Pest Control

The Basics of Pest Control

Pests can cause damage to gardens, crops and homes. They can also transmit diseases to humans and animals.

Keep pests away by removing their food, water and shelter sources. Garbage should be stored in tightly closed containers, and rotting garbage should be removed regularly. Contact Pest Control Bakersfield CA now!

Identify the pest and tailor control methods to the specific problem. For example, blocking access points like cracks and gaps may be enough to stop a cockroach infestation from developing.

Pest Identification

Pest identification is an important step in the pest control process. This involves determining what pest species are infesting a plant or animal and what damage they are doing to it. Accurate identification is especially critical for invasive species. For example, the gypsy moth and Mediterranean fruit fly are invasive pests that must be controlled to prevent their spread from country to country.

Pests vary in size, color, and shape, but many have distinctive features that make them easy to identify. For example, the caterpillars of many butterflies and moths have distinctive shaped heads. The adult stage of some beetles have long probing mouthparts that can puncture leaves, flowers, and fruit to feed. A pest’s life cycle also provides clues to its identity. For example, a weed is often easiest to control when it is in its seedling or early growth stages. Pests such as aphids and leafhoppers attack crops in particular times of year or at specific stages of plant development.

Proper pest identification can also help in the selection of the best control tactics for the situation. For example, cultural controls such as removing infested plants and replanting with non-host varieties can be effective if the problem is a persistent one. Pesticides can also be used, but careful consideration of the pesticide’s life cycle, habitat requirements, and time of occurrence is essential to selecting an appropriate product.

If the goal is to eradicate a pest, the process is more involved and requires a concerted effort by a wide range of stakeholders. For instance, for an invasive insect such as the Mediterranean fruit fly or the gypsy moth, local, state, and federal agencies are involved in the research, monitoring, and control programs.

For other pests, such as insects that damage a home’s landscaping, the homeowner is typically responsible for controlling them. This can be done by using a combination of techniques, including preventing water from pooling around the foundation; sealing cracks and crevices in walls; storing firewood away from the house; and trimming tree branches to prevent overhanging branches that may harbor pests.

Pest Control Methods

Pest control is a combination of preventive measures, such as cleaning and sealing entry points and removing breeding grounds, with treatment methods to reduce the number of pests or the amount of damage they cause. Treatment options include physical, biological and chemical controls. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses a mix of these tactics to reduce pests in and around homes, businesses, and agricultural fields. IPM is more effective and safer for the environment than relying on just one method to eliminate pests.


Physical pest control involves removing or blocking the pests’ nests, preventing them from getting to their food sources and destroying their ability to reproduce. Examples include:

  • Caulking and sealing cracks in doors, windows and walls.
  • Removing or blocking their access to water sources, such as pipes.
  • Using temperature control techniques to kill them.

Physical pest control can also be accomplished by adding Boron, a known pesticide, to the insulation in a building to kill self-grooming pests like cockroaches and termites. This is a non-toxic, EPA-registered pesticide that can only be used by licensed pest management professionals as part of an overall pest prevention program.


Biological pest control relies on the use of natural enemies, such as parasites and pathogens, to reduce or eradicate pest populations. This is a safe and environmentally friendly option that takes some time to work, but can provide long-term control for some pests.


Chemical pest control uses solutions, such as repellents and insecticides, to eliminate pests. These chemicals are often easier to find and use than biological control products, but they may pose health and environmental threats upon exposure.

Preventive pest control is the most sustainable approach to eliminating or reducing pests. It requires regular scouting and monitoring to identify and evaluate pest numbers, damage and behavior. This can be done at home or in business and includes things like regularly checking and cleaning areas where pests are likely to breed, such as under leaves, along foundations, in garbage bins or in cluttered storage areas. In addition, it is important to seal and block any entrance points into a house or business, such as cracks in walls or under windows, and to keep outdoor areas free of debris that pests can hide behind.


A pesticide is any substance that kills, controls, or deters a particular pest. Pesticides are often chemicals, but can also be biological agents such as a virus or bacterium. They can be used to control insects, plants or diseases, such as weeds, fungus, diseased fruit or rodents that damage crops or threaten human health.

Pesticides come in a variety of forms, from solids to liquids and gases. They can be applied by sprayed, injected, poured or dripped onto plants or soil. Some pesticides, called systemic, move through a plant’s xylem or phloem (water and food-carrying tubes inside the stem) and into the leaves to kill the pest from within; others remain on the surface of the plant and work through direct contact.

Chemical pesticides are usually highly toxic to non-target organisms as well as the targeted pests. They can poison birds, mammals, fish and nematodes, contaminate air, water or soil and damage the environment. They can also depress natural enemies of pests, such as birds, bats, insects and beneficial nematodes, and destroy or harm habitat, making it unsuitable for other species of plants and animals.

The effects of pesticide toxicity can be acute or chronic. Acute exposures produce immediate, short-term effects, while chronic exposures develop slowly over a longer period of time. They can include nausea, rashes, respiratory problems and a disruption of the endocrine system that regulates hormones. Some common symptoms of acute pesticide exposure are headaches, dizziness, muscular twitching and weakness, tingling sensations and a weakened immune system. They can also cause birth defects and miscarriage in pregnant women, cancers and other serious illnesses.

All pesticides have the potential to harm humans and other animals if they are not used, stored and handled properly. It is important to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any pesticide. Ideally, natural methods should be used first to avoid the need for pesticides. If pesticides must be used, they should be as low in toxicity as possible and stored in a secure location out of the reach of children and pets.


Pest control is an integral part of maintaining a safe working environment. The presence of pests in a workplace can pose several health risks, ranging from the transmission of infectious diseases to allergic reactions. Rodents, for instance, can contaminate food and surfaces with their hair, excrement and urine, while flies and mosquitoes can spread deadly pathogens through their bites. Furthermore, pests can cause serious structural damage to buildings and stored products. Their propensity to nibble through electrical wires increases the risk of fire accidents, while termites can compromise the integrity of wooden structures and ruin fabrics and other materials.

The best way to deal with pests is to prevent them from infesting in the first place. This can be achieved by eliminating the conditions that they thrive in, such as poor hygiene and stagnant water. Pests can also be prevented by blocking gaps around pipes, removing rubbish regularly and ensuring that all foods are properly sealed in containers.

If a pest infestation is unavoidable, it is important to follow the proper safety measures when using pesticides. This includes reading the user’s manual and label carefully, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and following the instructions for use. PPE should be inspected before each use and replaced when worn out or damaged. It is also recommended to stay upwind during application and to thoroughly clean the PPE and working area after the procedure is complete.

In addition, workers should ensure that the working space is well-ventilated to reduce the build-up of toxic fumes and residues. It is also advised to keep a first-aid kit on hand in case of any injuries that may occur during the course of pest control.

Finally, pest control workers should take care to avoid any direct contact with rodents and insects while carrying out their duties. This can be accomplished by wearing long sleeved clothing, gloves and a face mask. It is also advisable to avoid any physical contact with anything that may be potentially contaminated with pathogens, such as faeces and droppings. In the event of any such contact, it is recommended that individuals wash their hands immediately and thoroughly with soapy water.