Identifying Pests is the First Step to Effective Pest Control

Pests are organisms that harm plants or animals and/or spoil our property. They can also cause health problems like asthma.

Correctly identifying the pests allows you to decide whether they can be tolerated or require control methods. This information also helps you select the best management techniques. Contact Treasure Valley Pest Control now!

Natural pest control uses organic ingredients; it keeps other living organisms, soil and crops unharmed. It also prevents damage to your properties.

Preventative Measures

Taking steps to prevent pest infestations can greatly reduce the time and money spent on controlling them once they have begun. This is particularly true with cockroaches, rodents and other pests that can cause serious health and safety issues by spreading disease and contaminating food and other materials.

Preventive measures include sanitation and eliminating conditions that are conducive to pests, as well as routine inspections with monitoring equipment. These inspections should be based on risk, with data from traps and monitors determining the areas to focus on.

Each facility is unique, but there are general best practices. For example, Sauvage notes that a company should develop and adhere to a cleaning schedule based on the type of food produced. It is also important to have a plan in place for the inspection and control of incoming goods.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of food processing facilities will help to eliminate conditions that can attract pests and make them more difficult to control. This includes a clean, clutter-free work area and sealing any cracks or holes that may allow them to enter. Ensure that trash receptacles are covered and that food is stored in sealed containers. Lastly, deny pests water by eliminating puddles and other standing water.

Other prevention strategies include keeping plants and other materials away from the walls of a facility to limit entry points, and inspecting incoming goods to make sure pests are not being brought in. In addition, a barrier of gravel or other hard surface next to a building will eliminate ground cover that would serve as a habitat for pests and can help keep them away from the structure.

Finally, employees should know how to identify the specific signs of common pests. Droppings are an easy indicator that a pest is present; mouse droppings are small and pellet-shaped, while cockroach droppings have a coffee-ground appearance. Other clues to watch for are gnaw marks, smear marks and other debris.

It is also important to understand the life cycles of different pests and what stage of development they are in, as some preventive measures are only effective at certain stages. This allows professionals to target their intervention accordingly.

Pest Identification

If you have a pest problem, proper identification is the first step to solving it. Whether the pest is an insect, arachnid, or vertebrate animal, knowing the species helps you to decide what kind of management strategies are needed.

Start by observing the pest, and take a photo if possible. This gives you a record of the pest that can be used later to compare against behavior patterns for that particular species. In addition, the damage caused by the pest can help to identify it. For example, weevils leave characteristic chewing marks on the outside of leaves, while caterpillars create a grid pattern inside the leaf.

Many pests change their appearance during different stages of their life cycle, or when they are in a vulnerable stage. Correctly identifying the pest will ensure that any management tactics are used at the appropriate time.

When you are unable to identify the pest, try looking for photos of the pest on the internet. There are several sites that specialize in insect identification, or you can visit a university’s entomology department for photos and information about the pest. The number of legs and body segments, and the shape of the pest can also be helpful in determining what kind of pest it is.

Even if you can’t identify the pest, it is important to monitor its presence, the amount of damage it is causing, and how widespread the damage is. This information will help you to determine whether the pest can be tolerated, or if a pest control program is necessary. Proper sanitation, sealing insect entry points, storing firewood correctly, vacuuming, and using a dehumidifier in homes are just some of the preventative measures that can be taken to reduce pests in the home.


Pesticides are substances or mixtures of substances that prevent, destroy, control, remove or mitigate a pest (an unwanted organism). There are many different types and brands of pesticides. Some are biodegradable while others are persistent in the environment, breaking down slowly over time or accumulating in fatty tissues of animals and humans.

Before using any pesticide, it’s important to read the label. All pesticides are toxic and can cause harm if used incorrectly. Some people are allergic to specific chemicals or formulations. If you suspect that you are sensitive to a certain pesticide, consult a doctor or the OSH Answers document Pesticides – Health Effects for advice on how to minimize exposure and risk.

Identifying the pest problem is the first step in using any pesticide. When selecting a pesticide, choose the narrowest-spectrum product available for your situation. Also, consider whether it will be safe for the type of plants and soil you have.

Use baits or traps when possible for pest control. These can be more effective than spraying and are less likely to expose non-target organisms to toxic chemicals. If you must use a spray, avoid applying it to the whole plant or area. Targeting treatment to areas where the pests are most prevalent will allow you to use fewer chemicals and reduce your environmental exposure. Applying pesticides in calm conditions is also good practice; wind can carry the chemical to other areas where it’s not wanted or needed.

If you must use a pesticide, apply it as directed on the label. Never use more than what is recommended. This will not control the pest any faster and can damage plants and contaminate the environment with excess chemicals. Mix only as much pesticide solution as you need immediately and don’t store leftover solutions; they may be subject to quality changes at high or low temperatures or deteriorate over time.

When using pesticides, be sure to wear personal protective equipment as recommended on the label and work in a well-ventilated area. If a pesticide accidentally comes into contact with your skin or eyes, immediately drench yourself in water. If it’s a pressurized can, exhaust the gas through the release valve before opening.


Identifying pests is the first step to controlling them. Correct identification can help a pest management professional determine basic information about the pest and its life cycle, such as when it reproduces and where it lives, which in turn will help to develop and implement an effective control strategy.

Once a pest has been identified, it must be controlled with methods that will cause the least harm to other living things and the environment. This may include prevention – keeping pests from causing damage or inconvenience, suppression – reducing pest populations to an acceptable level, and eradication – eliminating a pest population altogether. Pesticides are most often used in the last resort, after all other prevention and control measures have been explored.

Conducting regular inspections of residential and commercial buildings is a good way to prevent pest infestations. Inspectors should look for places that pests might gain entry to the building, such as cracks and gaps in the structure’s foundation or walls, clogged drains, loose window screens and swollen door frames, and any other open points. Also, removing trash on a regular basis and using proper containers to hold garbage can help to keep pests from gaining access to food sources.

When pests are present in a building, inspectors should take note of the type of pest and the number of pests that are present. In general, a pest must be present in large numbers to cause damage or be considered a nuisance, and it must have the potential to spread to other parts of the building or contaminate food supplies or other materials.

Inspectors should also be aware of a pest control plan that is in place to address the problem, and they should ensure that the plan has been implemented correctly. For example, if a pesticide has been used, the inspector should be sure that it has been applied according to the label instructions. Also, the inspector should always check to see if there are any non-toxic alternatives that could be applied in order to minimize the use of harmful chemicals.