A pest control professional can be called an exterminator. This is one of the jobs in the pest control industry that involves treating a home with chemicals and killing pests. Many exterminators also perform treatments for landscaping, yard and garden maintenance and inspection of commercial buildings. These pesticides are used to get rid of pests from a home, business, school, public place, factory, farm, ranch or other building that is being maintained by a licensed exterminator. These pests can be anything from rodents like rats to termites.
Pest control exterminators use different methods to get rid of pests. One method that is most often used is bait and traps. Bait traps are simply designed with a hole in them, where an insect comes through and inside it. To kill the insect, the exterminator sprays pesticides inside of the trap, which is usually composed of a chemical and sometimes an antifreeze or other substance that prevents the insect from moving forward.
Other pest control technicians use liquid pesticides and traps to kill pests. Sprays are sometimes used, as well. A spray, either natural or chemical, is designed to kill whatever it is that strikes the surface of the plants, usually insects, fungi or bacteria. Sometimes, however, a spray cannot penetrate the skin of the plant and has to be used directly on the fruit or flower blades. For example, many people think that a moth is not going to eat their roses, but in fact, they will if they are sprayed directly on the leaves of the plant. However, there are ways to prevent this direct contact with a spray, so the moth won’t eat the rose.
In the last couple of decades, integrated pest management, or IPM, has become a common practice for many companies. IPM involves using multiple treatments, baits and other techniques to control pests from a broad spectrum of family members, including birds, ticks, mosquitoes, roaches, ants, dust, termites and beetles. Often, instead of killing one pest, the company will use a bait to kill another pest while leaving the family that lives in the structure alone. This leaves them with healthier plants and a smaller footprint. There are benefits to this practice, too: killing off some pests but leaving others may have less of an impact than attempting to completely exterminate a large portion of a pest population.
While there are many different types of pesticides that can be used for pest control, most use a natural approach. If you do decide to use a chemical, be sure to read the label and follow the directions closely. It is possible for even “green” (non-chemical) pesticides to still damage crops. Organic pesticides should be applied by a trained person in a safe area, as even organic pesticides can pose a threat if exposed to rain or other water sources. If you decide to use an organic method, it is important to keep in mind that many farmers have discovered that some types of organic pesticides can make their main crops very undesirable to eat. As always, it is best to consult your local county extension office before making a plant selection and to follow all necessary directions.
For those of you interested in trying a more non-chemical pest control method, there are also a variety of beneficial insects on the market that will kill both adults and eggs, including ladybugs, lacewings, spiders, bees and wasps. Beneficials work by consuming the insects that have invaded your garden. In many cases, they can destroy an entire crop in just one treatment. In addition, many people choose to use plant lures to get rid of unwanted pests. The most popular are garden bugs, however, there are many other options on the market to help keep those pesky intruders out of your vegetable garden.