Pest Control – How to Get Rid of Pests in Your Home

Pests cause damage to property and can spread diseases such as salmonellosis, encephalitis, and candidiasis. Clutter provides hiding places for pests and impedes preventive measures like keeping garbage cans covered and disposed of regularly.

When pest control is done right, spraying and chemical products are used minimally, if at all. Instead, methods like nematodes—microscopic worms that live in the soil—work to eradicate unwanted pests. Contact Pest Control Irving TX now!

Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that, like humans, thrive in many habitats. They can be found around the world in every climate from the Arctic snows to the driest desert and the wettest tropical forests. Despite their global distribution, rodents are notorious pests that cause billions in crop damage and act as secondary hosts for diseases that plague humans including the bubonic plague.

The most common rodents are mice and rats. These small mammals have robust bodies, short limbs, and long tails. Their incisor teeth are specially adapted for gnawing. They are also capable of digging burrows and constructing tunnel homes. Rodents are social animals that mating in pairs or groups with a high rate of interbreeding and have litters of altricial young (less developed at birth).

Mice and rats can squeeze through openings a fraction of their body size to enter homes and businesses. Inside, they seek warmth, food and water, storing food in accessible areas such as cabinets, drawers, or the backs of stove walls. They also build nests in attics, wall cavities, crawl spaces, under furniture, or the cushions of stuffed furniture. In the yard, they are attracted to mulch piles and firewood, but will make do with the garden if food is available.

In homes and businesses, the first sign of a rodent infestation is often rodent droppings or gnaw marks. They may also leave signs of gnawing on food packaging, in drawers or cupboards, in the walls, ceiling, or floors.

Integrated pest management for rodents includes regular inspection of indoor spaces and outdoor surroundings to identify areas that provide food, water, or shelter. This includes regularly removing leaves and debris that provide shelter, as well as storing garbage in tightly-sealed containers. It also includes the elimination of potential rodent access routes through landscaping, ensuring that all outdoor garbage bins have secure lids, and the securing of compost piles to prevent rodents from entering.

Other methods for controlling rodents include the use of traps and poisons, which can be effective if used correctly and in combination with other control methods. There are also biological controls that reduce the fertility of rodents, which require less human intervention and have fewer side effects than conventional chemical controls.


Insects are the most common and widespread of all land animals, occupying nearly every microhabitat on earth. They are extremely diverse and important as predators, prey, parasites, hosts, herbivores or decomposers.

They can be found in all types of environments and may live alone or in groups. Termites, for example, are social insects, living in colonies with their own king and queen. Other social insects, such as ants and bees, also live in organized groups. Insects vary in size from microscopic to about 12 inches long (0.3 meters). Many insect species have coloration that helps them blend in with their surroundings, or hard body armor to protect them. Many also have stingers to defend themselves or produce poisons to kill their enemies.

Pests can be found in homes, buildings, and agricultural fields and can damage crops or plants. They also can cause diseases that affect human beings. Rodents, for example, are vectors of a wide range of diseases including leptospirosis, murine typhus, trichinosis, salmonellosis, and cholera. They can also damage structures by chewing on wires, insulation, and wood. In addition, they can cause fires by chewing through electrical wiring.

There are many ways to control pests, including prevention, biological control, cultural practices, and chemical controls. Prevention involves removing sources of food, water and shelter for the pests. It also includes cleaning up discarded food, keeping garbage tightly closed, fixing leaks, and clearing away brush and debris where pests may hide.

Biological controls use natural enemies of the pests to reduce their numbers. These may include predators, such as birds and rodents; parasites, such as nematodes, which infect and consume other organisms; or pathogens that destroy or suppress the pests’ growth and development.

Cultural controls, such as crop rotation and good soil management, reduce the number of pests by making it harder for them to find food and shelter. Chemical controls, such as insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides, can be targeted to specific pests or used in integrated pest management programs that also make use of biological, cultural, and physical controls.

When pests do occur, it is often necessary to determine how much damage they cause before taking action to control them. Eradication is rarely a goal in outdoor pest situations, but controlling them to below damaging levels is usually the aim.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are among the most difficult pests to control. They are well adapted to hiding and can survive without feeding for up to three weeks. These pests are primarily active at night and feed by biting their host through the skin at the joints of the legs and arms. They are also known to bite other areas of the body including the face, neck, and chest. Adults are about the size of an apple seed with a rounded head and a pointed abdomen. They are dark brown to black in color. The bites of these insects are often swollen and reddened and may itch. Infestations usually begin in a single room but can quickly spread to adjacent rooms.

They are more likely to be transported in from outside than many other pests and because of increased global travel, they have made a resurgence around the world in recent years. These pests tend to concentrate close to where people sleep but will crawl farther if necessary to find food. They are most common in hotel rooms, but have been found in schools, offices, libraries, restaurants, and other workplaces. Infestations in the workplace typically remain confined to workstations and seating and are less likely to result in the types of broader outbreaks seen in homes and apartments.

Insecticides used to control other pests do not seem to be effective against these insects. The best course of action is to hire a pest control company if you suspect an infestation. If a pesticide is used, it should be applied according to label safety directions and the space treated should be ventilated.

Before a professional arrives, separating the furniture in an infested room is helpful. This makes it easier to treat the entire area. Taking all clothing out of drawers, and double bagging them is also a good idea. Vacuuming all surfaces and cracks and crevices with a hose attachment is important. In addition, a desiccant like diatomaceous earth (not to be confused with pool or food grade) may help dry out the pests and may offer some control, but this is a slow process.


Wasps are best known for their swarms and buzzing, but they’re more than just a nuisance. The fact is, only a small percentage of the 30,000 species of wasps actually live in nests, and they’re generally less aggressive and sting far fewer people than bees. Nevertheless, wasps should only be interfered with when they’re nesting in an area where they pose a threat or are bothering people with their presence.

Usually, this means keeping food covered and stowing away uncovered trash bins that attract wasps. It also means securing any cracks and crevices that could allow wasps to get into your house. You should regularly inspect the eaves, the mortar between bricks, and areas around vents and garages.

Another way to reduce wasp activity is by using a trap to lure them and keep them from swarming. You can make one of these traps in about five minutes by cutting off the top of a two-liter bottle and inserting it into the bottom, then securing it with tape or wood. This trap works by luring wasps in with sugar water, and you can hang it near a nest or common areas where they like to congregate.

In addition to traps, you can try spraying a nest with an insecticide specifically formulated for wasps and hornets. The trick is to observe the nest before applying, and if you can catch it when most of the wasps are dormant, it’s easier to kill them all.

Once the wasps are dead, you can remove their nest and dispose of it in a heavy-duty garbage bag or outdoor trash can with a tight lid. However, for a larger nest, it may be best to call pest control professionals who have the equipment and expertise to safely remove it without disturbing the wasp population.

Wasps can be aggressive if provoked, and their sting can be painful, even life-threatening. They typically sting if their territory is violated while they’re out foraging or pollinating, or if someone approaches their nest. It’s important to avoid attempting to dismantle or destroy nests on your own, especially when they’re located in an accessible place.

Different Types of Pest Control

Pests can cause problems in gardens and homes, damaging plants and food sources. They can also spread disease. For example, cockroaches can carry bacteria that cause illness in people like salmonellosis.

Always follow product labels and heed safety instructions when applying pest control chemicals. Store chemicals safely and away from children and pets. For more information, click the link provided to proceed.

Identifying pests is one of the first steps in developing an effective pest management program. The goal of identifying pests is to distinguish them from non-diseased or beneficial insects, to determine the cause of damage, and to assess the severity of the problem.

In integrated pest management, the identification of pests is the foundation of all other activities. It is important to correctly identify the pest species present, as this will influence the methods used to control them. For example, different pests attack crops at different times of the year and in different stages of growth. Different pests also have varying feeding habits and life cycles. Observing how pests attack plants and collecting physical specimens will help to provide accurate pest identification.

Some pests can be controlled by removing their food sources or by altering the environment where they live. For example, eliminating access to water and shelter will make it more difficult for pests to thrive. Other types of pests, however, may require the use of chemical controls. In these cases, pest identification is extremely important as it will ensure that the proper pesticides are applied to the correct locations and at the right time.

If you are unable to identify your mystery pest, Rentokil’s free Pest ID Center can analyze your physical specimen or pictures of the pest or insect bites and provide an identification within two hours. Simply send your specimen or pictures to the Pest ID Center, and an entomologist will contact you with results and suggestions for treatment. For more information, visit our Pest ID Center page. If you are a business customer, our Pest ID tool is a convenient way to keep your pest control professional informed of the exact pests that are affecting your property.


A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances that kills or controls an unwanted pest, such as insects, rodents, weeds, mildew and germs. It may also modify a plant’s growth (regulator), cause it to drop its leaves prematurely (defoliant), or act as a drying agent (desiccant). Pesticides are usually chemicals, but they can be made from animal products, plants and bacteria.

Pesticides are regulated at the federal, provincial and municipal levels through various acts, regulations, guidelines, directives and bylaws. These regulations ensure that pesticides are used safely and effectively, and that they do what they claim to do.

Most pesticides are grouped into chemical families based on their structure and how they work on a particular pest. Each pesticide has a specific label that indicates how and where it can be used, what types of pests it can control, and the risks associated with its use. Pesticides are sold in liquid, solid or gaseous forms.

There are two basic types of pesticides: biodegradable and persistent. The former are broken down quickly by microbes and other living things into harmless compounds, while the latter linger in the environment for days, weeks or even longer. Some pesticides are very fast acting, while others, such as space sprays and termite treatments, require a few hours to take effect.

All pesticides carry some health risks and should be handled carefully. They are most dangerous to agricultural workers who spread them and to people in the immediate area during, or shortly after, spreading. They can also be absorbed through the skin and inhaled. They can also contaminate the environment, causing damage to crops, wildlife and water supplies. For these reasons, a pesticide must always be used according to its label instructions.

Biological Control

Biological control involves the use of living organisms to reduce pest populations. This can include predators, parasitoids and disease pathogens. In addition, many microorganisms produce and exude substances that directly inhibit or toxic to pest species. This type of biocontrol is often referred to as microbial pesticides.

Insect pests can be infected with fungi, protozoans and bacteria that slow or stop their growth, interfere with their reproduction, or kill them. Insects are also parasitized by a variety of eusocial wasps and flies. In addition, nematodes (including some that infect insect pests with their symbiotic bacterial symbionts) and predatory mites are common natural enemies of insects.

The presence of these natural enemies limits the population size of a pest and reduces its damage to plants. Unfortunately, many natural enemies have been devastated by the use of pesticides. Insect pests that were historically of minor economic concern can rapidly become damaging when their natural enemy populations are depleted.

Ideally, biological control should be used in conjunction with other strategies to manage pests. This can include cropping practices that provide food or shelter to natural enemies, the use of herbicides that do not interfere with microbial or plant diseases and reducing the use of pesticides where possible.

Importation or classical biological control involves expeditions to the locations of pest origin to collect and bring back the appropriate natural enemies. These are then reared and released. They are usually highly specific to attacking the target pest to avoid causing unintended harm in the environment where they are released. They may be released in a process called inundative releases or via inoculative releases.

Fortuitous or adventive biological control is when natural enemies that are already present in the new environment naturally suppress the pest population. This is less risky than importation biological control but can be more costly since no advance planning or monitoring of the population of the introduced natural enemy is carried out.

Chemical Control

Chemical pest control involves using chemicals to kill or repel unwanted organisms. These can be sprays, powders or granules. They are generally the fastest way to reduce a pest population and may be needed if other methods fail. Pesticides are highly effective against many pests, especially those that destroy crops. However, they can damage the environment and pose health risks when not used properly. Pesticides can be absorbed through the skin and can also move into water or air where they can negatively affect animals, plants and people. They can also cause environmental problems when disposed of improperly, which is why working with licensed and trained professionals is so important.

Heavy or regular use of chemical pesticides can lead to resistance in the targeted insect species. This can mean that higher concentrations or more frequent applications of the pesticide are required to achieve the same results. This can be particularly difficult to achieve with insects like aphids, which produce numerous generations per year and build populations that overwhelm plants. To prevent this, a rotation of different modes of action is used to keep the pests from developing resistance.

Another type of chemical pest control involves the use of microbial organisms that are naturally hostile to targeted insects. These organisms can be introduced in the form of bacteria or fungi that are parasites or predators to the pest species. There is often a lag between the introduction of new enemies and the reduction in pest populations, but if successful, these organisms can help to keep pest levels below damaging amounts.

Microbial organisms are a great choice for environmentally friendly pest control as they are less toxic to people and the environment than traditional chemical pesticides. Bacillus thuringiensis, better known as Bt, is a common example of a useful microbial pesticide that targets specific types of insects without harming the environment or humans. Other organisms, such as the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae, have been specifically developed for use in controlling fleas, grubs and other garden pests.

Physical Control

As the name suggests, physical pest control is about removing the pest from the environment by trapping or killing it and then removing it from your premises. This includes putting up physical barriers and ‘pest proofing’ to stop pests entering your business in the first place, such as blocking holes or doors. It also includes things like removing bird and fox food sources in urban areas to reduce pest populations, and using traps, such as sticky insect traps or pheromone-based rodent traps.

This type of pest control is a common choice for those who want to avoid using chemicals and it can be particularly effective in controlling birds, such as pigeons, or rodents, such as rats. However, it’s not as effective in stopping plant diseases or weed growth and should only be used as part of an integrated pest management approach.

Another physical method of pest control involves introducing natural enemies into the environment to fight off pest infestations. This can be done through predators, parasites or pathogens. It’s often a more sustainable option as it doesn’t use any chemicals, but there may be a time lag between a pest population increase and the emergence of the enemy species to control it.

Monitoring is an important part of any pest control strategy and it’s usually a combination of scouting, trapping or counting. This helps you determine the right course of action to take, such as preventing the pest from causing more harm than is acceptable, controlling the pest population, or eradicating the pest entirely. It can also include assessing environmental conditions, such as soil moisture or temperature, that may favour the pest and help you decide whether any preventative measures are required.

Identifying Pests and Their Habitat

Monitoring pests and their habitat helps you determine whether they can be tolerated or need control. Correct identification also allows you to select management techniques that pose the least hazard to people and pets.

Many pests can be controlled with traps, baits or homemade solutions. These methods are less hazardous than chemicals when they are used correctly and in small amounts. To learn more about the pest control methods, visit this website at

Pest Identification

pest control

Identifying pests is the first step in integrated pest management (IPM). IPM programs focus on monitoring and assessing whether or not pest control is necessary, and if so, how much treatment will be needed. IPM programs avoid unnecessary pesticide use, which minimizes risks to human health, beneficial organisms and the environment. Correct identification is also important for choosing the right type of pesticide and application method to use.

Pest identification involves observing and examining the physical traits of a plant pest or vertebrate animal. This includes studying the shape, size and color of the pest. Then, comparing these traits to images in a pest guide or other reference material. This will help you find the most similar pests and determine their species.

Insects, weeds, diseases, or other organisms that damage plants may not be present in a particular area at all times, and are often difficult to detect unless specific monitoring activities are done on a regular basis. This information is very useful to help managers decide if and when to take IPM action, such as spraying or collecting.

IPM identifies and responds to pest problems using non-chemical methods that are compatible with environmental, economic, and social values. Pests may be controlled through habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, the use of resistant varieties, and/or other biological or physical controls. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed and are applied with the goal of removing only the target organism and not affecting other plants or beneficial organisms.

It is extremely important to know the exact species of each pest, so that the best suited control option can be chosen. This step in the pest control process is usually performed by a professional entomologist or other qualified expert.

MMPC’s free Pest ID Center can analyze a physical specimen or pictures of a mystery pest, and provide a detailed identification.


Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill or control unwanted plants, animals or microorganisms. They are used in agriculture, public health, industry, businesses and households. They are formulated into liquid, solid or gaseous forms and can be applied to land, water, air or the body of an animal. They are also added to food, clothing and other products. There are over 800 registered pesticides in Canada.

Some are biodegradable, while others are persistent (stick around in the environment for a long time). Insecticides attack an insect’s brain and nervous system. They interfere with nerve-impulse transmission by increasing sodium ions into the axon, which causes paralysis. Herbicides kill or control weeds. They are often more toxic than insecticides and may also affect humans. RoundUp and atrazine are two of the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Fungicides kill fungus and can be used on plants or in homes, businesses and offices.

Many pesticides are absorbed through the skin or lungs. The most toxic ones are organophosphates, neonicotinoid and pyrethroid insecticides; carbamate and amide herbicides; and fungicides.

All pesticides can harm wildlife and disrupt the natural ecosystem by killing or harming non-target organisms, damaging habitats and pollination or through indirect effects. The widespread use of pesticides threatens the health of wild plants and animals, is a significant contributor to pollinator decline and destroys ecosystems.

Pesticide residues can linger in soil, water and air, causing damage to the whole ecosystem. They also contribute to climate change by altering the carbon cycle and reducing biodiversity.

People most at risk for exposure to unsafe levels of pesticide are workers who apply pesticides and anyone else in the area during or shortly after application. Everyone should follow the instructions on a product label, and use only the amount of pesticide needed for the problem.

Pesticides can be used on forests, rangelands, agricultural lands, aquatic habitats, roadsides and urban turf and gardens. The federal, provincial and municipal governments set bylaws that regulate the use of pesticides on municipal and private lands, including residential gardens. Some bylaws limit the use of cosmetic pesticides (those used mainly to make gardens and lawns look attractive) and/or restrict the types of pesticides that can be sold.


As the name suggests, exclusion is a method of pest control that prevents pests and nuisance wildlife from entering a structure or building. This integrated pest management tactic is much more effective (and safer for the environment) than trying to root out an infestation once it has taken hold, and it can be used for any type of pest.

A quality provider of pest control services will look for ways to exclude pests before they become a problem and then make interior and exterior repairs that keep them out permanently. This can include adding door sweeps, sealing gaps around utility lines, installing chimney caps and other protective measures. In addition, it involves removing food, water and shelter sources that attract pests or nuisance wildlife to the property. For example, reducing ground cover by cutting back low-growing bushes and trimming or pruning trees that might provide pests with access to the building or its roof.

Another key aspect of exclusion is identifying and marking the entry points rodents use to gain access to the building, and then taking steps to close them up. This can involve examining the foundation for cracks, and inspecting the outside of the structure for signs of rodent activity and repairing them. It can also involve minimizing possible traffic routes for rodents and insects by keeping windows shut, ensuring screens are secure and maintaining proper ventilation.

In addition to preventing pests from getting inside, the best exclusion techniques also deter them from returning once they’ve already invaded. That means removing food sources, such as compost piles, trash containers, fallen leaves and berries, and eliminating places where rodents and insects nest. It also means reducing moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew problems, by fixing leaky pipes or repairing roofs and gutters.

Using exclusion to prevent pests before they become a problem saves time and money by requiring less maintenance, reduces chemical usage and is more environmentally friendly than relying on powerful chemicals to kill existing infestations. Taking the proactive approach to exclusion is one of the most important things that any business or facility owner can do for their pest management program.

Biological Control

The beneficial action of natural enemies (predators, parasitoids, pathogens, competitors and herbivores) can reduce pest numbers and damage. Insects are the most commonly controlled by biological control, but weeds, plant diseases and nematodes can also be managed by this tactic. Conservation, augmentation and classical biological control are the three broad categories of tactics for harnessing natural enemies’ benefits.

Unlike chemicals, which can harm natural enemies as well as the targeted pest, biological agents are generally considered safe to use and have few side effects. Biological control is an important component of integrated pest management and can help reduce the need for chemical controls.

The most common method of biological control is augmentation, which is used to boost populations of naturally occurring predators and parasitoids. For example, lady beetles and lacewings can be released in large numbers to quickly control pest insect populations (inundative release). Entomopathogenic nematodes are often introduced into field crops at rates of millions and even billions per acre to rapidly reduce the number of soil-dwelling insects that damage crop roots. Another form of augmentation is habitat or environmental manipulation, which is designed to provide the necessary food and shelter for natural enemies. For example, channels may be dug in a saltmarsh to connect pools of water where the naturally-occurring mosquito predator fish can swim.

Classical biological control is more involved, requiring a much longer time frame to evaluate its effectiveness. It begins with determining the origin of an imported pest to find a natural enemy from its native habitat that can attack it. That native enemy is then screened to ensure that it does not carry unwanted organisms (diseases, hyperparasitoids) before being reared and released in the field. A similar process is followed for a weed or plant disease that is being introduced to the United States.

To help foster natural enemies, growers should avoid the unnecessary use of broad-spectrum, persistent pesticides. For example, carbamates and organophosphates kill natural enemies that are present at the time of spraying, and their residues can continue to poison them for days or weeks afterward. The use of less-persistent pesticides can be more effective because their residues usually disappear faster.