A home is made of a family that hopes to live in comfort, peace and harmony. Sometimes, this desire is upset by small creatures like termites, mosquitoes, roaches, fleas, rodents, ants, and the like. We call them pests and their presence in and around the house can make our lives miserable. These can adversely affect the family’s safety and health too. We need to adopt the right kind of pest control measures to make our homes safe.
What is Pest Control?
Various measures we take to control the spread of pests and their harmful impact on our lives form part of pest control. The preventive and protective aspects constitute the total pest control action.
Why Pest Control?
Effective pest control measures are a must to protecting us and our family members from possible health risks and diseases associated with pest infestations like flu, and contamination by germs, allergies and asthma. We also need to get rid of the discomfort and inconvenience like unpleasant odour, damage to clothes and property. Prevention and eradication are the two common components of this pest control.
Pest Control Requirements:
Pest control measures are quite complex and hazardous unless carried out by qualified and certified professionals working for authorized and reputed pest control companies. Every country has clear requirements to be fulfilled by those engaging in pest control operations.
The reputation and legality of the operations by the company matters for NEP certification! The length of service in the current job is also a factor.
The prospective pest controllers are also required to pass one or more written examinations to determine the skill sets of the person seeking certification. The candidate is expected to know the basic government regulations and be skilled in the specialized job of pest control. These also include knowledge of health and safety principles.
Another key requirement is having a liability insurance policy so that the person has cover against any unfortunate accidents that lead to injury or disability. In order to keep their licensure valid, they are expected to undergo periodic training and programs to keep abreast of new developments in their field.
Pest Control Equipment:
During pest control operations, it is essential to use appropriate equipment, safety devices and protective clothing. Many of the steps involve potentially risky actions or use of hazardous chemicals.
Some of the chemicals required for the process are extermination insecticide, pesticide, chemical and bug killer sprays.
Other equipment include exterminator, sprayers, dusters , spiders, fogging equipment, bait guns, safety equipment, bee/wasp suits, foamers, UV flashlights, respirators, different types of gloves, coveralls, spill kits, vacuum, and termite baits.
Methods of pest control:
Broadly we can divide the pest control techniques into two – preventive and protective. These can be further classified as:
These in turn include methods like:
This method is most commonly used on large scale for dealing with pests. Chemicals called pesticides or insecticides kill the pests. This is probably the fastest and most effective method. But there is an inherent risk as these chemicals are generally harmful to humans and environment.
Let us look at the example of dealing with the menace of termites to see how exactly the pest control measures work.
It is estimated that in the States, termites alone cause billions of dollars of damage to home and property. A few methods are:
Baiting System: It is an active barrier set up around the house to keep out the termites. The bait usually used is a cellulose-based substance that tastes better than wood that termites commonly attack. This substance weakens and gradually the worker termites that come in search of food. If the queen termite also takes in the bait, it cannot further hatch the eggs and the colony is soon wiped out.
Termismesh: his is another preventive device, usually installed in new homes. It is an effective non-poisonous metal screen. Yet another simple way is to seal cracks and holes in the foundation of the house to prevent an easy access to the termites.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) :
Integrated Pest Management is a long-term, relatively safe preventive method of controlling pests. It was originally used in the agricultural sector, but today it is being utilized for protection of public buildings like museums, and libraries as well as giant corporate establishments.
Many different and relevant methods are used in an integrated manner. Use of pesticides is only a small part of the whole process. IPM goes in for a variety of tools.
Traditional pest management mainly involves multiple uses of pesticides without going into details of the nature and extent of the pest involved.
IPM has several advantages over the traditional approach.
Disadvantages of IPM
Pest Control and Safety:
Using pesticides is not always the best solution to help control pests. However, sometimes it is necessary to use pesticides. It is very important that pesticides are used correctly and only by people who are trained to do so. We must ensure that anyone who comes to our home to apply pesticides is competent and has a license to do so. If we are in the vicinity when the process is on, we must follow all the safety guidelines.
Pest control is a highly complex, and hazardous operation. But at times, it becomes unavoidable. We must seek the services of a professional, trusted and experienced pest control company to provide the required service. We must make sure that the current problem is solved and future problems avoided through appropriate preventive measures.