Know the pests in your neighborhood and their biology. After we do conventional research about pests and their behavior, we will use technology to predict pest activity and movement. Neighborhood centric data including crowdsourcing aided by such Apps as What’s Bugging Tucson and Top Watch (proprietary technology) assists us in understanding pest threats and movements to better protect and serve our customers. We also gather data from our customers located in the same neighborhoods.
Exclusion is done through restricting pest movement and access to places for hiding with physical barriers. Physical barriers prevent access to the home and nesting sites. This is a proactive service that enables us to follow our low or no chemical approach.
Physical control of the pest is when we physically damage the body of a pest; examples would be trapping, suffocating, dehydrating, and starvation. This can be used in place of chemically attacking the pest. There are many types of traps depending on the specific type of pest present. A few good examples of physical pest control would be soap or diatomaceous earth. Soap will remove the waxy layer of the exoskeleton leading to dehydration. Soap will also plug the pest’s spherical causing suffocation. Diatomaceous earth frequently found in places like toothpaste, is ground up mineral deposits left from fresh water algae called diatoms. The silica structure of the diatoms is sharp and easily damages the exoskeleton of many pests, specifically the membrane where the plates that move overlap as the insect moves or engorges.
This step makes the environment a less desirable place for pests. Examples of this are sanitation, environment modification, and repellents. Sanitation is done through cleaning up debris such as pack rat nests and removing conditions conducive such as food sources and moisture. Environment modification can be accomplished by adding lights or compacting the soil making it unfriendly to pests. Repellents such as cedar oil, mint oil, and pyrethrum will agitate the pests and discourage them from staying.
In this step we will use natural pest control products such as pyrethrum and boron. Pyrethrum is a Chrysanthemum flower extract. The Chrysanthemum flower has a stimulant which excites the insect, causing it to move on and not eating the plant. When the Chrysanthemum flower extract (pyrethrum) is concentrated it excites the insect to the point where the insects digestive system cannot supply enough energy, leaving the pest to die of momentary starvation. The pyrethrum concentrate is an ingredient in PT 565. This is an aerosol product used in confined spaces like closets. Boron is a naturally occurring element mined from the earth found in products like Visine, Tide, and 22 Mule Team Borax laundry powder. The natural element Boron is necessary for all life. Living cells are protected by a membrane. This membrane uses boron to detect how much moisture is outside of the cell versus inside. When we increase the amount of boron in the digestive system of the insect , the micro flora, like protozoa, become extremely thirsty and fight for the available water to the point of hyper hydrating causing the cell walls to burst and the insect to die of terminal constipation.
There are some synthetic low risk pesticides such as baits, which are low dose, low risk because they need to be ingested by the insect. Insect growth regulators (IGR) use the insects own biology to fight them, an example of this is it can harden their exoskeleton to the point that they cannot mature or lay eggs. Also of extreme interest is new low risk products that use the pest’s exoskeleton as a synergist, having no toxicity until there is direct contact with an insect.
There is a point when escalated protocol is necessary when we hit a pest threshold or an economic threshold. There are a times for synthetic products.
There is value in some synthesized products because of their ability to last in a bugs environment, keeping the cost down. An alternative option is temprid, which is a dual product that has a stimulant and depressant combination. The value of having a stimulant and a depressant in the same product is the insect is frequently disarmed because it doesn’t know which defense to use, reducing the possibility of the insects building resistance to insecticides. Therefore we can kill resistant pests with less product.
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