Bed Bug Control Boise services are vital when it comes to protecting homes and businesses from disease-carrying organisms like flies, rats, and roaches. A good pest control provider will have high safety standards, a 24/7 hotline, and free cost estimates.

Ask about their licensing credentials, and request copies of pesticide labels so you can verify the chemicals they will use and how they will be applied. Also, remove clutter to limit places for pests to hide and breed.

Whether in a garden or a home, pest identification is the first step to effective and safe pest control. Proper identification requires becoming familiar with the life cycle and habits of a pest, its damage symptoms on crops or plants, and its preferences and needs. This knowledge helps determine the most appropriate and effective pest management strategies, preventing unnecessary or harmful use of chemicals.

A single pest species can look quite different as it progresses through its life cycle. In addition, many pests appear different at different times of the year and in various weather conditions. This makes proper pest identification even more important.

It is also necessary to learn how pests gain access to a location or building. This may help to prevent the spread of a harmful pathogen or to stop a pest from destroying valuable materials in an exhibit. For example, pests often carry bacteria that are harmful to people in their fur, droppings, saliva or feet. Knowing this information can allow an individual to prioritize the health and safety of customers, employees or other people in a business location and take appropriate steps to remove a pest before it causes a problem.

It is a good idea to keep a pest identification guide on hand to make it easier to identify the type of pest you are dealing with. Identifying a pest early on can help you plan preventative strategies that may eliminate the need for chemical controls, which could harm beneficial insects and other organisms in the environment. For instance, keeping clutter to a minimum can reduce places for pests to hide and breed, and repairing cracked or torn window screens or doors can prevent entry by certain pests. Also, storing firewood away from the house and removing brush near the house can help to prevent pests from getting close enough to enter. Lastly, regular cleaning and vacuuming can help to keep many pests from infiltrating homes or businesses.


A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances that prevents, destroys or controls pests (disease-carrying insects, unwanted plants or weeds, rodents, or other harmful organisms). Chemical pesticides are usually liquid, vapor or gaseous. They may be sprayed or dropped onto the surface of soil, plants, food or other materials. Some are also ingested or injected into animals. There are two types of pesticides: biodegradable and persistent. Biodegradable pesticides break down quickly in the environment or in living organisms, while persistent ones persist for months or even years.

There are many different types of pesticides, including insect growth regulators, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and wood preservatives. Some are natural products, such as sulfur or copper compounds, while others are synthetic chemicals. All pesticides have the potential to affect human health if they enter the body in large enough quantities, and this is why it is important to use them only as directed on the product label.

In Canada, pesticides are regulated at the federal, provincial and municipal levels through various acts, regulations, directives and bylaws. The goal of these laws is to protect Canadians from any risks associated with pesticides and to ensure that the products do what they claim to do.

Generally, the more a person is exposed to a pesticide and the longer he or she is exposed, the greater the risk of poisoning. Some symptoms of poisoning include changes in heart rate and bowel movements, muscle weakness and twitching, breathing difficulties, constricted pupils and seizures. Poisoning from some very severe pesticides can cause death.

Most people are exposed to low levels of pesticide residue in their homes, schools and workplaces. Pesticides can get inside a person’s body by eating, drinking, breathing them in or coming into direct skin contact with them.

To help reduce exposure to pesticides, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them. Keep soil and debris away from the house, and ventilate indoor spaces well after treating them with pesticides. If you have children or pets, keep them away from areas being treated with pesticides and store all chemicals out of their reach.

Biological Control

Biological control, or biocontrol, uses predators, parasites, and pathogens to suppress pest populations. It is usually done without the use of pesticides or with reduced pesticide applications. It may be a component of integrated pest management (IPM).

Unlike chemical control agents, biological agents do not directly attack the pests but target specific components of the organism’s life cycle. They may target the host, such as the eggs, larvae or adult stages; they may target the pests’ nutrient supply, such as water or nutrients; or they may interfere with the pests’ ability to reproduce or digest. In some cases, diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, protozoans or viruses can also kill the pest.

Virtually all insect species, and some weeds and plant diseases, have natural enemies that suppress their populations by predation, competition, parasitism or other mechanisms. In general, the population of a natural enemy will only increase to a level where it will maintain its balance with the population of the pest species. This process is called the “balance of nature.”

In IPM, we seek to re-establish this natural balance. Biological controls are often used to achieve this goal, especially after pesticides have been utilized in a field. Biological control is an environmentally safe, energy self-sufficient, cost-effective and sustainable method of managing pests. It requires more intensive record keeping, longer term studies and patience, but it can lead to lower pesticide use, better environmental quality, and improved crop production.

Biological control is generally done in one of three ways: (1) importing exotic natural enemies from their country of origin; (2) augmentation of existing native species of predators, parasitoids, pathogens or competitors; or (3) mass rearing and periodic release of natural enemies on a seasonal or inundative basis. All of these approaches require a great deal of research into the biology of the pest, its natural enemies and their natural habitats. It takes time to develop a large enough population of natural enemies to impact the pest, and even more time for that natural enemy to reach its long-term equilibrium with the pest species.

Integrated Pest Management

A pest is any unwanted organism that interferes with or damages crops, grass, landscape plants, trees and wildflowers, or harms people or wildlife. Pests include vertebrates (birds, rodents), invertebrates (insects, mites, nematodes) and pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi). Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term approach that uses monitoring, education, cultural, biological and physical controls to prevent pests from damaging crops. It is a safe and economical way to protect the environment, human health and natural resources.

The first step in IPM is to monitor the crop. This requires careful attention to details, such as where to look, what to look for and how often to inspect the field. It also involves identifying the pest and determining whether the population has reached an economic injury level, which is determined by comparing the cost of controlling the pest with the crop’s yield or value. This information is then used to develop a treatment strategy that may include mechanical, biological or chemical control methods.

Biological controls use predators, parasitoids or disease organisms that naturally occur in the field to reduce pest populations. This may include using beneficial insects to prey on the pests or planting certain varieties of plants that are resistant to specific diseases. In some cases, the biological control options can be so effective that they can replace more aggressive controls.

Physical and mechanical controls kill the pest directly or make the environment unsuitable for it. These controls include traps for rodents, tillage to disrupt the pests’ life cycle or barriers such as screens that keep birds and insects out.

Chemical controls are used as a last resort when all other options fail, but only with the most careful use of the least invasive chemicals. Pesticides are often applied by aerial spraying or a targeted application in the field. These substances can be effective at reducing the number of pests, but they are rarely capable of completely eliminating them, and they often have negative environmental side effects.

Scouting is a critical part of IPM, especially for growers who want to minimize the use of chemicals and maximize their yields. EOSDA Crop Monitoring provides a convenient and easy-to-use tool to help you with this essential task, providing detailed reports and inspection photos of your fields.