When homeowners think of pest control, they envision a terminator walking into a room and spraying chemicals everywhere. However, pest management is much more than killing pests.

Pests need food, water and shelter to survive. Preventing pests means removing their sources of food and water. Clutter provides hiding places for pests. Blocking access points with quality sealant or copper mesh keeps pests out. Contact Pest Control In Bakersfield now!

The most important first step in a pest control program is accurately identifying the pest. This is especially important for weeds, insects and diseases because proper identification of the problem allows the use of appropriate management techniques.

Accurate pest identification also helps prevent misapplication of pesticides. Different pests respond to chemicals in very different ways. This is particularly true when the pests are at different stages of development or when environmental conditions affect how the pests behave.

Using an insect or disease identification book or an online identification tool can help you narrow down the possibilities. Many sites also offer photographs of common garden pests. You can also find information about the pest’s life cycle, damage patterns, preferred host plants and natural enemies. This information will help you decide whether to use an organic or conventional pesticide when the problem occurs.

Inspect your plants for signs of pests at least weekly. Look for typical symptoms, such as discoloration or reduced growth. Consider other factors that may be contributing to the problem, such as site conditions, watering or fertilizing practices or nutrient deficiencies.

Be aware that a pest species can have very different physical forms, depending on the stage of its life cycle and time of year. For example, a weed seedling looks very different from a mature weed. Similarly, an insect can be an egg, larva, pupa or adult, and each stage has a very different appearance.

Some pests are visible to the naked eye, while others require a microscope. Some pests produce pheromones, which are chemicals that influence the behavior of other members of their species. Other pests, such as fungi, are microscopic organisms that grow within or on other living organisms.

If you are unable to identify a pest, consult a specialist. Some experts are available through your local extension office or university research station, while others work for pest control companies that specialize in specific types of crops or landscapes. An expert can provide detailed descriptions of pests and their damage, suggest effective sampling methods, recommend specific pesticides and answer questions about monitoring or control.

Pest Control Methods

A pest control strategy uses physical, biological or chemical methods to prevent or eradicate pests. IPM focuses on preventing pests from becoming problems and causes as little harm as possible to people, property or the environment. Prevention includes strategies such as keeping pests away from buildings and gardens by making them unattractive or inaccessible. This can be achieved through barriers, such as window screens to keep health and nuisance pests out of houses, floating row covers for many horticultural crops and plant collars for some trees. Traps also can be effective, from red sphere traps for apple maggots to sticky glueboard and cardboard bands for codling moths.

In addition, cultural controls can be used to modify the environment in which pests live, thus reducing their access to food, water or shelter. Examples include draining swamps and small pools of standing water; removing debris from the garden; and eliminating weeds that provide hiding places for pests. Cultural methods can also be used to reduce the availability of breeding sites, such as sand pits or log piles for mosquitoes.

Biological pest control relies on natural enemies (predators, parasitoids and pathogens) to suppress pest populations. This can be supplemented by introducing more natural enemies, such as releasing sterile males to eliminate the risk of spreading disease or importing harmful insects from other areas.

Chemical pest control involves using solutions, such as repellents and insecticides, to kill or deter pests. While chemicals are quicker and more convenient to use than other methods, they can cause harm to the environment, humans or other organisms when improperly used. Choosing the most environmentally responsible pesticides and applying them sparingly is important.

Eradication of pests is less common in outdoor settings, but can be accomplished in enclosed environments, such as greenhouses or vegetable gardens. Eradication programs are usually focused on diseases or pests that threaten specific crops or plants.

Threshold-based decision-making consists of monitoring and assessing the damage caused by pests to determine when action needs to be taken. For example, a few wasps buzzing around a house are not likely to warrant pest control, but the sight of hundreds of them swarming over a crop may indicate that it is time to take action.


There are many kinds of pesticides, and each type is used for a different purpose. They include chemicals to kill insects, weeds, mildew, rodents and germs. They are a vital part of farming, but also pose risks to people and animals. They can pollute the air, water and soil. In addition, they often harm beneficial species that work with (or in competition with) pests to keep populations at lower levels.

Broad-spectrum pesticides are especially harmful because they kill many of the natural organisms that keep aphid, flea beetle or slug populations at lower levels. When these natural enemies are killed, the pests are free to reach damaging levels at a faster rate.

Using the least amount of pesticides is the best way to reduce risks. Biological pesticides, which contain microbes, minerals or plant extracts, are one option. They are usually safer for people and pets than traditional chemical pesticides. However, they may not be effective against some pests.

Other options are fungicides, which kill or slow the growth of fungi; herbicides, which control grass and weeds; insect growth regulators, which stop insects from maturing; and molluscicides, which kill slugs, snails and other mollusks. Some of these are also considered to be organic pesticides, and they can be used on organic crops.

Pesticides come in the form of liquids, powders and sprays. They are grouped into families, depending on their chemical properties and how they interact with the pests. For example, insect growth regulators act on the nervous system of the pest while fungicides affect the fungus that feeds on the plant.

Some of these can be used indoors to eliminate insects, such as cockroaches or mice. They can be mixed with household products, such as salt, sugar or baking soda. It is important to use them carefully, as they can be poisonous if ingested or inhaled. Mix or apply them in a well-ventilated area, and do not allow children or pets to play near where you are working. Always follow label directions when using any pesticide.

Be sure to clean all equipment and tools before and after using them. Keep pesticides away from foods, cooking utensils, and bare skin. Do not open pressurized cans or spray them in the air. Avoid using surface sprays near windows and doors, where they can drift inside and cause problems. If you have a breathing condition such as emphysema, take extra precautions when using any kind of pesticide.


Pests can be prevented in a number of ways. Some of these practices are very simple, such as keeping doors and windows shut or using screens. Some are much more involved, such as regular inspections of the interior and exterior of buildings to identify and patch holes in walls or foundations. Other techniques are designed to alter the environment of a building or landscape to make it less attractive to pests. This may include modifying water levels or temperature, providing food and shelter for beneficial insects, or changing the amount of sunlight available.

The best method of preventing pests is to avoid creating conditions that attract them in the first place. Do not put out pet food scraps or compost for birds or possums in the garden. Keep garbage cans and other trash containers tightly closed. Remove fallen fruit and clean up brush and wood piles that could be used as hiding or nesting places for rodents. Regularly clean drains to prevent the build up of flies and other pests.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a strategy that emphasizes reducing the number of pests by controlling their food, water or shelter sources. It encourages using non-chemical methods of control first, such as physical controls and biological agents, before resorting to chemical pesticides. It also includes recognizing and addressing disease problems early, if possible, to prevent pests from spreading to other areas or infecting humans or animals.

When pests do occur, the goal is to reduce their numbers to a level that is acceptable without harming people, pets or plants. This is called suppression. Once this level is reached, prevention of pests should be the primary concern.

Identifying pests and their habits is the most important step to prevent them. Regularly examine the area around your home or business and take steps to prevent pests from entering, such as sealing cracks in walls and foundation, putting screens on doors and windows, and cleaning up debris that might be used for shelter or nesting sites. Keep garbage cans and other trash containers away from the house, and store foods in tight-fitting lidded containers.