Cultural, biological and sanitation Pest Control in Houston TX methods can reduce the need for chemical treatment. Insecticides should be used only if the damage incurred exceeds an economic or aesthetic injury level.
Scouting before and after pesticide application can help to correctly identify the insect species targeted and to determine whether or not the treatment was effective.
Many pests are carriers of disease-causing microorganisms. Pesticides are important to help control diseases that affect crops and livestock as well as the health of humans, pets and wildlife.
Identifying the pest correctly is key to effective Pest Control in Houston TX. Look in a reference book, ask someone at the garden center or contact your local extension office to make sure you are treating the correct species. Accurate identification also helps you decide whether or not pesticide treatment is necessary.
Before spraying, consider the effects on beneficial insects. Some insect pests have natural enemies that control them. If that is the case, an application of a nonselective insecticide may disrupt the predators and parasites that are keeping the pest population in check.
Some insecticides are designed to hit specific crop pests, while not harming other insects that are vital to healthy ecosystems and food production. For example, a pheromone is being tested to interfere with the life cycle of fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda), voracious crop pests that feed on a wide range of crops.
Weeds are plants that grow where they are not wanted, often competing with crops for resources such as water and sunlight. They can be a nuisance or even a health hazard if they are poisonous, but many have benefits such as adding organic matter to the soil.
Weed identification is a critical first step in effective control. Although two weed species may look similar at certain growth stages, they differ significantly in their life cycle, modes of reproduction and response to control tactics.
Weeds can be controlled through a variety of techniques, including cultivation, tilling, and crop rotation. Herbicides can be applied before planting to eliminate existing weeds or prevent germination of new ones. Many growers use preemergence herbicides such as dimethphenamid-d, flumioxazin, indaziflam, oryzalin, oxyfluorfen, and pendimethalin. These herbicides are safe for ornamental plants when used in the correct manner, and they target the weed seedling stage which is the most vulnerable to treatment.
Rodents are prolific carriers of pathogens harmful to humans and other animals. These diseases can spread from rodents to people by means of ticks, mites, fleas, mosquitoes and other pests that feed on infected rats. Rodents also carry disease-causing bacteria such as bubonic plague, leptospirosis and rabies.
The best way to Pest Control in Houston TX is through prevention and sanitation. Store pet food in rodent proof containers, collect ripe fruit before it falls off trees and keep compost piles a reasonable distance from structures. Block holes around doors and windows, and regularly churn compost to prevent rodents from nesting inside.
Rodenticides may be used in the home or garden, but are best for agricultural applications or as a last resort when other prevention methods have failed. There are three types of rodenticides: acute toxins, calcium releasers and anticoagulants. The old products containing chlorophacinone, diphacinone and warfarin are “multidose” baits that require more than one feeding to be effective, while the newer anticoagulants (bromadiolone and difenthalone) are usually effective after just one dose. Baits should be placed where rats live, breed or along travel routes.
Birds are highly effective predators and can dramatically reduce insect pest populations. They feed on large, late larvae and adults of insects that may otherwise have difficulty surviving in the open. In addition, they can alter the feeding habits of other animals by attracting them to infested areas.
Nevertheless, pest birds often cause significant problems for businesses and homeowners. Their droppings can stain and corrode surfaces and can create fire hazards. In some instances they can block water drainage and even damage roofing systems. They can also pose a health risk through the multiplication of worms and other parasites that they carry.
There are many ways to control pigeons and other birds, including spraying surface areas with nontoxic chemical repellents that have a pleasant smell but are not harmful to humans. Other options include installing scare devices that emit loud and unfamiliar noises, such as owls or dogs, or using flashing lights to discourage them.