There are few situations in life as skin-crawling and disturbing as finding an infestation of pests in your home. Not only are these pests creepy and disgusting, but they can also do quite a bit of damage to your furniture, clothing, and health.
Thankfully, we do not have to suffer in silence when our homes are invaded by rodents or bugs as there is a myriad of pest control methods to choose from. Powerpestcontrol.ca has many methods for pest control.
Natural Pest Control Measures
As mentioned above, there are many pest control methods available to choose from, but they can be loosely grouped into six categories: Hygienic, Biological, Chemical, Physical, Fumigation, Fogging and Heat treatment. Each method can resolve pest infestations to varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the scale of the infestation, as well as on the type of pest.
Hygienic pest control methods
Maintaining a clean home is of utmost importance for reducing the chances of an infestation. Pests seek out places with an abundant food source, as well as a safe environment in which they can breed. Check the tips below to ensure that your home is inhospitable for creepy crawlies and rodents.
- Clean all surfaces after eating.
- Put all food scraps, crumbs, peels, etc. in the bin, preferably sealed in a sandwich bag or paper.
- Wash all used dishes, cutlery, utensils, cups, glasses, pots and pans when you’re finished cooking/eating.
- Keep worktops, tables, floors, and cupboards clean and free from food scraps.
- Create and stick to a regular cleaning schedule. Don’t forget to include hard-to-reach areas, such as behind large kitchen appliances.
- Store food in containers with a tight seal.
- Make sure that all bathrooms in your home are kept clean.
- Install fly screens on your windows.
- Check the internal and external walls for holes and cracks and seal any you find.
If basic home hygiene is ignored, the effects of other types of pest control will be incredibly short-lived as the pests will soon be back, and in greater numbers. Check out our article “How to make a cleaning schedule and stick to it” for more advice on how to create a regular cleaning routine.
Although keeping your home clean will deter many would-be pests, there are some that are more stubborn and will laugh in the face of your cleanliness. This is where the might of the other pest control methods comes into play.
Biological pest control methods
Biological control methods can also be seen as natural solutions as they do not rely on the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Biological pest control measures take advantage of the hierarchy within nature. This can be as simple as introducing the natural predator of a particular type of pest into your environment.
This method of pest control is by no means modern. People have been using natural predators to control pest populations since the fourth century B.C. The fact that it is still in use shows how effective this method can be.
This tactic is most commonly used by gardeners seeking to control a pest population without the use of chemicals. One of the most popular applications of this method is the use of ladybugs to control, or remove, aphid infestations. However, introducing large numbers of foreign species to an area can have the opposite effect as well.
The best example of this is the giant cane toad in Australia. This species of the toad was introduced to the country in order to reduce the population of cane beetles which were destroying crops. The toads did not reduce the beetle population as expected. Instead, they bred uncontrollably and have become a major ecological issue in their own right.
Another popular natural pest control method used by gardeners is the use of beneficial microorganisms on plants. Unlike the use of natural predators, using microorganisms to control pests is a preemptive method. When a helpful microorganism is in a symbiotic relationship with a plant, it will actively protect the plant by deterring pests and destroying harmful bacteria and fungi.
Physical pest control methods
Physical pest control methods rely on the trapping, killing, and removal of both insect and rodent pests. Most of the methods listed below will work in your home and garden, but they are more suited to homesteads and small farms.
Elimination of breeding grounds
When looking for a place to infest, pests prefer to hide in a place that provides food and safe breeding ground. Eliminating one, or both, of these factors will greatly increase your chances of removing pests. The best way of getting rid of breeding grounds in your home is to keep your home clean, dry, and warm. Maintaining a hygienic home and regularly cleaning dark, damp areas will severely limit the housing options for pests in your home.
Using poison bait is a popular and highly effective method of pest control and there are many pest-specific poisons to choose from. Pest control poison normally comes in one of two states. The first is in the form of granules and the second is a gel or jelly. Regardless of the type, poisoned bait is placed in areas that show signs of pest activity and will either be eaten directly or carried back to the nest.
If you have young children or pets, make sure that they cannot access any area where the poison is in use. Some commercial poisons can lead to serious health issues if ingested.
Field burning is a traditional pest control measure used by farmers internationally. Fire is used to burn away debris, as well as the top layer of soil with the aim of destroying pest populations. This method of pest control has fallen out of favor in recent decades since fire kills beneficial insects along with the pests and can have a negative impact on the soil. Another reason is that the effectiveness of modern pesticides is now significantly better.
Trap cropping is a method of pest control that involves the planting of a decoy crop to which the pests are more attracted. The main goal of this method is to trap pests in the decoy field in order to make extermination easier. However, large-scale farmers have found this method to be inefficient as the pests tend to make their way back to the main crop. As such, trap cropping may be more efficient if used in small homesteads or as a means to keep pests away from a personal vegetable garden. Here are some example plants that work best to attract different pests.