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Identifying Pests and Pest Control Tactics

Identifying the pest correctly helps you tailor control tactics. Choose chemicals that are safe for people and the environment. Follow product labels and only apply what is recommended.

Physical controls such as traps, barriers, and exclusion can help keep pest populations below harmful levels. Mechanical controls like caulking, repairing cracks, and replacing damaged screens can also help. Contact Pest Control Columbia MO now!

Pest identification is the first step in developing a pest control strategy. In some cases, precise pest identification may require consulting with an expert or even sending a specimen to a laboratory. However, in many situations, a simple inspection can provide the information needed to identify a pest and determine whether action is necessary or not.

Pests can look very similar through different stages of their life cycle, and immature forms are often mistaken for non-pests, or vice versa. This makes accurate pest identification important to ensure that the correct pest is being controlled, as well as to understand how the problem developed. In addition, knowing what a pest looks like in its adult form can help determine the best methods for controlling it.

For example, cockroaches tend to leave shed skins behind as they grow, which can help you identify them when they enter the house. Likewise, rodent droppings are usually easy to recognize, as are the scratching sounds they make. A basic pest guide can be used to compare these characteristics with a picture of the pest and identify it.

Another great resource is the National Identification Services (NIS) pest identification service, which provides scientific expertise in plant pathology, entomology, malacology, and mycology. NIS is the official pest identification service for the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine program, as well as several State departments of agriculture and land-grant universities.

In general, a pest is any vertebrate or invertebrate animal that causes economic damage to plants or crops, or that threatens human health and safety. In addition to weeds, pests can include small mammals (e.g., black and brown rats and mice), insects (e.g., aphids, beetles and flies), birds (e.g., pigeons and seagulls), or other animals.

The best way to prevent a pest problem is by eliminating conditions that encourage it. For instance, by regularly removing debris that can harbor pests, and by cleaning up or sealing water-holding containers to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Pest prevention also involves reducing pests’ food sources by keeping a clean home and pantry and by storing food in sealed containers. For indoor pests, it is important to maintain air quality by sealing cracks and ductwork and sweeping regularly, and by ensuring that trash cans are tightly closed.

Pest Prevention

Pest control focuses on the prevention of pest infestations. An integrated pest management (IPM) plan considers the life cycle of each pest, possible damage caused and environmental factors such as weather and soil conditions. IPM strategies may include physical, biological or chemical methods of pest control.

Some pests carry diseases that can affect human health. EPA regulates products to prevent and control the spread of these disease-causing organisms, such as mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, ticks that spread Lyme disease and rodents that cause rabies.

Preventing pests requires looking at the environment in which they live and making changes to reduce their food, shelter and water sources. For example, if a pest is attracted to milk residue left behind in discarded containers of milk or juice, the container can be cleaned or replaced with one that has a lid. Removing garbage from outdoor areas regularly and keeping trashcans covered can also help deter pests.

Scouting and monitoring can determine if pests have reached nuisance or damaging levels. For example, a few flies buzzing around the kitchen or a few bird droppings on a roof don’t warrant pest control, but if the number of these insects is increasing rapidly and the building is being damaged, action should be taken.

Biological pest control involves releasing natural enemies of the pest in order to suppress its population. This method of pest control includes predators, parasites, and nematodes. It can also involve the use of sterile males or juvenile hormones to keep populations in check.

Chemical pest control uses a variety of chemicals to kill or repel pests, including fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. To minimize harm to non-target plants and animals, pesticides should be applied only when needed and in small amounts. Always follow product label instructions for application rates, and never apply more than the recommended amount. Always purchase pesticides only from reputable dealers who sell them in their original containers. Avoid transferring pesticides between containers, as this can lead to accidental ingestion by children or pets. Using alternative forms of pest control can help you reduce your dependence on chemical pesticides, such as planting crops that attract beneficial insects instead of repellents.

Pest Control Tactics

There are several different pest control tactics. These include prevention, suppression, and eradication. Prevention involves making your environment unattractive to pests. This includes regularly cleaning up rotting produce, garbage and compost piles, eliminating shelter from around your home and yard (such as stacks of firewood), keeping food and water supplies away from pests, and removing places where pests can harbor or breed.

Suppression involves reducing pest populations to below damaging levels. This is often done by monitoring, which identifies when pests reach unacceptable levels and allows treatment to begin before damage occurs. Suppression may also be achieved through cultural practices, such as changing irrigation or changing cultivation techniques to reduce root disease, weeds and nematodes, which can be problems in many crops.

Biological control uses natural enemies to suppress pest populations and damage without or with reduced pesticide use. This is accomplished by introducing predators, parasites, or pathogens to the area in which the pest is present. Often there is a lag between the rise of the pest population and the corresponding increase in the numbers of its natural enemies. This is why this tactic must be continuously monitored and supplemented with other controls.

Chemical control involves using chemical agents to destroy or repel pests. Common chemicals include insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. Generally, chemical control is only used when other control measures have failed or cannot be applied. Chemicals should be applied according to label directions and monitored carefully to prevent their damaging effects on non-target organisms or the environment.

Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is the combination of control tactics to reduce pests and their damage to an acceptable level. In IPM, the strategies are tailored to the specific conditions and circumstances of the situation. Regular monitoring of the crop enables pest managers to determine when and if pesticides are needed and to predict which control tactics will be most effective. IPM programs are designed to reduce the risk of damage, maximize yield and quality, and minimize environmental impact.

Pest Control Strategy

There are three goals in pest control: prevention, suppression, and eradication. Prevention means keeping a pest from becoming a problem; suppression is reducing the numbers or damage to an acceptable level; and eradication is eliminating a pest population altogether. Prevention is the most common goal in outdoor pest situations, but eradication can also be achieved in indoor environments, such as offices, schools, hospitals, and food preparation and storage areas.

The decision to apply a particular pest control tactic is based on a number of factors, including the type and severity of injury, economic or aesthetic injury thresholds, and environmental conditions at the treatment site. Monitoring and scouting are important tools for assessing pest damage and population levels. Monitoring can include:

  • Trapping or scouting.
  • Identifying pest types and populations accurately.
  • Evaluating the health of plants (both aboveground and belowground).
  • Checking environmental conditions such as soil temperatures and moisture levels.

Some pest populations are cyclical or sporadic and may not need regular control; others can cause severe, damaging problems on a more continuous basis. In addition, natural forces — such as weather and availability of food and shelter — influence the behavior and population levels of all organisms and can help or hinder pest control.

In a healthy ecosystem, natural enemies — predators, parasitoids, disease organisms, and competitors — often keep populations of plant-feeding insects and mites, nematodes, weeds, or vertebrates in check. Homeowners can often encourage these natural enemies to reduce pest populations by changing landscape practices, such as removing leaf litter or other debris that provides hiding places for pests; mulching with wood products that are not accessible to insects; planting flowering plants such as asters (Aster spp) and fruiting shrubs such as serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) to attract insect predators; and adjusting irrigation practices.

The use of chemicals to control pests is usually the last resort and should only be used when the benefits outweigh the risks. If a pesticide is used repeatedly, it can lead to the development of resistant populations; therefore, using different pest control methods on a rotating basis helps to prevent resistance.

Hunting Gloves and Mittens

A good pair of hunting gloves or mittens is your first line of defense against cold weather and frostbite. To maximize your comfort and performance, choose a pair of gloves or mittens with a snug yet flexible fit that allows for dexterity and mobility.

Hunting Gloves

Selecting a pair that suits your environment is also essential. For instance, wingshooters require a durable, breathable glove that is equipped to tackle muddy chukar hills and rugged Northwoods brush. Read on Elk Calls for more information.

Gloves are a key piece of hunting gear that can make or break your hunt. A pair of well-fitting gloves or mittens can provide the warmth, dexterity, comfort and functionality hunters need when shooting, handling weapons, navigating terrain and more. But choosing just any old pair of gloves can leave your hands cold, uncomfortable and unable to perform as intended. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from that will fit the unique needs of your winter hunting situation.

Some of the best gloves for cold weather include padded palms to protect against rough surfaces and debris; targeted warmth in specific areas to allow full trigger finger movement; touch-screen sensitive materials for using mobile devices or GPS systems without removing your gloves; and long gauntlet cuffs that fit over jacket sleeves and can be cinched closed to keep snow and wind at bay. Depending on your specific needs, there are also tactical gloves that meet military and law enforcement standards like the Mechanix Wear M-Pact glove series, which includes impact-resistant and FR tactical gloves as well as high-dexterity precision shooting gloves.

Choosing the right material for your hunting gloves is another important consideration. Some of the most popular choices for cold-weather gloves are leather, which offers excellent durability and flexibility and can be used in a variety of hunting conditions. Wool is another great option for cold-weather gloves, as it provides excellent insulation and breathability. Synthetic materials, including Gore-Tex, have also become increasingly popular for cold-weather gloves due to their affordability and waterproof protection. Gore-Tex gloves are durable, comfortable and come in a wide variety of camo patterns.

For those who require the highest level of dexterity, a pair of mittens might be a better choice than a traditional glove. These are designed to expose your fingertips to the elements, which helps hunters easily manipulate triggers or tie knots. However, they are not recommended for extremely cold temperatures as exposing your fingers can lead to heat loss and frostbite. For that reason, many mittens feature fold-over mitten covers that can be zipped on and off as needed.


Gloves and mittens provide protection from cold weather conditions, keeping your hands warm and safe from frostbite. They’re also essential for handling weapons and other equipment. They are available in different styles to suit your hunting or outdoor activities. You can choose between fingerless gloves that expose the fingertips for greater dexterity and are ideal for bowhunters, or insulated gloves that provide warmth without compromising on mobility. The type of glove you select will depend on the conditions in which you hunt, such as temperature and precipitation.

A quality pair of gloves will not only offer insulation, but will also be waterproof and breathable to prevent wet hands. They should also be easy to clean, and made from materials that are anti-bacterial. You should read the care instructions carefully as different types of gloves require specific maintenance formulas.

The time of year and weapon you hunt with will influence the type of glove you choose. For example, if you’re shooting early in the season when temperatures can fluctuate, you should choose a lightweight, breathable pair. If you’re going to be hunting in the rut or late season, it’s more important to opt for thicker and warmer gloves that will keep your hands warm through a wide range of conditions.

You can find a variety of materials for hunting gloves, from tough leather to durable synthetics. Some brands also use specialized materials, such as the moisture-regulating properties of merino wool.

Some hunters prefer to wear liner gloves underneath a pair of insulated gloves or mittens for added warmth and comfort. This is particularly useful when you need to operate digital devices, like GPS and game cameras, while out in the field. Touchscreen-compatible gloves are available that allow you to access your device without removing your glove. You can also find gloves that are compatible with a heat pack for extra warmth.


The waterproofing of hunting gloves is a key aspect for hunters to consider, especially during colder weather when moisture can easily dampen a hunt. Gloves that are rated for waterproofness will be made of durable materials and feature a moisture-repelling membrane. Many models also include a thermal insulation layer for added warmth and comfort.

Waterproof gloves are great for hunters that spend time in the field during wet conditions, or for those who have to work with muddy or sandy items such as clays or logs. These types of gloves are usually lightweight and can fit snugly in the palm for a secure grip, and some even include a touchscreen capable thumb so users can keep track of their phone or GPS device.

While there are a number of factors that determine the best pair of hunting gloves, the most important one is whether or not they meet your specific needs. This may include the type of weapon you will be using, as some bowhunters require half-fingers for their index finger and thumb; gun hunters prefer full fingers for increased dexterity; insulated gloves for frigid temperatures or windy weather; or, technical features that enhance performance in the field, such as grip-enhancing silicon printing and a tacky synthetic palm that helps increase the power of the shot.

Gloves are available in a wide variety of materials, with leather being the most traditional choice. It is a tough, durable material that offers protection from natural annoyances like thorns and brambles. However, it is not as breathable as other options and can offer reduced dexterity in colder conditions.

Another option is GORE-TEX, which is a high-performance waterproof breathable material that is very durable and comfortable to wear in any climate. GORE-TEX gloves are grippy and form-fitting, offering excellent flexibility while keeping hands warm and dry. They are also easy to clean, as they can be washed in mild soap and water without risking damage.

No matter which type of glove you choose, it is essential that you maintain them properly to ensure the highest quality and longevity. It is best to avoid machine washing or soaking them, as this can cause damage and affect their ability to repel dirt and water. Also, do not store your gloves in direct sunlight or next to a heater as this can cause them to shrink and crack.


There are numerous options for the material used in hunting gloves, and each offers a different mix of insulation, breathability, waterproofing, and durability. Leather gloves are the most popular choice, and can be found in a variety of styles that include deerskin, cowhide, goatskin, or pigskin. They offer superior dexterity and durability and often come with a camo pattern to blend in with the surroundings. They can be expensive, however, and require regular maintenance to prevent wear, alteration of fit, or cracking.

There is also a wide selection of synthetic materials available that offer similar functionality. Gore-TEX has become one of the most popular choices among hunters due to its high levels of breathability, warmth, and waterproofing. It also allows for a greater degree of flexibility, making it a good choice for cold weather hunting scenarios. Additionally, it is available in a wide range of colors and prints to blend in with the surrounding environment.

For hunters who want to combine the best of both worlds, look for a pair of insulated gloves that are also lightweight. These can be worn as a baselayer glove underneath a heavier pair of gloves or mittens for additional warmth and protection in cold environments. They can be found in a wide variety of styles to suit different environmental conditions, and can also provide a layer of warmth that will help to reduce heat loss from the hands.

Gloves and mittens made from wool and other natural materials are ideal for cold weather hunting. These can be worn alone or as a liner glove for added warmth. Some even have heated elements for extra warmth in extremely cold temperatures.

For hunters who will be working with firearms or other equipment, it is important to choose a pair of gloves that offer sufficient dexterity. This can be achieved by choosing a pair that has split fingers or is designed for a pre-curved fit. Another feature to consider is whether the gloves or mittens have a thumbhole to help with keeping them in place. Other features that can improve comfort and performance include wrist cinches, zippered pockets, and soft materials for wiping away perspiration.