Modern life is hectic enough, without a pest infestation adding to the stress. Rodents such as rats and mice chew on electric wires and can carry diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis and salmonella.

Regularly remove trash from your property and fix leaky pipes to prevent food, water and shelter sources for pests. Use nematodes, microscopic worms that feed on insects, to suppress pest populations instead of using chemicals. Contact Pest Control O’fallon MO now!

Accurate pest identification is the first step in any pest control program. Whether dealing with insects, diseases, weeds, vertebrates or microbes, the proper identification of a pest can make management easier and more effective. Proper pest identification can also aid in the selection of appropriate control methods. For example, identifying a leafminer as one of several species may allow for the use of cultural methods instead of chemical controls.

Pest identification is a complex process that involves learning about the pest’s life cycle and examining the physical characteristics of the pest. Many pests resemble other organisms and may be difficult to distinguish without laboratory assistance. Additionally, some pests go through distinct “windows” during their development or life cycle that make them more or less susceptible to control measures. For instance, a weed seedling will look very different than a mature weed. Similarly, an insect larva will have a very distinct appearance compared to its adult form.

Identifying a pest can be done through scouting or monitoring, the use of reference materials such as printed or online guides or by consulting with a commodity or industry organization, State agricultural department or Cooperative Extension agent. Many pest management professionals are available to assist in the identification of a pest, but there may be a fee associated with their services.

Some pests are continuous and require regular monitoring and control, such as cockroaches or termites. Other pests, like beet leafminers on chrysanthemums, are sporadic and need only occasional control. Identifying a pest to the correct order (Lepidoptera, Coleoptera or Diptera) is also important for selecting an appropriate biological insecticide.

Rentokil’s pest identification service can help you figure out exactly what kind of pest is causing damage to your business. The service will provide you with the pest species’ name, physical characteristics and life cycle. This information will be used by a Rentokil technician to develop an appropriate pest control strategy. To get started, select a pest type from the list below. You can then view detailed pictures of the pest, and its eggs, larvae and adults.

Pest Prevention

Pests are more than just annoying — they can cause health and safety problems, and damage property. The best course of action is to prevent pests before they become an infestation. Pest prevention includes cleaning, sealing and repairing entry points, regularly inspecting food storage areas, keeping garbage tightly sealed, and regularly pruning bushes and other plants. It also means educating employees and management about the importance of their role in a successful pest control program.

In addition to scouting, regular inspections are important for understanding how and why pests occur. For example, recognizing a pest’s lifespan and life cycle can help a professional devise the most effective control methods. It’s also important to understand a pest’s environment, including whether it prefers cool or warm temperatures, its favorite foods, and its ideal habitats. This information can be used to predict the presence or abundance of a pest in any given location, and can assist with preventing pests from damaging crops or other living things.

Many pests are affected by natural forces that affect their populations and damage their hosts, including climate, natural enemies, the availability of food and shelter, and water sources. These effects may help or hinder pest control efforts. For example, a population of a plant-eating pest depends on its host plants for nourishment; it is influenced by the number of these plants and their growth rate. It can also be affected by weather conditions, such as rain or freezing temperatures.

Similarly, natural predators, parasites and pathogens can be natural controls on certain pests. For example, beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, prey on garden pests, and nematodes are useful in controlling some crop diseases. Likewise, birds, reptiles, fish and other animals can be helpful in reducing the numbers of some pest species.

Another way to prevent pests is by removing their food, water and shelter sources. This can be done by regularly cleaning kitchen and restrooms, storing food in airtight containers, and removing trash on a regular basis. It is also helpful to plant pest-repelling herbs and flowers in gardens, and to use neem oil in cooking.

Pest Control Methods

There are a number of methods that can be employed in pest control. These methods are usually divided into three categories: physical, biological, and chemical. Physical pest control methods involve using barriers, such as screens and netting, to keep out common pests like insects and rodents. They can also be used to limit the areas where pests can live and breed by restricting their access to food, water, and shelter.

Biological pest control uses natural predators and other organisms to reduce or eliminate pest populations. These organisms are often native to the area in which the pests are being controlled and may be introduced to the environment to manage their populations. This method is often less disruptive to the local ecosystems than the use of chemical pesticides, although care must be taken in order to ensure that the introduced organisms are effective against the pests.

Chemical pest control uses various chemical substances to kill or repel pests, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. These chemicals can be delivered in the form of aerosol sprays, dusts, baits, or gels and work by targeting specific pest species. They may disrupt a pest’s nervous system, metabolism, or reproductive systems, causing them to die or fail to reproduce. Chemical pesticides may be absorbed through the skin, and should always be used according to the product label.

It is important to remember that even the best physical and biological pest control methods are not 100% effective, especially when dealing with persistent or invasive pests. As such, it is important to use a combination of prevention and control techniques in order to minimize pests and their impact on our daily lives.

Maintaining good hygiene at home and at the office will help to deter most pests. This includes keeping areas clean and storing food in sealed containers. Keeping plants and other materials in a healthy condition will also make them more resistant to pests.


A pesticide is any substance used to prevent or destroy unwanted species of insects, animals, weeds or diseases. It is usually a chemical, but it may also be a plant material, fungus, virus or bacteria. Pesticides may be biodegradable (break down naturally in the environment), or persistent (take months or years to break down).

The toxic effects of pesticides depend on their mode of action, and can include direct damage to tissues or disruption of metabolic processes. Most pesticides are absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Others are ingested or absorbed through the soil. Symptoms may range from mild to fatal. Extremely toxic compounds must be labeled with a skull and crossbones symbol. Less toxic products may be irritants and cause skin or eye problems.

Most pesticides work by interrupting certain chemical pathways in a pest. Those that affect the nervous system or prevent development or reproduction are generally called insecticides; those that kill insects directly are called herbicides. A few pesticides, such as horticultural oils and some bacterium-based products, have non-specific modes of action; they disrupt all stages of insect development or kill the organism by entering the cell structure.

Other pesticides control pests by repelling them, changing the olfactory response or altering the growth rate of target plants. Some of these chemicals are combined into one product, such as a repellent and an insecticide in a spray formulation. Others are used separately, such as rodenticides to kill rodents or fungicides to limit fungal damage to wood and other materials.

Some pesticides are designed to be absorbed by a specific species of natural enemy, which then releases it into the population to kill the targeted pest. Biological pesticides are often called organic or “natural,” but this term is misleading because they may contain synthetic ingredients just like any other chemical.

To reduce the risk of harm to beneficial organisms, farmers should always follow recommendations on the pesticide label. For example, when possible, only treat the area infested with pests, and treat only a portion of the crop at any given time. It is also important to rotate pesticides with different modes of action, and to use spot applications that minimize contact between the active ingredient and natural enemies.