Pest Control Tactics

Several natural forces affect pest populations and may help or hinder efforts to control them. Some of these factors include climate, natural enemies, and availability of food and water.

Integrated pest management starts with inspection and identification of pests and the conditions that allow them to thrive. Treatments include suppression and prevention. Contact Pest Control Abbotsford BC now!

Accurate pest identification is an important first step in a successful pest control program. It is a critical factor in understanding how pests affect plants and crops, which in turn guides prevention and control tactics. Identifying a pest helps you to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy that targets the specific organism and minimizes harm to non-target organisms.

Pests are often mistaken for non-pests or even for each other as they go through different stages in their life cycles. For example, immature beetles can look much like caterpillars or worms and vice versa. Knowing what you are dealing with will help you avoid wasting money and effort on unnecessary treatments.

Using the pest’s biology to guide treatment and control decisions is also critical for safety reasons. Knowing that a pest is harmful, for instance, enables you to take steps to protect people and property from exposure to toxic chemicals.

To accurately identify a pest, it is important to know its life cycle, feeding habits, and habitat requirements. This knowledge will help you to develop an IPM plan that reduces the amount of a pesticide necessary to use. It will also allow you to anticipate when and where a pest may occur, thus allowing you to take preventive action before damage occurs.

Scouting – Regularly searching for, identifying, and assessing the numbers of pests and their damage to plants and crops. Scouting can be done in many ways, including entering a field from several points and surveying into the center; or splitting the field into small sections and observing the number of pests in each section. It is often best to scout an area that has been infested previously, as pests tend to concentrate on certain areas of the field in order to avoid predators.

A good reference for pest identification is a good set of insect or plant field guides. These guides can be purchased from many sources including online, local garden centers, or the library. A telescoping mirror is also a helpful tool to help you examine hard-to-reach places, such as behind and beneath equipment and furniture. Lastly, a magnifying glass is useful for examining insect parts, frass (excrement), and other evidence of pest activity.

Pest Prevention

Pest prevention is an essential component of any pest management strategy. Taking steps to prevent pests from entering a site can help control the damage they cause, as well as reduce the need for more aggressive control measures. Prevention methods are economic and environmentally responsible, and they can include physical and cultural controls. Cultural controls can change the environment to make it less suitable for pests by limiting the availability of food, water and shelter.

Physical controls include caulking cracks and crevices, removing clutter, repairing screens and doors, and installing door sweeps. Using repellents and keeping garbage receptacles away from buildings can also help prevent pest infestation.

Biological controls involve the use of natural enemies to injure or consume pests, usually through predatory behavior. These may include parasites, pathogens or juvenile hormones (natural insect chemicals that influence the development of other members of a species). Usually there is a time lag between the onset of pest problems and the emergence of natural control agents.

Chemical controls are generally more intensive and often used in conjunction with other control methods. These include synthetic, natural and organic chemicals. They can affect the chemistry of pests by disrupting their nervous systems or by poisoning them. Chemicals may also be used as a last resort after other control tactics have failed.

Eradication is rarely a goal in outdoor pest situations because the environments where pests live are complex and difficult to alter. In enclosed settings, however, eradication is often the desired outcome, such as in health care, food processing and preparation facilities.

Pests can spread bacteria and other contaminants that make foods unsafe for human consumption. For example, cockroaches can carry dozens of harmful bacteria on their bodies, and when they crawl over food, they can spread them to people who eat the food. This is especially dangerous for those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly or infants.

Preventive strategies can significantly reduce the occurrence of pests in foodservice facilities. Sanitation and exclusion are the most important preventive steps. These involve keeping trash and waste receptacles in containers with tight-fitting lids, maintaining clean conditions throughout the facility, and limiting the amount of open food on the premises. They can also be supplemented by using pesticides.

Pest Control Tactics

Various methods or tactics can be employed to prevent and control pests. These may include cultural, mechanical/physical, biological, or chemical controls. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the integration of all appropriate tactics into a plan to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level. It aims to minimize disruption of living organisms and nonliving surroundings at treatment sites.

Cultural control involves actions that modify a habitat to make it unsuitable for a particular pest, such as reducing the amount of water or changing the environment. This includes the use of mulches and other cultural practices for weed management, and mowing or tilling to disrupt a pest’s root systems. This type of control can also be achieved through the placement of repellents, which deter or frighten pests away from an area.

Physical and mechanical controls are ways to physically manipulate a pest or their environment, including barriers, exclusion, and traps. Examples of these include fencing, netting, screens, and sealing cracks, crevices, and openings to buildings to exclude rodents and other pests. Traps can be made of a variety of materials, and some have pheromones incorporated to increase the capture efficiency of specific types of pest insects.

Biological controls utilize living organisms to kill or control pest populations, usually by feeding on them. These include natural predators, parasites, and pathogens. These are often more environmentally friendly than chemical controls, but they can be slow to work. They are also usually only feasible for small pest invasions. Biological control agents must be introduced into an area and can take time to gain a foothold and suppress the pest population.

Chemical controls rely on toxic substances to kill or control pests. They are typically applied as sprays or powders. They can be more effective than other control methods when the pest is at a vulnerable stage of its life cycle or when the problem is widespread. However, they can harm surfaces and nontarget organisms and may be ineffective against some pests.

Many pests have certain “windows of opportunity” during their lives when they are easier to manage, such as in the early stages of a plant’s growth or during an immature stage of an insect. This makes preventive and cultural tactics more effective.


A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, killing, destroying or controlling unwanted pests (including insects, weeds and diseases) on crops, plants, soil, wood and other materials. The term also applies to fungicides and rodenticides. Pesticides are marketed in a variety of forms including liquid sprays, powders, solid granules and other formulations. They contain an active ingredient or ingredients that have the pesticidal effect and a non-active material called an adjuvant, which is added to improve the application of the pesticide.

When used improperly, pesticides can cause a host of health problems for people and other living things. Some of these include headaches, dizziness, muscular twitching, weakness, tingling sensations and nausea. Acute exposures to very high doses can be life-threatening, increase risk of miscarriage during pregnancy and harm the endocrine system by interfering with hormone production.

Most pesticides have negative influences on non-target organisms as well. This may be through direct contact with the pesticide or through residual chemicals that remain on the target plant and influence non-target species at a later stage. These can be harmful to honeybees, wildlife, aquatic ecosystems and other beneficial organisms. They can also reduce biodiversity, contribute to pollinator decline and destroy or damage habitat.

Some pesticides are very volatile and vaporize into the air when they are applied, while others are absorbed by the plant and move through the xylem and phloem to the roots, leaves or fruit. The way in which a pesticide acts is usually described on the product label. It is important to select a pesticide that is designed for the specific pest you are trying to control and to follow the instructions carefully.

Many pesticides are regulated because of their impacts on human and environmental health. Whenever possible, use alternative methods of pest control. If you must use a pesticide, always select the least toxic one available and only apply it to the area that needs treatment. Also, always seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that you have been exposed to a pesticide. If you work with pesticides on a farm or garden, it is critical to wear proper equipment and always follow label instructions.