History of Pest Control
From the time humans started "agriculture", there would have been some form of "pest control" because of the need to make sure that crops are free from pests.
The use of chemicals for controlling pests can be dated as far as 4,500 years ago when Sumerians used "sulfur" as an insecticide. There are also other mentions in ancient history of using poisonous plants for pest control.
Today, Chemical pesticides is the most widely used type of pest control, but because of the long-term effects of chemicals to humans and the environment, there has been a renewed interest in the traditional and biological methods of pest control.
Causes of Pests
There are many instances that pests have become a problem because of the direct actions of humans. For example, when people feed seagulls with "fish, chips and snacks" in ocean-side resorts, it won't be long for these seagulls to rely on this food source and become aggressive to humans when doing so.
Flies and bugs can proliferate if you neglect proper hygiene and waste management in an area.
Pests seems to proliferate because of human neglect, irresponsibility or even destruction to it's natural habitat.
Types of Pest Control
Fortunately, there are many ways to keep pests at bay. Here are some of the best ways to keep pests under control.
Eliminate or Decrease Pests with other Animals
In ancient Egypt, cats have been used to help control rodents in grain stores. Since cats love to catch mice and rodents, cats help control these pests. A survey in the 40's have found out that cats can help decrease rodents in a farm (within a 50 yard radius). Other animals that can help control pests includes Ferrets and Mongooses.
Biological Pest Control
Also known as a natural way for pest control, and it's purpose is to eliminate pest with minimal hard to the environment (no use of chemicals and insecticides).
Mechanical Pest Control
One of the oldest forms of weed control is by physically "uprooting" or removing the weed on the ground. This is known as "tillage" and it's a hands-on technique to control weeds.
Management of Breeding Grounds
While elimination of breeding grounds for pests would be the most ideal situation, sometimes it might not be possible. Proper waste management might be your best solution instead. Line your garbage bins with the proper recyclable bags if it's going to go to your organic waste as this is what attracts pests like flies, fruit flies, and maggots. Make sure that you have garbage bins with lids that will help you prevent rodents and raccoons from opening it up. Throw away still water from used tires and containers that can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Bait that is Poisoned
The most common "poisonous bait" that you might have come across are those used for rodents like mice and rats. However, if there are other food sources around like garbage, poisonous baits might not be as effective. There's also the danger to other animals and humans that might come in contact with these poisonous baits.
Burning the Ground
I'm not sure if this method is still used today, but it was widely used before in sugar cane plantations. After sugar cane was harvested from the field, it was burned to kill all the eggs of insects, insects, and rodents that might have lived in the field. This will help prepare this field for the next season.
In the past, in some European areas, when stray cats and dogs became too many to bear, local townspeople hunt and kill them. While in some nations, teams of people who catches rats or kill them with dogs and hand tools.
There are various types of traps available in the market today. Mostly for rats and mouse, these traps includes snap traps, glue traps and live catch traps.
This is probably the most common method of pest control. However, there are some pesticides or chemical pesticides that can cause cancer and other health problems for humans and for wildlife.
Other types of Pest Control Methods
Space fumigation, Space treatment, Sterilization, Destruction of infected plants, and Natural rodent control are all other types of Pest control methods that are worth mentioning.
Do's and Don'ts of Pest Control
Want to eliminate, control and get rid of those pests? It's important that you equip yourself with the right knowledge first. It's important to know first what kind of pest are you dealing with. Then after learning about these pests, it's important to know what are the available options for you to control these specific pests.
Here are the easy steps you can easily follow:
Prevention is much better than elimination
If you can avoid the proliferation and multiplication of pests by doing pest prevention first, then that's where you should start. Improper waste disposal of food, garbage and water can become "breeding grounds" of pests. It's important to keep your garbage in tightly covered trash cans. Eliminate garbage from your home regularly and avoid garbage to pile up inside your home.
Are there any water leaks in your home? Don't let water accumulate overnight. Avoid leaving pet food and water overnight as well.
Garbage and clutter can become a breeding ground for pests like bugs, insects and spiders. Get rid of it and stacks of things like newspapers, magazines and cardboards.
Are there cracks, tight spaces, openings in your house that can become a dwelling place for insects, spiders and bugs? Cover these holes with caulking or steel wool for pipes. Cover bigger holes with wire mesh.
Moving? Make sure that you don't bring pests from your old house to your new house by bringing old boxes over. Check these old boxes first for pests before carrying them into your new home.
Handle and Use Pesticides with Care
Do you pets and kids? Make sure that you keep them away from pesticides and areas where you have applied pesticides.
Have you done the prevention method first? Then try "baits" and "traps" as a first line of defense against these pests. Bait and traps are less risky than chemical pesticides as long as they are kept away from kids and pets.
If you're using pesticides that are not in traps or baits, make sure that you only use it in a targeted area and not in the entire room.
Make sure that you've always read the pesticide's instructions and warnings.
Are you hiring someone to help control pests? Ask them to find and identify the cause first before addressing the pest problem? If it's a water leaking from your faucet, ask them to fix the plumbing (or get someone to fix it first) before doing anything else.
Applying chemicals pesticides and insecticides? Make sure that they are approved for home use. You'll find this information on the label. Check for the name and the EPA registration number of any chemical used by someone you hire. You'll need this later if you decide to investigate and learn more about the pesticide used. The pest control help you've hired should be able to provide information about the chemical, such as the safety data sheet.
Dispose pesticide leftovers and containers properly
Make sure that you've understood how to dispose excess pesticide and it's container
Find out if your local community will accept household hazardous waste chemicals. Call your local community for more information on how you can dispose this properly.
Never use outdoor chemicals inside your house
If the chemical pesticide is intended for use outside, never use it indoors. Outdoor pesticides can remain toxic longer indoors than it would take outdoors.
Never use more than the recommended use
Always read and follow the label and instructions. If you use too much pesticide, you can endanger yourself, your family, and the environment.
Never transfer pesticides to other containers
Always use the original containers of pesticides. Only mix what you're going to use (some pesticides are mixed with water). And don't use these empty pesticide containers for anything else. Remnants of the pesticide can still remain, no matter how many times you've cleaned them.