Pests cause costly damage to crops, animals and property. They also carry and spread diseases.

Prevention involves removing food, water and shelter to reduce pest numbers and damage. This includes keeping garbage in tightly covered trash cans, repairing leaky plumbing and removing rotting logs that pests might use for cover and shelter. Contact Pest Control Grapevine TX now!

Pest control consists of three phases: prevention, suppression, and eradication. Prevention is a proactive approach that involves preventing pests from entering buildings and removing conditions that are favorable for their activity, such as food and water sources. It also includes sanitation measures and exclusion techniques. Prevention is usually less expensive and more environmentally sensitive than reactive pest control measures.

Many things can affect pest populations, including climate, natural enemies, the availability of barriers, and the ability of plants, animals, and structures to resist pest attacks. Plant-eating pests are often killed or suppressed by weather conditions that prevent them from growing or thriving, such as frost, cold, or drought. Natural predators, such as ladybeetles and lacewings, can keep pest populations in check. Soil microbes such as nematodes can also be used to control insect pests.

Building and home maintenance can help prevent pest infestations by reducing the availability of food, water, and shelter. For example, keeping a house or business clean and free of clutter eliminates hiding places for pests and makes it easier to spot problems such as loose caulking or broken windows. It is important to remove garbage regularly and store food in tightly sealed containers inside a home or business. It is also a good idea to repair leaky plumbing and prevent moisture build-up around the foundation of a house or business.

Certain types of plants, trees, and wood are more resistant to pests than others. Using pest-resistant species when possible can help to reduce the need for chemical pesticides. In addition, introducing natural enemies or parasitic organisms that target specific pests can reduce the need for chemicals. Other methods can include physical controls, such as traps, screens, and barriers; modifying the environment to make it less favorable for pests; and biological controls, such as pheromones, mycoplasmas, and nematodes. Using all of these approaches together is called integrated pest management (IPM). IPM strategies are designed to provide the greatest benefit with the least harm to people, property, and the environment. They are also intended to reduce the development of pest resistance to pesticides.


Biological control uses natural enemies (parasites, predators, disease organisms) to reduce pest numbers. This usually involves introducing more of the enemy to the area or releasing them there when their populations are low. Biological control rarely achieves eradication and can be affected by changes in climate, host plant availability, and other factors.

Sanitation practices may also prevent or suppress some pests. These include cleaning equipment, avoiding unnecessary movement of products or materials, and reducing the amount of debris left behind that can serve as hiding places or food sources. Good sanitation also reduces carryover of pests from one crop to the next by limiting the opportunity for them to be carried on clothing, shoes, and equipment between fields or areas.

Chemicals are sometimes used to destroy or alter a pest population or its environment. For example, traps, screens, barriers, fences, radiation, and other devices may be used to capture or keep the pest in a specific location or to change its environment, such as by altering temperature or humidity. Some chemicals, such as certain herbicides, can destroy or alter the growth rate of a pest or its eggs or larvae.

Some pests develop resistance to the effects of some chemicals or can survive a dose that would kill other pests. This can make it more difficult to obtain the desired level of control with chemical treatments.

Research suggests that biodiversity in agroecosystems is important for pest suppression. Diverse guilds of natural enemies, characterized by temporal complementarity, can improve pest suppression. This is particularly true if the species involved are adapted to different ecological niches or have different life history traits, such as day versus night foraging strategies.

Research also indicates that some varieties of plants, animals, or materials are more resistant to pests than others. Using resistant types when available can help reduce the need for pesticides.


In outdoor pest management situations, monitoring is the practice of identifying pests and assessing their numbers or the damage they cause. This information is used to decide whether a pest can be tolerated, if it needs to be controlled, and when to control it. Effective monitoring is essential to successful integrated pest management programs.

Pest monitoring can be done using visual inspection, scouting, trapping, or checking environmental conditions. Insect, insect-like, mollusk, and vertebrate pests are usually monitored using traps. Some traps use physical shapes or attractants, while others rely on the release of a specific pheromone. For example, a stored product moth problem can often be tracked using insect light traps (ILTs).

Identifying the pest is the first step to developing a successful IPM strategy. Identifying the pest can help you determine basic information about it such as its life cycle and the time of year it is most active. It can also give you clues about the type of control method that may be most appropriate for it.

For example, if you find a mouse in an ILT and it is caught right next to a personnel door, you can start to figure out how the mouse got there. You can use your findings to adjust the facility’s scouting and trapping routines, and you can make sure that any future monitoring devices are placed in the best locations.

Monitoring can also be used to assess the effectiveness of prevention and suppression strategies. For instance, you can measure the number of pests in your crop or in a specific area and compare it to threshold levels set by your pest management professionals. If the number of pests is lower than the threshold, you can be confident that your preventive controls are working.

Monitoring can also be used to monitor for the presence of pests that are not causing an immediate problem and that may not require control at the current time. In these cases, you can look for signs of their activity, such as egg laying or feeding, and you can plan to start monitoring for them again at the right time.


Eradication is a rare goal in pest control. In outdoor situations, eradication is typically achieved through prevention or suppression, although the goal of eliminating a pest completely from an area is often attempted in enclosed environments such as indoor gardens or greenhouses. In some cases, the purpose of eradication is to eliminate a species that has been introduced but has not yet become established. Mediterranean fruit fly and gypsy moth control programs are examples of this type of eradication.

The word eradicate comes from the Latin eradicare, which means to pull up by the roots. As the word developed in English, it took on a metaphorical meaning of removing something undesirable, such as an unwanted weed, from a garden or landscape.

A variety of methods are used to control pests by using natural enemies or by altering the population dynamics of the pest itself. The classic biological control involves introducing organisms that are natural enemies of the pest to reduce its abundance. These can include predators, parasites or herbivores. These organisms are typically bred in the laboratory and then released into the field, either in small numbers over a long period of time or in a single large-scale release.

Another method of biological control is to introduce pathogens that kill or debilitate the pest. Bacillus thuringiensis, which produces a toxin that destroys the midgut of caterpillars, is an example of this approach. This is a relatively new and emerging method of pest control, but it can be extremely effective against certain caterpillars and other insects.

Chemical controls are also used to manage pests. Herbicides can kill weeds, insecticides can kill insects and fungicides can help control diseases. When used improperly, however, chemicals can be toxic to the environment, can persist in the soil and water supply, can biomagnify in the food chain, and can have harmful effects on humans and pets.

Eradicating a disease requires a number of different approaches at the local, national and international levels. In addition to the need for public education and funding, successful eradication requires the establishment of a process by which it can be certified that a disease has been eliminated. This certification is not simple and requires a thorough understanding of the complex interactions between the disease, its vectors (including humans), intermediary hosts and reservoirs.