Pest Control – How to Get Rid of Pests in Your Home and Garden

Pest control involves eliminating or preventing pest infestations, which can damage plants, crops, or property and pose health hazards to people and animals. Pest control techniques include physical, biological, cultural, and chemical methods. Using a combination of these strategies is often the most effective way to control pests. The methods you choose should match the kind of pest you’re trying to get rid of, and take into account how they interact with each other and the environment.

Some pests, such as mosquitoes and ticks, can carry disease. Others, such as roaches and termites, can cause structural damage and lead to costly repairs. Still others, like grubs in lawns, can cause sooty mold and stunt growth. While there are some things you can do to discourage pests, some require professional knowledge and specialized equipment. For example, to use insecticides safely and effectively, you need a respirator and protective clothing. A professional pest control Kent technician will have these and other safety gear, as well as the know-how to deploy chemicals properly.

Behavioral and physical pest control are strategies that target a pest’s behavior or habits. Some examples are blocking access to food, shelter, or water sources, or disrupting a pest’s mating behavior. Other examples are repellents and traps, and barriers and exclusion methods. Physical controls can be used for a wide variety of pests, such as sweeping away ant hills or knocking down cockroach or spider webs.

Most physical methods work best when you can predict a pest’s behavior or movements, such as blocking off entry points into your house with caulk and sealing cracks in foundations. Traps can be especially effective if you can figure out a pest’s route and set them along that path. For example, to prevent fruit flies from ruining a ripening apple tree, hang a plastic bottle with a hole the size of the flies’ mouths near the tree. The flies will be drawn in by the scent of the rotting fruit but won’t be able to exit.

Some of the best natural methods for controlling pests involve encouraging their “natural enemies.” For example, by planting flowering and nectar-producing plants, you can attract insects that will eat harmful garden bugs, such as lacewings and ladybugs. You can also help control grubs in your yard by planting grasses that are less desirable to beetles and by applying fertilizers with high amounts of nitrogen.

Chemical pest control involves removing or killing the pests themselves, and this can be done with many different kinds of materials. Chemicals are often necessary when a pest is persistent or when the damage caused by the pest is severe. But there are ways to reduce the amount of chemicals you use, such as avoiding overusing herbicides and fungicides.

Some pests are more than an annoyance; they can cause serious damage to your home or business and be dangerous to humans, pets, livestock, or wildlife. Pests may carry diseases that can be fatal to humans and livestock, such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella. They can also spread erosion and contaminate soil and water with their droppings, urine, or saliva.