Certified Pest Control Technician: Safeguarding Your Home from Unwanted Guests

Many homeowners think of pest control as aggressively spraying chemicals in their home. Others envision walking into a room that was recently treated and seeing dead cockroaches belly-up on the floor.

However, the most effective method of pest control is to prevent the problem in the first place. This is why keeping up with general maintenance, promptly removing trash and clearing away food sources is so important. For more information, click the Nature Shield Pest Solutions to proceed.

A pest control problem begins with preventing the pest from entering the home in the first place. This includes making sure windows and doors are closed and sealed, and using screens in all open windows. It also means removing trash on a regular basis and using trash cans with tight-fitting lids. It is also important to keep wood piles away from the house, and to trim back shrubs and tree limbs that may touch the house.

Some pests are attracted to food or water sources and can be controlled simply by removing or modifying these resources. For example, rodents can be deterred by eliminating food and water sources around the house by closing up crawl spaces, putting a cap on the chimney, and storing firewood properly. In addition, keeping the outside of the house free of clutter will reduce rodent hiding places and allow for easy inspection. Similarly, bird feeders should be placed as far away from the house as possible to prevent the attraction of other pests.

Other factors that affect pest populations include climate, natural enemies, and barriers to their movement. Sometimes, these factors can be manipulated to help control the pests, such as by releasing more of a pest’s natural enemies or by altering their behavior. This can be done through scouting, the use of traps or baits that attract and kill the pests, or by using pheromones that interfere with the development of the pests.

If non-toxic controls fail to stop a pest infestation, then there are many types of chemical and biological control agents available. Choose an agent that is effective against the pest and least likely to harm people and pets. Apply the agent correctly, and observe local, state and federal laws regarding the use of pesticides.

The goal is to eliminate the pests and their eggs before they can reproduce. The first step in this process is identifying pests, and this can be accomplished by following the steps listed above. It is also helpful to understand the life cycle of the pest, and to know what conditions are necessary for a particular pest to reproduce. This information will help to select the best control methods, which are based on the pest’s life cycle and its tolerance to certain chemicals or conditions.


Pests can cause a lot of damage and disrupt normal operations. They can destroy crops and plants, infest homes and businesses and create health risks for people and pets. They can also contaminate food, cause fires and spread diseases.

Preventing pest problems before they start is best, but sometimes even the most vigilant can have a problem. In these situations, controlling the pest population should be the goal. This can be done by using a variety of methods depending on the situation and the type of pest. The aim is to reduce the numbers of the pest to an acceptable level, with minimal harm to non-target organisms. The goals of preventive and suppression management are often mutually supportive, especially when used together as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

Thresholds based on esthetic, environmental or economic considerations have been established for many pest species. These are called action thresholds and indicate the levels at which a pest should be controlled for the best outcome. For example, rodents in homes and businesses are considered a pest and need to be controlled before they do unacceptable damage. Other species such as aphids are considered pests in agricultural settings but can be tolerated at lower populations for reasons such as the benefit they provide to crop plants.

Pest control methods may include mechanical, cultural and biological controls. These can be supplemented with chemical controls if the situation warrants it. Chemical controls are not recommended in sensitive environments, such as schools and hospitals, where the use of broad spectrum pesticides can have harmful consequences.

Eradication is the last resort when preventive and suppression efforts fail to control a pest population. This is most common in confined environments such as buildings and citrus groves, but can be implemented in open outdoor environments too. Eradication is achieved through removing or killing the pest and preventing it from reestablishing itself.

Sanitation practices help to prevent and suppress some pests, by reducing their food sources and places of shelter. In industrial settings, good sanitation includes maintaining clean equipment and facilities, and removing trash on a regular basis. In agriculture, good sanitation includes planting pest-free seeds and transplants and removing crop residues between harvests to reduce carryover of pests. In addition, implementing good manure management practices can reduce the amount of fertilizer needed and improve soil quality.


The word eradicate comes from the Latin root eradicare, which means “to pull up by the roots.” It originally meant to uproot something like a plant, but over time it came to be used metaphorically to describe eradicating a problem the way one might yank out a weed. This is the same idea behind pest control, which seeks to remove pests and prevent them from causing damage. It may involve physical methods, such as traps and barriers, or chemical methods, including pesticides.

Eradication is a goal of many pest control programs, but it is extremely difficult to achieve. For a disease to be eradicated, it must be eliminated from all known reservoirs. This is a challenging goal, as it requires a large and coordinated effort at the community, regional, national, and international levels. It also requires highly effective intervention tools, which are designed to detect the presence of the organism and to interrupt its transmission.

Some pests can be prevented by simply cleaning up a house or yard. This includes removing food and waste materials, making sure that windows and doors are closed and sealed, and maintaining the proper level of moisture. Another important step is to keep storage areas clean. Closets, sheds, and other unused spaces are ideal places for pests to hide and nest. It is also helpful to keep plants and woodpiles away from the house, as these are attractants for insects and rodents.

There are several different types of chemical pesticides that can be used to control infestations, but they should all be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is especially important to read and follow all label directions, and never mix chemicals or apply them more than the recommended amount. Also, make sure that any leftover pesticides are properly disposed of.

Pest control also involves educating people to take a proactive role in controlling pests. For instance, educating the public to be careful in picking up rocks and sticks from yards and parks can help reduce the number of ant and grasshopper colonies that are accidentally transported into homes. In addition, educating the public to be careful around wild animals and to wear protective clothing when gardening or hiking can also help prevent pests from being carried indoors.


Monitoring is a key step in any pest control program. It includes scouting for pests, recording the number of pests found and measuring damage caused by those pests. Monitoring also involves evaluating and adjusting a pest control strategy as needed.

Pests are best kept under control when their populations are kept in check by natural enemies, environmental conditions or other factors. Monitoring allows you to determine when these conditions have deteriorated and prompts action to prevent unacceptable pest numbers or damage.

Often pests are attracted to food or other sources of nutrients in the environment. Physical exclusion involves keeping garbage receptacles tightly closed, sealing cracks or other entry points into structures and using screening over windows or doors to prevent pests from entering a building.

Sanitation consists of keeping food storage areas, waste receptacles and other potential food or harborage sites clean. This includes sanitizing equipment, washing floors and scrubbing counter tops. Physical exclusion can also include installing screens on vent openings and using wire mesh to prevent insects from accessing areas of a structure where they are not wanted.

A flashlight is a critical tool for monitoring, especially when looking behind or underneath equipment. This is where most pests are harborage and can be hard to find. A magnifying glass is also a useful tool for examining traps, bait stations and other trapping devices. Many trapping devices are designed to be a pest control tool as well as a monitor, such as traps with specialized shapes that exploit the behavior of specific pest groups or lures such as pheromones that mimic those used by a particular species of insect.

Monitoring can include sampling for a variety of pests, from fly and mosquitoes to slugs and snails. This can be done using visual inspection, sticky traps or a variety of other methods. Monitoring can also be accomplished by examining pest scats, which provide valuable information about the diet and disease status of pest animals.

Evaluating a pest management program is just as important as developing the program in the first place. If a pest problem persists despite the implementation of an integrated pest management (IPM) program, it is likely that operational circumstances have changed and the program needs to be adjusted.