Pest Control – How to Get Rid of Insects, Rodents, Weeds and Other Pests

Pest Control Louisville KY, involves preventing or eliminating unwanted insects, rodents, weeds and other organisms. Treatments may include removing their nests or spraying them with insecticide.

Many pest control businesses use a truck to carry tools and pesticides to customer sites. This makes the company look professional and enables it to serve more locations quickly.

The ubiquity of insects on earth and the plethora of ecological niches they occupy make them an important element in all terrestrial ecosystems. While playing a vital role as pollinators, they also decompose and recycle nutrients, disperse seeds, maintain soil structure and fertility, control populations of other organisms (predators, parasites, disease vectors), and provide food for other animals including birds, reptiles, fish and mammals. Insects have direct impacts on human health through their bites and stings, as well as their roles as carriers of diseases to humans and animals (vectors).

In addition, insects eat or destroy crops and cause substantial economic losses. The economic impact of insect pests is difficult to calculate in dollar terms, but estimates put it at between 10% and 25% of the gross national product in industrialized nations.

Many plants — especially those in the vegetable family — are very attractive to insects. Some species, such as plum curculio, striped cucumber beetle, plant bugs, white grubs and Colorado potato beetle, are perennial pests that occur year after year. Others are cyclical pests that experience boom and bust years based on their interaction with predators, parasites and environmental factors.

The risk of diseases to farmed insects is low, however, and public health professionals should encourage companies to take advantage of this opportunity by developing efficient surveillance and sanitation systems for insect production. In addition, they should increase knowledge of pathogen biology and infection conditions to develop effective methods for diagnosis and prevention of disease outbreaks in farmed insects. They should also work with businesses to develop insect safety assurance systems along the entire supply chain. This includes breeding, rearing, transporting and processing.


Rodents are a major cause of crop damage and electrical system malfunctions throughout the world. Using their ever-growing front teeth, rodents chew on everything from wires to insulation materials and wooden beams. Over time, this gnawing can lead to fire hazards and structural damage. They also contaminate food and produce unpleasant, lingering odors. In addition, rodents are known carriers of contagious diseases like salmonella and hantavirus and can host infectious parasites like fleas and ticks.

Most often, our pest rodents are rats and mice. They are sometimes referred to as “commensal rodents,” meaning they share a habitat with humans and consume many of the same foods that we do. Rodents can be very difficult to deal with, and early detection is important for preventing serious damages and health risks.

Signs of rodent activity to look for include droppings and gnaw marks. Pay attention to dark grease stains, which are indicative of increased or prolonged activity in that area. Listen for scratching sounds, as well. Identifying these signs and acting quickly can prevent severe structural damage, fire hazards, costly repairs, and loss of business for commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels.

Another common concern for homeowners is squirrels digging holes in yards as they search for acorns, seeds, and other nuts. While they may be a cute addition to any yard, squirrels can become destructive when they start nesting in attics and burrowing through foundations of homes. Aside from being unsightly, this can cause significant damage that lowers the value of a home and may even require costly roof repair. Similarly, pesky chipmunks can be annoying when they dig through landscaping materials and into the walls of homes to get at their tasty snack.

Rodent Exclusion

A key aspect of pest control is reducing the conditions that draw rodents to homes and businesses. While cleaning up rat droppings and implementing traps are great steps, more comprehensive methods are needed to prevent the problem from returning. This is where rodent exclusion comes in.

Rodents enter structures through tiny openings, and can slip through gaps as small as a quarter. A home or business owner can easily seal these entry points with a bit of caulking and weather stripping. In some cases, a professional is required to properly examine the structure for possible rodent entry points. Typical areas of entry include places where utility lines enter the building, and spaces around vents, air conditioning and drainpipes.

Once inside, rats and mice can chew through almost anything, causing damage and leaving a mess behind. They can also transmit diseases that can impact human health and cause structural damage. Rodents are a nightmare for homeowners, and the sound of scratching and rustling in the attic can keep you up at night.

The most effective way to reduce the risk of a rodent infestation is through rodent exclusion. Instead of simply catching them in traps, Orkin’s pest control professionals can seal all the ways that rodents can get into buildings and prevent future infestations.

Proper exclusion is an integral part of our pest control services and should be considered before a rodent problem develops. For example, keeping garbage containers tightly sealed and disposing of trash regularly helps to deter pests. Similarly, ensuring compost piles are well-maintained and turned can prevent rodents from gaining access to the materials they need for nesting. These steps can help to prevent an infestation and provide peace of mind for the homeowner.


Pesticides are any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy or control pests, which include disease vectors like mosquitoes, ticks and rodents; unwanted species of plants; or fungi. Insecticides (bug killers) and herbicides are the most well-known pesticides, but there are many others. There are algaecides to kill or slow the growth of algal blooms; fungicides to control fungal diseases like mildew and rust; plant growth regulators that alter the development of plants to make them less attractive to pests; rodenticides to control rats, mice and other rodents; and wood preservatives that protect timber from insects, fungus and decay. Some are biodegradable, breaking down in the environment into harmless compounds; others are persistent, remaining in the soil or water for months or years.

The primary benefits of pesticides are that they protect crops by killing or deterring unwanted organisms. However, pesticides also have negative impacts on the natural environment. Insecticide spray residues can drift and land on other plants and objects, contaminating non-target areas with chemicals. The insecticides may also enter the bodies of non-target animals, killing or harming them at the time of contact or through exposure to pesticide residuals later on.

Some pesticides interfere with the normal functioning of the body’s hormone systems. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors and can have long-term impacts on humans and wildlife, including birth defects, cancer, neurological problems and reproductive disorders. Other effects of endocrine-disrupting pesticides have included hermaphroditic deformities in frogs and pseudohermaphrodite polar bears with penis-like stumps, and reproductive abnormalities in fish, birds and mammals. Some pesticides are designed to control certain bacteria, such as the bacterium Bacillus anthracis that causes anthrax, a serious terrorist threat.


Pests are undesirable organisms that damage or degrade crops, soil, plants, trees and natural and cultural resources (including structures and vertebrate animals). Pest control methods are often categorized as natural, biological, chemical, physical and regulatory. Natural controls (such as weather or topography) limit pest populations by making the environment unsuitable; biological controls use natural enemies to injure or consume target pests to manage population sizes; and chemical control options may directly affect, or disrupt the behavior of, targeted pests. However, even the best-designed chemical products can harm beneficial organisms if not used properly.

Prevention is the key to effective pest management, limiting the need for reactive treatments by keeping pests from getting into your home in the first place. This means securing the home with proper screens, sealing entryways and regularly inspecting and patching cracks or other openings on the exterior of the home. It also means keeping trash cans outside and taking steps to minimize the number of food scraps thrown away inside the house.

Finally, it means using nematodes to kill unwanted insects – the microscopic worms can be sprayed to infect grubs, fleas, aphids and cockroaches by the millions. Nematodes are not a cure-all for pest problems, but when they are used in combination with other preventative strategies, they can be very effective.

Infestations of both insects and rodents can cause serious health, structural and environmental concerns. Pesticides are often the most effective treatment for pest infestations, but their use should be limited as much as possible to keep a household healthy and safe. Before applying any insecticides, it’s important to have a pest professional identify the pest species involved and its underlying causes so that the most effective treatment can be applied.