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Few things are more frustrating than harmful insects that won't leave your garden alone or, worse, find their way into your walls. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to help you control pest populations and virtually eliminate them from your lawn, garden and home.
The Home Depot's Scott Krueger says taking steps to prevent and curtail infestation will reduce the need to use chemicals to get rid of pests, but despite your best efforts they sometimes manage to propagate in large numbers. When this happens, you need to know what forms of pesticides are available and in what situations each is most effective. Consider the questions below as you shop for pesticides to hone in on the most effective solution for the problem at hand:
Are the bugs inside or outside your home?
What situations are contact insecticides appropriate for?
What situations are systemic insecticides appropriate for?
What different forms of pesticide are available?
How can you help minimize the chances of a pest problem before it starts?
Types, Form and Prevention
The first and most important step in controlling pests is to identify exactly what the pest is. If you see holes in the leaves of some of your garden plants, they may have been caused by a number of different insects. You'll need to know which type you're trying to eliminate in order to decide on the most effective course of action. If you act on the wrong assumption or simply use the most powerful pesticide you can find to solve the problem, you may end up killing helpful insects or making pets and children sick. Worst of all, you may not get rid of the offending pest.
Consider the pest-control options available to make sure you remove the right bugs.
Contact insecticides are usually absorbed through insects' exoskeletons
Reapply chemicals after heavy rains to renew effectiveness if needed
Use bait traps inside the house to minimize exposure to chemicals
Apply chemicals when insects feed, usually in the early morning or evening
Applying dust to wet leaves will help it stick better
Systemic insecticides last longer than contact chemicals
Less likely to wash off during rainstorms
Do not use on vegetables or other edible plants as they may cause illness
Particularly effective against bugs with piercing mouths, such as aphids and whiteflies
Apply to plants that have extensive and established root systems for maximum effect Prevention:
Caulk and seal openings around your home where bugs may be able to gain entry
Treat foundations around your house to deter entry
Store flour and dried foods in air-tight containers to stop bugs from getting in
Nontoxic methods help prevent pests from building up an immunity to insecticides
Repair rotted wood to help deter infestation by termites and other bugs