Non Pesticide Healthy Insect Control Solution

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Published: 29th October 2012
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Non chemical methods are now becoming popular because of the public's concern about the effects of pesticides on humans, animals, and the environment.

Unlike in chemical approach, non pesticide treatment involves an understanding of pest biology, ecology, and behavior. Several key nonchemical options that may help reduce the amount of pesticides used in and around homes are listed below.

Exclusion: Any measure used to prevent entry of organisms indoors through openings in the building structure, doors, windows, or on infested plant or food materials. Some techniques include screening openings to prevent entry of flies, mosquitoes, and beetles; caulking cracks and crevices to remove existing or potential harborages of pantry pests and cockroaches; and sealing or repairing exterior openings to prevent entry of bats, mice, bees, and wasps. Plants and food products must be carefully inspected for infestations at the time of purchase and before they are brought indoors.

Sanitation: Maintaining clean surroundings both outdoors and indoors removes potential areas where pests can feed, breed, and hide. Sanitary measures include: disposing of garbage on a weekly basis during warm weather to control filth flies and cockroaches; discarding overripe fruits to control fruit flies and fungus beetles; removing bird nests as these harbor dermestids, clothes moths, mites, and lice; and vacuuming to reduce populations of fleas, carpet beetles, house dust mites, and several ground-dwelling insects and insect relatives. It is also important to keep kitchen areas clean to reduce incidence of pantry pests and cockroaches.

Habitat modification: Includes any method used to eliminate or disrupt areas where pests reside. For example, removing weeds and keeping well-mowed lawns reduces incidence of crickets and ticks. Removing debris and fallen leaves near foundations reduces sowbug and centipede populations. Wood or wooden piles, where carpenter ants, ground beetles, and spiders seek harborage, must be stored away from structures. Creating a vegetation-free barrier around the perimeter of the building will reduce incidence of many ground-dwelling pests such as clover mites. The use of dehumidifiers is recommended, especially in basements, to create and maintain a dry environment to discourage incidence of sowbugs, centipedes, firebrats, and house dust mites.

Temperature control: Artificially manipulating the temperature of substrates infested by pests or areas where pests reside is an inexpensive nonchemical strategy. The time from treatment to death of a pest and numbers of the pest killed, may vary with the pest stage, temperature, and duration of exposure. Pantry pests, clothes moths, and carpet beetles can be eliminated by subjecting infested foods, clothes, and carpets, respectively, to extremely hot or cold temperatures. In general, all developmental stages of pantry pests, clothes moths, and carpet beetles can be killed within minutes to hours when exposed to temperatures below 32 F and above 104 F.

Mechanical control: A rolled newspaper or magazine and fly swatters are some tools used for killing visible and less mobile or immobile pests. On infested plants, hand-picking insects (e.g., hornworms) is a partially effective means of pest control. Infested leaves must be excised from plants, bagged, and discarded.

Traps: Traps are escape-proof devices that capture highly mobile and active pests. Live traps can be used for rabbits, pocket gophers, and squirrels. Unbaited sticky traps such as red spheres, resembling apples, are useful for trapping apple maggot adults. Colored (yellow) sticky traps are effective in capturing whiteflies and aphids. Sticky traps can be baited with commercial lures (pheromones and food attractants) to enhance trap catch. For example, sticky traps baited with lures for pantry pests, wasps, and flies are commercially available.

Most pest control methods work well at low pest population densities. Therefore, it is important to detect pest problems early. Careful visual inspections or the use of traps can help in early detection of infestations and insect control

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