Pest have been around for a long time, certainly as long as humans have, and humans have always had to exercise some form of keeping pests at bay. However it is only in the last hundred years that humans have waged war on pests with toxic chemicals, although increasing awareness of the importance of greener methods of pest control has meant an influx on the market of organic and otherwise non-toxic pest control products.
What Exactly Is Pest Control?
Broadly speaking, pest control refers to the removal or eradication of any creature which by its nature or number has become an annoyance. All sorts of pesky critters find themselves being subject to pest control techniques, from small things like how to get rid of bed bugs, fleas and ticks, to bigger animals like rodents and even kangaroos.
Pest control has developed quite significantly over the years and is moving more towards safe methods and products with natural ingredients, learning from its mistakes of the past where toxic chemicals featured prominently.
Gone are the days of blasting a bed bug infested home with DDT which, although hugely effective and in fact almost wiped bed bugs out, was nonetheless severely toxic and posed significant health risks to humans and pets. There’s always some new product on the market boasting organic or completely natural ingredients, and these pest control products are fast-selling which is testament to the rising popularity of DIY pest control.
Services specializing in pest control are still busy, even though they may have lost some business to the DIY market. We are currently in the midst of one of most severe bed bug invasions in contemporary times, with the Northern Hemisphere being particularly badly affected. Often, severe infestations of bed bugs are beyond the capability or willingness of most homeowners to take on alone and in these situations homeowners have greater piece of mind by when calling in professionals, albeit they invariably have to part with a substantial sum of money to do so.
The termite is a particularly nasty creature and problems involving these critters are often best left to the exterminators. When these little wood eaters are left undisturbed in a home, they are quite capable of reducing it to rubble,
Generally speaking, small to moderate infestations are usually capable of being handled by simple DIY techniques. Although proper application of DIY techniques can be quite time consuming, many of these methods, coupled with use of the right products, are nonetheless effective and invariably more affordable than hiring professional help, making them a favorable alternative to the latter.
Choosing the right approach for pest control depends on exactly what species of pest needs managing. Typically however, a pest control campaign involve at least one of two things, namely, the application of some type of poison and/or the deployment of a trap designed to attract the pest and subsequently kill it either by starvation, poisoning or even through external physical damage such as with diatomaceous earth food grade, which kills bugs by piercing their skin, however it is harmless to pets and humans, who actually can eat it as a food supplement.
There is however, another technique which in today’s world of environmental awareness and aversion to toxic chemicals, is fast becoming popular. This naturalistic approach to pest control involves attracting or manually placing into an environment, creatures that naturally feed on pests. Many people like approaching pest control in this way because it is a system which ‘runs itself’ and therefore doesn’t require constant attention and maintenance. There is also certainly something to be said about taking care of pest problems the way nature intended.
This approach to pest control is widely used by those who farm organic gardens. Lady bugs are very successful predators of mites and aphids, a common garden pest. Birds are also particularly beneficial for unwanted bugs like caterpillars, cutworms and slugs.