As with any war, that waged on behalf of homes and gardens against predatory insects and other pests is not without collateral damage. The common use of chemical pesticides has definite and immediate benefits: cleaner homes and healthier plants while inhibiting infestation. Yet there is a flip side to such assets. Toxicologists have determined that soil, water tables, pets and indoor vegetation are all adversely affected by continuous use of synthetic pest control compounds. Property owners and managers must balance the need to eradicate pests against the overall health of the environment. Fortunately, there are alternatives that do just that.
The first order of business is to size up the property. Applying chemical pesticides should be a last resort so a comprehensive home and yard inspection should precede any treatment. Are there present hazards that make the presence of unwanted insects and rodents more likely? These include fissures, openings, crevices in walls, doors and frames where critters may enter from the outside. In addition, perils can take the form of food and water sources by which pests can take nourishment. Finally, droppings, gnawings and sheddings are tell-tale signs that unwelcome wildlife is present. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
As brutal as it may sounds, starvation is the most ecologically sound manner in which to terminate pests. The key is to make the indoors less welcoming than the outdoors. Fixing leaky pipes goes far in eliminating sources of water. Meanwhile, food can be found in many locations. Dog and cat food bowls should be empty when not in use. Compost piles or other organic matter in the yard near the house are also high-attraction points for pests. Similarly, garbage should be isolated and sealed properly. Wildlife possess keener senses of smell than do humans and pests simply follow their noses.
Once an inspection has identified locations of potential entry and sources that may encourage continued vermin occupance, a pest control professional — in conjunction with the owner — can address these weaknesses in the line of defense. Deodorizers, bait and solutions to kill mold and mildew both inhibit infestation and deal effectively with the pests already inside. Cracks and crevice borate dust seals the openings while killing invaders. In addition, microbe-based foams can eat up the organic matter in pipes and drains so appealing to insects. When necessary, insecticides are applied narrowly and conservatively to preclude affecting adjacent areas.
As long as there is an earth there will be pests. Yet the latter can be kept at bay without harming the former with the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides. Central to this goal is vilgilant attention. This makes the difference between an isolated critter finding its way in and full-blown infestation. Expert pest specialists are not only available to remedy a current problem, they can also educate property owners in this crucial act of monitoring. In this way, the invaders are kept out while the environment suffers no violence.