Pest Control

What is Pest Control?

Pest Control Boise is a series of actions taken to keep pest populations below an acceptable level. This may include exclusion, suppression, monitoring, or eradication.

Keep clutter to a minimum to reduce places for pests to hide and breed. Regularly remove trash and garbage.

Preventive measures include blocking off entry points, sealing cracks, and caulking holes. Chemical controls include nematicides and rodenticides.


Pests are more than just nuisances; they can carry germs and diseases into homes and businesses, posing health hazards for anyone who enters. Regular preventative pest control, such as routine inspections and targeted interventions, can keep these uninvited guests from invading homes and business, saving money on repairs and preserving the value of the property itself.

Pest prevention is reducing the level of a pest population to an acceptable level without using chemical controls. This can be achieved by changing the environment so that pests find it less favorable for living or reproducing. It can also be done by introducing new predators or parasites that kill or reduce pest populations. Physical barriers such as fences, netting and radiation can also be used to prevent pest entry into an area.

Keeping the environment unfavorable to pests requires diligent and consistent cleaning and maintenance, including removing trash and debris regularly, keeping food in tightly sealed containers and making sure all entrance points are properly caulked and sealed. Maintaining landscaping to limit the number of hiding places, water sources and roosting sites can also make it more difficult for pests to survive and reproduce.

In addition, weather conditions can affect pests and their activities. For example, cold temperatures and rain can kill or suppress some pests. The amount of moisture available affects the growth and development of many plant-eating pests, while winds can disperse pests or carry them from one area to another.

Other factors that can affect pests include the type and condition of their host plants; resistant varieties of crops, wood and animals are available to help control pests. The use of chemicals that are toxic to pests or their eggs and larvae can be helpful in controlling them.

Biological controls, such as predators, parasites, and pathogens, can be effective in controlling pests. They can also be used to replace or supplement chemical controls when the risks of releasing chemicals outweigh the benefits. These natural enemies attack or destroy the pests, their eggs, or their larvae, and so are much safer for the environment and humans than conventional chemicals.


Pests can damage property, crops, or the environment. They may also carry diseases and contaminate food, water or other materials. They are often a nuisance, disturbing people’s lives. Generally, the goal of pest control is to reduce their numbers to acceptable levels through prevention and/or suppression. Suppression usually involves the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Eradication, which involves eliminating a species entirely, is rarely the goal in outdoor pest situations, but it is possible in enclosed environments such as houses and retail or food preparation areas.

Preventing pests is easier than getting rid of them once they have invaded a home or business, so the first step in pest control is often to make sure the space is clean and tidy. Clutter is a good place for pests to hide and breed, so it should be cleared away, along with places where food or water can collect. Garbage should be removed regularly, and leaky pipes or other sources of water should be repaired. It is also important to close off access points, such as caulking cracks or sealing gaps around windows and doors.

Other physical controls include traps, screens, fences, radiation and other means of altering the environment to prevent pests from entering a space or stopping them from crossing into other spaces. Chemical controls may also be used, though they are usually considered a last resort and only applied after all other options have been explored. Pesticides are typically targeted at specific pests and aimed at killing them without harming beneficial organisms or other plants.

Biological pest control uses natural organisms such as parasitism, herbivory or nematodes to manage unwanted pest populations. These organisms are engineered to be specific to the pest they are targeting, and can be introduced into a pest population in a number of ways, including through spraying or inserting them directly into soil.

Pheromones can also be used to help monitor and control pest populations. For example, a manufactured copy of the pheromone that a female insect uses to attract males can be used to confuse males and prevent mating, which can lead to lower pest numbers.


A monitoring program can help a pest control manager make decisions about when and how to apply a pest control tactic. This is because the success of many control tactics depends on catching the pests early enough to prevent them from reaching damaging population levels.

Pest monitoring is generally done through a variety of methods depending on the type of pest. For example, monitoring of insect, mollusk, or vertebrate pests is usually done by trapping or scouting. Monitoring of weed or microbial pests may involve visual inspection or checking for damage symptoms.

Many pests are cold-blooded, meaning that their development is directly related to the ambient temperature. Because of this, phenology calendars or degree day models can be useful tools for tracking pest development. These tools account for the fact that pest development often varies from year to year because of emergent weather conditions.

Once a pest has been identified, monitoring can begin to identify the population level at which the pest causes economic injury to a crop. This is called the economic injury level or EIL and is used as the basis for a decision rule to determine when a pest control method should be implemented. The EIL can be determined through a variety of methods, including monitoring using sticky traps (i.e. apple maggot), sweep nets (i.e. cranberry fruitworm larvae), beat trays (i.e. psyllids), and feeding attractants (i.e. spotted wing drosophila).

In addition to determining when control is needed, monitoring can provide information about the effectiveness of a treatment. This can be done by looking at the number of adults captured on a sticky trap or by counting the number of eggs laid in a sweep net. Monitoring can also reveal whether a pest is becoming more or less common.

Monitoring can be a challenging task because it involves collecting and analyzing data on a regular basis. However, it is a vital part of effective pest control. In order to get the most out of a monitoring program, it is important to involve everyone on your property. This includes employees who do not work in the field, as they can be valuable eyes and ears for spotting pests. It is also important to keep everyone up-to-date on what the results of the monitoring are and how they will be used in pest management decisions.


The IPM method is a decision-making process that uses information on pest biology and environmental data to manage pest damage in ways that minimize costs and risks to people, property and the environment. It’s used everywhere: agricultural production, residential landscapes, military settings, schools, public health facilities and natural or wildland/natural areas.

IPM involves both prevention and suppression, but focuses on long term prevention. Preventive strategies include using disease-resistant plant species or cropping methods, caulking cracks to keep insects and rodents out of structures, weed control, and other physical barriers to prevent pests from getting where they are not wanted. IPM also focuses on the use of beneficial organisms and ecological manipulation to create unfavorable conditions for the pest by altering host or ecosystem susceptibility.

Structural IPM methods may cost more upfront than some other types of preventive controls, but they tend to cost less over the long run. This is true because structural IPM measures address the root cause of a problem, rather than simply masking it with chemicals or killing off all pests.

IPM also incorporates a treat-as-needed approach where pests are treated only when they reach economic injury or aesthetic thresholds, based on sampling and knowledge of the pest’s life cycle. This is generally done on a preventative basis, but can be on a reactive basis as well. It can also be combined with other IPM tactics.

Biological control reduces pest populations by introducing living organisms that naturally occur in the environment to limit pest growth or reproduction. These organisms can be predators, parasitoids or diseases. They can be introduced naturally by releasing organisms that are already present in the environment, or they can be deliberately added to a garden or crop. Before releasing any beneficial organisms, it is important to study them carefully to understand their habits, life cycles and what kinds of pests they target.

Integrated pest management is a complex, time-consuming process. It requires ongoing monitoring, careful record keeping and a good understanding of the pest life cycle to make informed decisions about pest management. UC IPM works closely with campus departments, Cooperative Extension and government agencies to provide comprehensive, science-based information about pests and their management options.