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What are the Different Types of Pest Control?

Amy Pollick
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pest control has been a concern for humans for as long as they have been on the Earth. From biting insects to mice in the pantry, humans are not always on good terms with the other denizens of the planet. A homeowner has many options available if he wants to do his own pest control, and bait, traps, fumigation, insecticide and organic control are all options he can try.

Homeowners need to be fairly certain about which pest he is dealing with before he attempts to control it. Some pests are easily identified, such as mice or cockroaches, but others are not so easily tracked. A homeowner may want to consult with the local farmer's co-op or the county agent for advice on what he's dealing with and how to get rid of it. Of course, calling in a professional is also an option.

Pest control professionals, sometimes called exterminators, are often called in after the homeowner has tried remedies on his own, with little or no success. They use basically the same types of methods that a regular individual uses, but they often have access to chemicals and other techniques that a homeowner cannot access. The advantage that the professional has, besides better methods, is being able to identify exactly which pest is the problem. This knowledge allows him to precisely target the extermination methods to the pest in question.

A professional may decide that bait, for instance, is the best method of dealing with a problem. This may involve indoor or outdoor bait, which typically leads to a trap where the pest is eliminated. Mice and other rodents are often controlled in this way.

Fumigation usually involves "tenting," a complicated method of surrounding a house with tenting material and flooding it with a poison gas. This is an expensive method, but may be the only way to get the pest out of the home. Insecticide is usually sprayed around the interior of the home, usually in the places where the pests congregate or breed.

Some homeowners may want a pest control method they feel is more humane or safer for humans. Live traps that capture the pests alive and unharmed are popular, and they allow the pests to be taken elsewhere and released. Organic control methods may involve using natural substances such as peppermint oil, herbs, or even other small organisms. Some other organisms are not pests themselves, but are their natural enemies, and a lawn or garden may be populated with these organisms to control the pests.

A homeowner should be careful when using any pest control method. Some are dangerous and best handled by professional technicians.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By honeybees — On Sep 11, 2012

What is the best way to get rid of the little bugs that get in your flour and baking products? I have completely gone through my cupboards and thrown out anything that I think might be attracting them.

This works for a few months and then they are back again. Does anyone have any good tips that will help me get rid of these pests for good?

By myharley — On Sep 10, 2012

I have an exterminator come to my home 1-2 times a year on a regular basis. Usually this is in the spring and the fall and he always asks me what kind of pests I am seeing.

In the early spring I usually have ants and spiders. In the fall I have a lot of beetles and spiders. I can tell it is time for him to come when I start seeing spider webs around the house.

If I stay on a regular schedule like this, it is much easier to stay on top of the pest control in my home.

By LisaLou — On Sep 10, 2012

@Perdido-- I have used peppermint oil to keep ants away but never realized it would work with mice too. I think I can handle just about any kind of pest better than I can mice in my home.

I will buy traps for them but these are not the old traps where you would bait them with peanut butter and then have to release them out of the trap.

I buy the ones that are covered by a dome so you don't have to touch the mouse at all. I like the idea of using the peppermint oil though. I would much rather keep them completely away than deal with getting rid of them once they are dead.

By Mykol — On Sep 09, 2012

@Kristee-- Another way you can deal with aphids on your tomato plants is to plant basil right next to them. There is something about the scent of the basil that will keep the aphids away.

I have enough room in my garden to stagger a basil plant for each tomato plant. Since I have been doing this, I have not had trouble with aphids.

That is also great to hear that ladybugs work as well. I have heard they can be beneficial for many things. I always try to find a natural solution for pest control instead of relying on chemicals.

By cloudel — On Sep 08, 2012

I rent a home, so my landlord is in charge of the pest control. He sends someone out to treat the home with pest control spray for termites once a year.

I've never had issues with termites, and the spray is probably the reason for that. It's best to prevent them, rather than deal with them once they have started to do damage. The home is fifty years old, so it might not survive a termite attack.

By Perdido — On Sep 07, 2012

@healthy4life – I also had problems with mice in my house, and pest control became an issue when traps stopped working. It was as if they had become aware that the traps were dangerous. I actually saw a few mice jump right over the traps!

So, I tried to find a repellent that would prevent them from coming around at all. It sounds too good to be true, but if you soak some cotton pads with peppermint oil and put them wherever you have been seeing their feces, they will stay away.

Mice cannot tolerate the strong scent of the peppermint oil. It blasts their sinuses, so they stay away. Just make sure that you put new pads out once a month.

By healthy4life — On Sep 06, 2012

I am in major need of some rodent pest control. I have been seeing a lot of mouse pellets in my home, and the majority of them are in my kitchen! It makes me sick to think that I am sharing food space with them.

I have four dogs that live in my house, so I hesitate to set traps or use chemicals that might do them harm. Are there any natural mouse repellents that I can try? I'll try anything that won't harm my pets.

By Kristee — On Sep 05, 2012

I found out last year that ladybugs are the best pest control for aphids. I had a lot of problems with aphids eating my tomatoes, but once I put ladybugs all in my garden, I had no more damaged plants.

I ordered the ladybugs in the mail. I was surprised to learn that they can be refrigerated for several months and survive. I ordered them in spring, and I kept them refrigerated until my tomato plants had grown enough to start attracting aphids.

By JohnRigby — On Oct 14, 2008

Great post! I’ve been very interested in Pest Control for a long time. I didn’t know that humans are not always on good terms with the other denizens of the planet.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With...
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