Why Is Pest Control Important for Ecology and Health?

Earth friendly pest control is good for health and environment. It provides a safe and less-toxic control for pests and bugs. An earth friendly approach to pest control ensures you of a pest free home while staying in-sync with nature and environment by avoiding toxic elements. Using non-chemical substance is the approach in an earth friendly pest control.

Some experts regarding earth friendly pest control consider the following methods in controlling pests in your home without using hazardous chemicals. They suggest that you worked with a professional in eliminating the pests using earth friendly approach.

Inspection. This is the most important step to keep your goal on track. It should be done the right way and with conscientiousness. In this stage, your home will be assessed based on its infestation and damage. The pest expert will identify the pests in your home and will take note of crevices, cracks and other entry points. He will also find out possible food supplies, existence of water sources, and try to find signs of pest activities. After this, he will make a prevention plan to significantly minimize your home’s vulnerability for further infestation.

Removing of food and shelter. In an earth friendly approach, pests are eliminated by building a surrounding that is inappropriate for them. This method includes removing food, shelter and water sources, yard and lawn debris, compost sites, pet foods, trash, and many others.

Exclusion. In the course of inspection stage, the pest expert will recognize particular sites that are susceptible to pest infestation. He will then develop a plan to control and eliminate the problem without using avoidable chemicals and other hazardous substance. He will make a cautious effort of removing and sealing entry points into your house and keeping them sealed. The expert will also educate you of important details like how to not attract pests and how to prevent them from entering your home. He may pinpoint causes such as areas with high moist and piles of debris and branches. These things in your home and yard are highly attractive for termites, bugs and pests.

Sensible use of pesticides. After assessing the condition of your home, developing a customized plan and creating pest free program, you may still have to eliminate the existing pests that have already entered you home. Pest control using earth friendly approach still uses pesticides but with limit and control. You will only use pesticides that are needed to solve the problem. It will be used only in areas affected and with limited amount required. In addition, products with low toxicity level will be chosen to avoid harm and danger to people, animals, and the environment.

Monitoring. This is the last part where continuous monitoring is done to make sure that your property will maintain pest-free surroundings. This helps in discouraging pests and recognizing their presence before they could do harm again and infest your home all over again.

Your world is your family, your life, your health and your home. It is your responsibility to keep your world secure and sound as possible. Keeping your home free from pests and harsh elements is one way of doing that. Insects are as important as any other animals in the world, it becomes a pest when it begins to plague your home and do harm in your own world. When this happens, it is best to take immediate action.

In the past, pest control management simply means applying pesticides to get rid of pests. After many years, pest control has developed to a more advance method. Pesticide manufacturers and pest experts have improved methods and products in eliminating pests providing a low impact on people and non-target species and the environment. They are continuously inventing new level of pest control based on people and environment’s safety and security.

It is your world and life that is important before everything else. In giving you your needs in your world, your family and life can be greatly affected as well. A safe life, home and environment is the best thing that you can give yourself and your family as well as your kids and their children in the future. If you don’t act now, your world will be destroyed greatly in the future.

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The History of Pest Control

The application of pest control ranges from do-it-yourself arrangements to
scientific and very precise deployment of chemicals and predatory insects by
highly skilled practitioners. Despite the fact that pest control is a world-wide
industry it is still dominated by family or 1-person businesses. Those that need
to control pests range from householders to
large scale agri-conglomerates who need to maximise their yield. In between
these two are restaurants, bars, food production facilities, farmers – in fact,
anybody that routinely deals with food. Pest control can make us more
comfortable – but can also save lives.

The word pest is subjective as one man’s pest may be another man’s
helper. For instance, pest A may be a threat to crop A, and pest B a threat to
crop B. However, if pest B is a natural predator to pest A, then the farmer who
wishes to protect crop A may cultivate and release pest B amongst his crops.
There is a theory that without man’s intervention in the food chain through
agriculture, hunting and long distance travel there would be no pests. The
theory continues that man’s intervention (for instance, in cultivating and
releasing pest B, or in carrying creatures long distances) has upset the balance
of the food chain, producing instability in insect and other animal numbers and
distorting their evolution. This instability has led to over-population of a
given
species with the result that they have become pests. Having said this, if we assume that the very first fly swat was the first
instance of pest control – and we know that large animals swat flies – it could be
argued that pest control dates back way before humans came on the scene.

The first recorded instance of pest control takes us back to 2500BC when the Sumerians
used sulphur to control insects. Then around 1200BC the Chinese, in their great
age of discovery towards the end of the Shang Dynasty, were using chemicals to
control insects. The Chinese continued to develop ever more sophisticated
chemicals and methods of controlling insects for crops and for people’s comfort.
No doubt the spread of pest control know-how was helped by the advanced state of
Chinese writing ability. Although progress in pest control methods undoubtedly
continued, the next significant scrap of evidence does not come until around
750BC when Homer described the Greek use of wood ash spread on land as a form of
pest control.

Around 500BC the Chinese were using mercury and arsenic compounds as a means
to control body lice, a common problem throughout history. In 440BC the Ancient
Egyptian’s used fishing nets to cover their beds or their homes at night as a
protection from mosquitoes

From 300BC
there is evidence of the use of use of predatory insects to control pests,
although this method was almost certainly developed before this date. The Romans
developed pest control methods and these ideas were spread throughout the
empire. In
200BC, Roman censor Cato encouraged the use of oils as a means of pest control
and in 70AD Pliny the Elder wrote that galbanum resin (from the fennel plant)
should be added to sulphur in order to discourage mosquitoes. In 13BC the first recorded rat-proof grain store was built by the Romans.

The first known instance where predatory insects were transported from one area to another comes from Arabia around 1000AD where date growers moved cultures of ants from neighboring mountains to their oasis plantations in order
to prey on phytophagous ants which attacked date palm.

Despite the enlightenment provided by the ancient Chinese, Arabs and Romans,
many of their teachings did not pass down though time. Certainly in Europe
during the dark ages, methods of pest control were just as likely to be based on
superstition and local spiritual rituals as any proven method. Pests were often
seen as workers of evil – especially those that ruined food, crops or livestock.
Although there were undoubtedly studies of pests during the dark ages, we do not
have any recorded evidence of this.

It is not until the European renaissance when more evidence of pest control
emerges. In 1758 the great Swedish botanist and taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus
catalogued and named many pests. His writings were (and remain) the root and
source of future study into pests (as well as plants and animals generally). At
the same time, the agricultural revolution began in Europe and heralded a more widespread application of pest control. With the work of Linnaeus and other
scholars and the commercial needs to ensure crops and livestock were protected,
pest control became more systemized and spread throughout the world. As global
trade increased, new pesticides were discovered.

At this point pest control was carried out by farmers and some householders
as an everyday activity. By the early nineteenth century however, this changed
as studies and writings started to appear that treated pest control as a
separate discipline. Increasing use of intensive and large scale farming brought
matching increases in the intensity and scale of pest scares such as the
disastrous potato famine in Ireland in 1840. Pest control management was scaled
up to meet these demands, to the point that dedicated pest controllers began to
emerge throughout the 20th century.

In 1921 the first crop-spraying aeroplane was employed and in 1962 flying insect control was revolutionized when Insect-o-cutor started selling fly killer
machines using ultra violet lamps.

Pest control is still carried out by farmers and householders to this day.
There are also pest control specialists (sometimes called pesties); many
are one-person businesses and others work for large companies. In most countries
the pest control industry has been dogged by a few bad practitioners who have
tarnished the reputation for the highly professional and responsible majority.

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Gardening and Pest Control Exposed

Although it seems rather easy to set up gardening and pest control, there are many things that you must consider first. In fact, many of the things that you’ll read about here are not discussed often. Before you start your garden pest control, consider this…

Gardening and pest control is at least as old as agriculture. It’s an industry that’s growing rapidly. The pest control business has grown more than 50 percent in the last 5 years or so, and nationwide it has become a $7 billion industry.

With more homes being built in rural areas the problem of pest control has become more urgent.

What is Gardening and Pest Control?

It’s basically the reduction or eradication of pests. Whereas structural pest control is the control of household pests and wood-destroying pests and organisms or such other pests which may invade households or structures, gardening and pest control tends to be the control of pests that are affecting your plants, lawn and/or soil. That can sometimes spill over into the house as well, but by and large, it’s the garden we’re talking about here.

In order to protect our growing areas as well as our health, proper gardening and pest control is a necessity. It is often ignored until pests and their damage are discovered or it has got out of hand. Well there are measures you can take to help eradicate the problem.

How Do We Control Pests in the Garden?

Many people see gardening and pest control as a do-it-yourself job. Well that’s fair enough – up to a point. Gardening pest control is like visiting the doctor: to prescribe effective treatment your physician must correctly diagnose the problem and determine the extent of the injury as well as the potential for further injury. In surveys, it’s been found that many householders don’t bother to read the instructions carefully or feel the need to vary the instructions ‘because they feel they know better’.

That leads to over-concentrated doses of insecticide for example which could be hazardous to your health and any visitors. Of course we are specifically referring to chemicals, as chemical pest control is still the predominant type today. However, that said, the long-term effects of chemicals has led to a renewed interest in traditional and biological pest control towards the end of the 20th century.

For those who don’t do DIY gardening and pest control, there is the option of monthly visits from your local company. One advantage is that someone should be looking at your house and garden for pest problems regularly. One disadvantage is that homeowners insist that PCOs apply a chemical treatment monthly whether there is a pest problem or not!

The facts of pesticide use in the home and garden are very surprising:

- Each year 67 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns.
- Suburban lawns and gardens receive far heavier pesticide applications per acre than most agricultural areas.

Think before you spray a pesticide. You may kill the insects that are helping you keep pests in check. This means you will have to spray more in the future. Also, insects benefit your garden by pollinating your plants, helping them grow and propagate. Don’t use persistent, broad-spectrum, contact insecticides like diazinon, malathion and carbaryl. These provide only temporary pest control and are likely to kill more of the natural enemies than the pests. When their enemies are gone, pest populations may soar and become more of a problem than before they were sprayed.

Most consumers also don’t realize how potentially harmful they can be:

- Pesticides are easily tracked indoors — an EPA study found 23 pesticides in dust and air inside homes.
- Lawn chemicals can harm pets. Dog owners who use the herbicide 2,4,-D four or more times per season, double their dog’s risk of developing lymphoma.

It’s an eye-opening shock isn’t it? Can we really, really not be without these methods of pest control?

Gardening and Natural Pest Control

We believe the logical approach to gardening and pest control is to create a balance of organisms in your yard or garden. Natural pest control is less expensive than buying and applying pesticides, and it’s safer for your garden, natural wildlife and the environment.

Let’s look at some hints and tips to help your gardening and pest control:

- Beneficial insects that prey on problem bugs are available for sale
- If a plant, even a tree, has insect pest or disease problems every year, it’s time to replace it with a more tolerant variety, or another type of plant that doesn’t have these problems.
- By preventing pests from reaching your plants, you can avoid the damage they cause. And in cases where you only see a few pests, physically removing them can often keep the problem under control.

Let’s also look at some useful bugs you want to encourage in your garden:

Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.)
Bald-faced hornet
Centipede
Damselfly
Ground beetle
Honey bee
Mason bee
Parasitic wasp
Soldier beetle
Yellow jacket

Use these tips to make dealing with gardening and pest control a lot easier. If you follow the basics you will virtually eliminate your problem of garden pests forever.

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Biological Pest Control – Is it the Answer to Pest Control-Related Environmental Concerns?

Before we can get into trying to understand whether biological pest control is the answer to the pest-control related environmental concerns, it would be proper to give ourselves a little background information on this whole pest control business; for the benefit of those who may be encountering it for the very first time.

Now, pests are organisms (typically insects) that are injurious to the interests of the people who refer to them as such. Thus to farmers, the insects that invade and eat up their crops (whether in the fields or during storage), would be termed as pests. On the other hand, the ‘domestic insects’ that tend to mess up with things in domestic settings (like moths, that can mess up with cloths in storage), are seen as pests by housekeepers. Worth keeping in mind is that although most pests are insects, there are also quite are number that are non-insects: with the likes of rodents (that can mess up with crops in farms of things stored in domestic settings) being seen as pests too, the fact that they are not insects notwithstanding.

Having seen that pests are injurious, it would be natural that the people who happen to ‘fall victim’ to them would want to get rid of them. In the meantime, people who haven’t yet fallen victim to pests would be keen to avoid such a ‘fate.’ Hosting pests, by the way, can be a serious fate: thousands of hectares of farmland have been known to be wasted by pests in a single day, leading to losses that often run into millions of dollars. It is the steps taken to avoid pest invasion then, or to resolve pest invasion if it has already taken place, that are referred to as constituting pest control.

Now pest control takes various forms, depending on the pests one is trying to get rid of (or to prevent the invasion of). And while bigger pests like rodents may be controlled through mechanical means like trapping, for a long period of time, it is chemical control that has worked for the vast majority of pests, which tend to be insects as previous mentioned. The chemicals used in this endeavor are what are termed as pesticides. And while pesticides are usually very effective in pest-control, the downside to them tends to come up when we consider the fact that they tend to be extremely environmentally unfriendly. Worth keeping in mind, at this point, is the fact that the chemicals referred to as pesticides tend to be very potent ones. So it often happens that traces of them remain where they were used, even after the pests are gone. Those traces are eventually washed down to the water bodies where they wreck great havoc to the (non pest) plants and animals resident in the water bodies.

It is concern about this environmental impact of chemical pest-control that led to questions as to whether a more environmentally friend method for controlling pests couldn’t be developed. The end result was the exploration of alternatives like the biological pest control, which we are trying to see whether it is really the answer to concerns raised about (chemical- based) pest control.

In biological pest-control, it is other organisms that are known to be predators to the ones viewed as pest that are unleashed upon the said pests; eating them up and therefore resolving the pest problem. Thus if the troublesome pests are aphids, the other organisms that are known to feed on aphids are introduced into the field where the problem is, to feed on the aphids, rather than spraying an environmentally unfriendly chemical.

The problem with biological pest-control, though, is that it tends to be of questionable efficiency. While chemical pest control tends to be thorough, leaving no pests or even traces of them, in biological pest control, that can’t quite be assured. Implementing biological pest control on a large scale basis (for instance on a thousand hectare plantation) can also prove to be a herculean task. Ultimately, it is considerations like these that make us keep on thinking of more environmentally friendly pest control approaches. This is because biological pest control, while definitely being an approach that addresses the environmental concerns raised about chemical pest control, it doesn’t seem to be efficient (or scalable) enough, in most people people’s view.

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The Basics of Green Pest Control

Green pest control does not mean ineffective pest control; rather, it is all about integrated pest management, or IPM. A pest control company that embraces IPM believes prevention, client awareness and education, and building inspections are all as important as controlling pests.

What Green Pest Control Is

Integrated pest management begins with learning how and why a pest entered a home or building. Professionals in this field are knowledgeable about the life cycle of pests and their preferred nesting locations. Thus, they are able to use innovative pest prevention techniques that are the least hazardous to plant life, property, pets and people.

IPM uses common sense practices in coordination with environmentally sensitive chemicals. For example, instead of using harmful chemicals to prevent the return of a pest, pest control specialists may install preventative materials such as new window and door screens, fresh caulking, new door sweeps, and so on. The professionals may also set up traps to learn about additional areas a pest may live or install solar powered repellants as an alternative to using harmful chemicals.

The Benefits of Green Pest Control

Pest control products that are green are made of organic and natural ingredients. Additionally, these products are engineered to be biodegradable and equally as effective as their non-green counterparts.

Green pest management practices help promote the health and structure of plants, as they provide a biologically based alternative to chemical sprays. The control tactics used in IPM are benign and therefore reduce the environmental risk often associated with traditional pest management, such as ground water contamination. IPM also helps reduce the risk of an infestation and is a cost effective solution.

How It Works

Rather than spray a multi-purpose pesticide all over an infested property, IPM experts use a process that sets an action threshold, monitors the pests in order to identify them, prevents their return and uses control methods.

When an action threshold is set, the professional learns how large an infestation is, how much of a danger the pests pose, and determines the type of immediate action needed.

When an IPM professional monitors pests, he is making sure he is identifying the pest correctly. Proper identification of a pest helps ensure the right types of pesticides are used, but pesticides are avoided if they are not needed.

Prevention of pest invasions is one of the key components to green pest control. IPM includes identifying and correcting problems that make a home or building welcoming to pests. Prevention is cost effective and does not risk the health of individuals or the earth.

If pest prevention methods are ineffective by themselves, control methods are required. When professionals implement a control method, they first evaluate it for risk and effectiveness. Methods that pose the least risk, such as traps or the use of pheromones to disrupt mating, are used first. If the thresholds in place indicate these methods are not effective, the control process then moves to the use of pesticides in targeted areas.

What to Look for in a Green Pest Control Company

When looking for a green pest control company, seek one that will create a plan that meets your needs. The company should take into consideration the type of pest, the size of the infestation and the environment in which the pests live.

Learn about the process and chemicals a company uses before hiring them. Some professionals use green pest control products initially and then follow them with traditional chemicals, which you may not want. A good environmentally friendly exterminator should focus on using quality products that are low or non-toxic rather than products that are the least expensive, which are often highly toxic. Additionally, quality green pest control companies educate their clients on how to prevent the return of pest, help correct conditions that are inviting to them and offer to install pest-proofing materials.

The observation, prevention and intervention approach to green pest control helps consumers have peace of mind knowing that evicting pests from the home does not mean hurting the environment. Whenever you need the help of professionals to assist with unwanted pests, keep in mind that green pest management is the only method that has both your personal and financial well-being in mind.

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