windows should be kept shut as often as possible, and doorseals and weather stripping should be in good condition. Keep shrubs, bushes and trees well away from the walls of structures, and trim branches that hang over them. These can be used as bridges to the building, and can provide hiding places for rodents and other pests.

Eliminate the food sources of pests by keeping garbage cans and trash bins tightly closed, and removing their contents on a regular basis. Do not store weeds, firewood or scrap lumber in or around the house, as these are attractants for mice, rats, cockroaches, ants and other pests. Keep pet food and water in containers that are pest resistant, and do not allow pets to roam the property unattended.

Do not use pesticides without first identifying the type of pest and its extent of infestation. Choose a pesticide that is specific to the type of insect or rodent involved, and use it only when necessary.

Consider using non-chemical methods of pest control, such as baits and traps, which are generally safer for children and pets than conventional chemical spraying. For example, a bait containing a repellent may be able to discourage pests from entering the home or business.

Suppression is the next step in controlling pests, and involves reducing their numbers to levels that are acceptable under the circumstances. Suppression and prevention are usually concurrent goals, since a pest must be suppressed before it can be eliminated. The types of control techniques used in this stage vary depending on the pest and the situation, but may include the use of baits, traps, physical removal, sanitizing or disinfecting, or environmental modification.


Pests are a nuisance and can damage or destroy plants, crops, homes, gardens, and other property. They can also carry diseases and contaminate food and living areas. They can also cause allergic reactions and health problems in humans, like spiders, silverfish and earwigs; bite or sting (real or perceived) like bees, ants, and wasps; or stain and discolor fabrics and wood.

Prevention is the first step in controlling a pest problem. Regular scouting and monitoring helps identify pest problems as they occur, so they can be addressed quickly. For example, scout for mosquitoes by checking for their breeding grounds, such as moist areas or places they lay their eggs.

Preventative measures include physical, biological and chemical controls. Physical controls kill or block pests, or make their environment unfavorable for them. For example, removing or blocking their access to food or shelter may deter them from staying, such as placing bird feeders far away from houses and cleaning up debris where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Chemical controls include spraying pesticides on and around a plant to kill or repel them, or using other substances to change the environment in which they live so it is less favorable for them. These chemicals can include insecticidal and non-selective herbicides, fungicides and bactericides; and biological agents such as nematodes and mycoplasmas.

Natural enemies, such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and mammals, sometimes prey on or parasitize pests to control their numbers. Soil and environmental factors can also influence pest populations, such as weather conditions that affect host growth, development, or reproduction.

Integrated pest management seeks to minimize the use of pesticides and other chemicals. When chemicals are used, they are applied as sparingly and in the smallest amount possible. In addition, they are aimed at the target pests and are only used when necessary. Other methods to reduce the need for chemicals include choosing varieties of plants that are resistant or tolerant to particular pests, using mulches and compost for soil fertility, and steam sterilization of contaminated soil. Also, mechanical and physical controls such as traps, bait stations and screens can be useful to control pests.


Pests can be a serious problem for homes and businesses, causing health issues for people and damage to property. Common problems include rodents, cockroaches, ants, and bed bugs. These unwanted creatures can cause structural damage, contaminate food, and transmit diseases to people and pets. Therefore, pest control is an important part of maintaining a healthy home or business.

Prevention is a critical first step in pest control. Remove sources of food, water, and shelter. Store food in sealed containers, and remove garbage regularly. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight, and fix leaky plumbing. Clutter provides places for pests to hide and breed, so clean up your yard and home.

Seal cracks and crevices in your house to keep pests out. You can use duct tape for a temporary solution, but repairs made with caulk or plaster are better. Repair any torn window screens, and put drain screens over sink and tub drains. Sealing vents and gaps in crawl spaces can also help prevent pests.

Chemical pest control uses sprays and other methods to kill or repel pests. It is generally a last resort, but can be effective in extreme situations. Some pesticides are more harmful to people than others, so a careful selection is essential.

Biological pest control uses living organisms to target and kill specific species of pests. The helper species, such as the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae, eats aphids and other insects that harm plants. This method has a lower environmental impact than chemical treatments, and it doesn’t harm the beneficial insects that pollinate our crops.

In addition to traditional mechanical, physical and biological pest control measures, some companies use fumigation to eliminate stored product pests, including rodents, roaches and ants. This is a costly process that requires specialized equipment and trained personnel.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a systematic approach to controlling pests in food processing operations. It includes inspection and monitoring, identification of target pests, risk assessment, and evaluation of control techniques. IPM programs may be cultural, mechanical, biological or chemical, and should take into account the needs of the operation, the environment and people.


A key aspect of IPM is monitoring — the regular checking for pests, their damage, and the need for treatment. This is done visually and with traps, and involves communication between staff that use the area being monitored and the pest control professional. The goal of monitoring is to identify problems early and make decisions about which control tactics to implement. It is the cornerstone of IPM and what distinguishes it from more traditional pest control approaches, which are largely reactive.

A variety of monitoring devices can be used, and the choice depends on a number of factors, including whether you are trying to evaluate general pest activity or the exact location of a problem. Passive traps, such as sweep nets, can be very effective in catching pests that are otherwise difficult to see. More targeted traps with attractants or pheromones, such as flies and aphids, are particularly useful for stored product pest (pantry pest) monitoring. Other types of traps exploit behavioral responses, such as roosting, by using physical shapes or enticing baits.

Pest monitoring is site-, crop-, and pest-specific, and may also depend on weather conditions. It is a continuous process and requires scouting and/or inspection of crops, fields, and buildings to determine if pest populations are above action threshold levels. Action thresholds are based on economic, esthetic, or health considerations and vary depending on the crop and location.

Monitoring results can be compiled into graphs or tables to illustrate trends in pest numbers and plant condition. The data can help you decide whether to take immediate control measures, or if you can wait and hope that the population will decline naturally. The data can also be used to demonstrate that a pest control measure is working.

Monitoring is especially important in cultural institutions, which may have sensitive collections that are difficult to protect with chemical controls. For example, museums with artefacts that can be damaged by aphids or cluster flies need to be able to monitor and respond to infestations in a timely manner, as these pests can cause irreparable damage very quickly. Monitoring can be aided by the use of pest identification tools, such as photographs, and good record keeping.