Just a pest isn’t always an insect, insects aren’t always pests.

It’s true that both pests and insects can be an expensive nuisance for homeowners in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Before you prepare to shell out unnecessary cash to rid your home of these creatures, it’s important to understand the differences between the two, and why they may not be as big a nuisance as you first thought.

An insect is a creature whose body consists of three sections—a head, thorax, and abdomen—and is protected by a hard outer shell called an exoskeleton.  They have six legs, a pair of antennae, and two sets of wings (except for ants and flies). Insects can live in the most extreme climates and are found in essentially all parts of the world.

A pest is any living creature that is undesirable due to a negative trait or behavior. Pests can be vertebrates, including rodents and birds or invertebrates, such as insects and even some harmful plants.  Invertebrate pests include insects like:

  •         Cockroaches
  •         Lice
  •         Ticks
  •         Mites
  •         Mosquitoes
  •         Thrips
  •         Bed bugs

Besides the physical damage these creatures can cause, pests are harmful to our health, often carrying disease. Learn about “good bugs” and “bad bugs”

So why do some insects become pests?

Some insects are viewed as pests if they pose a risk to humans’ or pets’ health, our food sources, or property. Insects are treated as pests if they harm any of these things.

Not all insects cause damage. Honeybees, spiders, and ladybugs are beneficial organisms. These insects, such as honeybees, assist with pollinating flowers and other vital plants. Spiders and ladybugs help control the insect population through their eating habits. 

Insects, whether beneficial or destructive, can be considered pests when they infest a building, like your home or business. One insect that comes inside can be removed easily; a large swarm of insects (and creatures known to be pests, like bed bugs or cockroaches) require more intense remediation methods.

What is the best way to kill pests?

Effective pest control is a combination of powerful killing agents and using products that will not harm people, pets, or plants.  

In years past, farmers and gardeners used powerful chemical-based pesticides for pest control on their plants and crops. Although effective, these products often caused health problems for people or animals. Today, agriculture professionals use other methods, such as traps, natural remedies, and biological pest control.

What is biological pest control?

Classical biological pest control relies on releasing a controlled amount of the pests’ natural predators into the affected area. This method is highly effective for minimizing the damage caused by invasive pests. Augmentative biological control is the purposeful release of commercially raised natural enemies in greenhouses or on crops. This process is used to eliminate harmful insects, but not damage weeds or plants.

Biological pest control has several benefits. It is less expensive than most remediation methods. It is also safer for all involved—humans, pets, and plants/crops. Augmentative pest control is an effective but temporary remediation method. It must be done every year for the best results.

What is cultural pest control?

Cultural pest control is another crop manipulation system used mainly on farms or nurseries to reduce or eliminate pests. Methods can range from the simple adjustment of planting dates or crop rotation to more complex approaches like rearranging the layout of crops. This type of pest control can be complicated, difficult, and expensive to implement, yet it shows the importance of effective pest management for all types of consumers.

How do I protect my home and property from pests?

Prevention is the best way to protect your home and property from pests. For pests like insects, the following maintenance and upkeep tips are effective:

  • Seal all cracks and crevices along door or window frames with caulking
  • Repair/replace any holes in door or window screens
  • Check window eaves, roof soffits, and other small spaces for obvious signs of insect nests or eggs

Pests will also come inside looking for food. To prevent infestations:

  • Store food in airtight containers made from glass, plastic, or metal. Not only will paper bags and cardboard boxes not keep pests out, but most vermin can also easily chew right through this type of packaging.
  • Store food in a cabinet or pantry. Do not leave opened containers of food on counters or tables.
  • Cover all uneaten food with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

When is it time to call a professional?

Farmers, gardeners, and commercial pest control clients have their own unique needs for safe, effective remediation. Homeowners need remediation methods that are safe, effective, and easy to use. DIY methods can have mixed results—the insect infestation may return if the product was not applied properly or used for the right amount of time. Rather than spend more time and money on methods that may not deliver the results you want, it may be time to call a pest control professional.

Contact The Pest Rangers below for a free consultation today. We will assess the issue, develop a remediation plan, and put it into practice immediately. If not satisfied, we will return to your home at no additional cost until the issue is resolved.


Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.