Trying to manage an insect or rodent problem on your own can be a problem without the right equipment. Before you start a pest control regiment, know what different treatments are available to figure out what is best for you and your home.
Pesticide – A deadly substance used for killing pests. There are many different types of pesticides used for different purposes. For example, insecticides are used to kill insects. Pesticides and insecticides are often available as sprays, but homeowners should be careful when handling them, as they are often toxic to people (especially young children) and animals.
Fumigate – A serious bug problem often results in fumigation. Here, the area is closed off for 24-72 hours and a pesticide is applied. Often fumigation is done using fogging equipment, which are cans that release pesticide spray over a certain period of time so that homeowners are not exposed to the fumes. Fumigation can kill major bug problems, such as roaches and termites.
Repellants – These products do not kill pests, but instead repel them from a certain area. Some repellants, like those for termites, use chemicals to keep bugs away. Others, like those for rodents, emit high pitched noises that only rodents and some insects can hear.
Bait Traps – Often useful for rodents, these are traps placed strategically around the home that either kill or allow for removal of larger pests. However, some bait traps, such as termite traps, are placed outside and used for monitoring and prevention.
Organic Pest Control – Part of the green movement, organic pest control is against using deadly chemicals and instead relies on natural methods of removing pests. This approach is also called biological pest control and integrated pest management.
Pest control tactics have a long history. The Chinese used insect predators and cats appear to have been domesticated primarily to manage rodents. Sulfur and arsenic have been used for a very long time as a way to eliminate various types of pests.
Modern pest control uses a variety of techniques, not all of which kill or exterminate. For example, farmers may manage certain field pests by adjusting the timing of planting and harvesting.
Pest control equipment and supplies generally mean chemicals or traps. Pesticides are sprayed or applied using a cloth. Traps include fly paper, bug zappers and mouse traps.
Conventional pesticides are poisons, sometimes used with bait. Dealing with an infestation can require that a room or building be fumigated using a bug bomb. However, humans and pets can be exposed to the toxic chemicals, and an area being fumigated needs to be avoided for a period of time. Systemic insecticides are ingested by other organisms and render the host animal or plant poisonous to pests without hurting it. While many poisons kill all the insects in the area, often an unfavorable result, some are designed to exterminate specific species such as beetles, mosquitoes or roaches.
Other chemicals change the pest's behavior. Most fly spray or bug spray that is applied to people or livestock works by repelling insects. Chemical barriers are often used to keep termites or ants out of buildings. Bed bugs are best dealt with by washing bed clothes at very high temperatures. Finally, bees are often relocated by a trained beekeeper. Inspection of homes for pests is also important, especially as insects and rodents can carry disease. Natural treatments, such as organic pesticides and predators, are becoming more popular.