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The Art and Science of Pest Control

Feb 18

Commercial Pest Management Whittier is the art and science of preventing unwanted organisms from interfering with desirable plants in our fields and orchards, landscapes, and wildlands, or damaging homes or other structures. It can also be the art and science of removing or deterring organisms that carry diseases or cause other harm in humans, pets, livestock, or other animals or the environment. A pest is any plant (weed), vertebrate (bird or rodent), invertebrate (insect, mite, or snail), pathogen (bacteria, virus, fungus, or parasite), or other organism that damages desirable plants or interferes with human activities.

Pest prevention involves the use of non-toxic methods to keep pests away from homes and businesses. These include sanitation, proper food storage, and sealing cracks and crevices where pests may enter. The Cornell Cooperative Extension can help you identify the pests in your area and provide recommendations for prevention.

When a pest infestation does occur, it is important to take action quickly. Clutter provides places for pests to breed and hide, so get rid of it. Caulk cracks and crevices around doors, cabinets, and baseboards. Seal or block openings in walls and floors that can be used for entry by insects, rodents, birds, or other pests.

In addition, scouting and monitoring are necessary to determine if the pest population is reaching harmful levels or causing damage. Threshold-based decision making helps homeowners and farmers decide when to use pesticides. For example, a few wasps seen flying around the house don’t warrant a pesticide application, but seeing thousands of them in the yard indicates they need to be eliminated before they cause serious damage.

Other physical controls or mechanical control methods kill or block pests from an area or make the environment unsuitable for them. These can include traps, fences, nets, steam sterilization of soil, barriers, and screens. In addition, lights, heat, and refrigeration sometimes alter the environment enough to suppress or deter pests.

Biological control involves the introduction of beneficial organisms that compete with or parasitize pests. Beneficial organisms can also be predators or parasitoids themselves, or they can be pathogens that inhibit a pest’s growth or reproduction.

Chemical control includes the use of non-toxic or very low-risk pesticides to manage pest populations. This can be done in combination with other control techniques or alone. Pesticides should only be used when non-toxic measures are ineffective or unavailable, and they should be selected carefully so that they do not affect people, pets, livestock, or the environment.

In Whittier, pest control companies must be licensed by state and local agencies to ensure they meet training, education, and pesticide safety requirements. You can find a licensed pest control company by visiting the website of the Whittier Department of Environmental Conservation. You should also check to see if the pest control company has earned GreenPro service certification or is a member of any trade organizations that verify their work and business practices. If you have concerns about the company’s licensing and certification, you can contact the agency directly for more information.