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What Is a Pest, Exactly?

October 7, 2019

There are millions of insects and animals around you, all the time. Most of the time, you don’t notice them at all, because they want nothing to do with you (and probably vice versa).

When do these creatures become a pest? Why do we try to get rid of some creatures but not others? And how can you make sure that you don’t get rid of the beneficial creatures along with the pests?
Today, we’re answering these questions. Keep reading to find out!

What Makes a Pest, a Pest

When you think of a pest, the words “annoying” and “nuisance” probably come to mind. But pests are more than just annoying; an insect or other animal is considered a pest when it is harmful to human health or destructive to human food or living spaces.

Most pests are insects, but not all.

Here are a few ways that pests can cause harm:

  • Carrying and spreading diseases or parasites (for example, mosquitoes, can carry malaria and West Nile, and rats can carry bubonic plague)
  • Attack and eat crops (for example, grasshoppers and cicadas can devastate crops)
  • Eat or damage food in storage (for example, mice can eat grain in silos or food in your pantry and can contaminate food with their droppings)
  • Kill and eat farm animals and pets (for example, feral cats and foxes can kill poultry)
  • Damage clothing and other items (for example, clothes moths can eat holes in items)
  • Damage buildings (for example, termites can cause structural damage by eating wooden beams)
  • Bite (for example, bed bugs, bat bugs, and mosquitoes can irritate with their bites)

How to Get Rid of Pests—and Only Pests

When it comes to pests, we have to balance our desire for health and safe homes with the environment around us. It’s natural to want to get rid of pests, but it’s also important not to get rid of beneficial animals like bees, earthworms, bats, and birds—not to mention our beloved pets!

How do you make sure that you’re getting rid of just the pests? We have three tips to keep in mind.

#1 Know your enemy.

Are you sure you know what pest is creeping around your home? Knowing what pest has infested your home is key, because elimination methods vary by pest. Some pests can be eliminated by heat; others by traps, and still others by baits, etc.

Since many pests look very similar, homeowners often get it wrong—and end up targeting the wrong insect.

#2 Be targeted in your efforts.

Over-doing it is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when trying to get rid of pests. For example, some homeowners think that if one bug bomb is good, two must be better. Others think that it’s fine to apply insecticide indiscriminately.

When eliminating pests, it’s critical that you target the pests where they are and apply any insecticide following the directions precisely. This helps you avoid over-doing it and killing any beneficial creatures. It also helps protect the health and safety of you, your family, and your pets: insecticide misuse can cause harm.

#3 Know your limits.

Some pests are extremely difficult—if not impossible—for the average homeowner to successfully eliminate on their own. (Most people aren’t exterminators, after all.) These pests include bed bugs and termites, for example.

Instead of trying a bunch of pest “remedies” that are ineffective (or worse, get rid of beneficial creatures), why not call in the professionals?

A pest control professional will help you identify the pest in your home and create a targeted, measured extermination plan that will get rid of the pests while minimizing harm to other, beneficial creatures and while protecting your health and safety.

Call Us Today

If you need help getting rid of pests, we’re here for you.

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-888-681-1925 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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From termites to bed bugs, rodents to roaches, no pest is too large or small for the experts at ScherZinger to handle. The difference? We work to fully understand your pest problem from the get-go – and the unique environmental conditions in which it exists – and then apply proven solutions. Send us your problem below, or just give us a call, and let us get to work for you.    Required = *


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