Animal Damage >> Pest Control

SOONER OR LATER, we're all pestered by pests. Whether it's ants in the kitchen or weeds in the vegetable garden, pests can be annoying and bothersome. At the same time, many of us are concerned that the pesticides we use to control pests can cause problems too. How can pests be controlled safely? When and how should pesticides be used? This booklet is intended to help answer these Pest Control questions. The questions have no single right answer, but Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety gives the information you need to make informed decisions. You should be able to control pests without risking your family's health and without harming the environment. What steps to take to control pests in and around your home.

What alternatives to chemical pesticides are available, including pest prevention and non-chemical pest controls. How to choose pesticides and how to use, store, and dispose of them safely. How to reduce your exposure when others use pesticides. How to choose a pest control company. What to do if someone is poisoned by a pesticide.PLANTS, insects, mold, mildew, rodents, bacteria, and other organisms are a natural part of the environment. They can benefit people in many Pest Control ways. But they can also be pests. Apartments and houses are often hosts to common pests such as cockroaches, fleas, termites, ants, mice, rats, mold, or mildew.

Weeds, hornworms, aphids, and grubs can be a nuisance outdoors when they get into your lawn, flowers, yard, vegetable garden, or fruit and shade trees. Pests can also be a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets. It's easy to understand why you may need and want to control them. Nowadays, you can choose from many different methods as you plan your strategy for controlling pests. Sometimes a non-chemical method of control is as effective Pest Control and convenient as a chemical alternative. For many pests, total elimination is almost impossible, but it is possible to control them. Knowing your options is the key to pest control. Methods available to you include pest prevention, non-chemical pest controls, and chemical pesticides.

The most effective strategy for controlling pests may be to combine methods in an approach known as integrated pest management (IPM) that emphasizes preventing pest damage. In IPM, information about pests and available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical Pest Control means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. An example of using the IPM approach for lawn care is presented in the next section of this booklet titled "Preventing Pests." Knowing a range of pest control methods gives you the ability to choose among them for an effective treatment. Knowing the options also gives you the choice of limiting your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

No matter what option you choose, you should follow these steps to control your pest problem: Identify the pest problem. This is the first and most important step in pest control—figuring out exactly what you're up against. Some pests (or signs of them) are unmistakable—most people recognize a cockroach or a mouse. Other signs that make you think "pest" can be misleading. For example, what may look like a plant "disease" may be, in fact, Pest Control a sign of poor soil or lack of water. Use free sources to help identify your pest and to learn the most effective methods to control it. These sources include library reference books (such as insect field guides or gardening books) and pest specialists at your County Cooperative Extension Service or local plant nurseries.

These resources are usually listed in the telephone book. Also, state university Web sites have residential pest control information. Decide how much pest control is necessary. Pest control is not the same as pest elimination. Insisting on getting rid of all pests inside and outside your home will lead you to make more extensive, repeated, and possibly hazardous chemical Pest Control treatments than are necessary. Be reasonable. Ask yourself these questions: Does your lawn really need to be totally weed free? Recognizing that some insects are beneficial to your lawn, do you need to get rid of all of them?

Do you need every type of fruit, vegetable, or flower you grow, or could you replace ones that are sensitive to pests with hardier substitutes? Can you tolerate Pest Control some blemished fruits and vegetables from your garden? Is anyone in your home known to be particularly sensitive to chemicals?

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