Fundamentals of Home Pest Control and Management: Index and Introduction

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Home Maintenance

Exterminating Procedures

Insects—General Information

Control of Specific Pests:

  • How to Use this Section
  • Ants
  • Aphids
  • Bedbugs
  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Black Widows
  • Box Elder
  • Brown Recluse Spider
  • Centipedes
  • Cockroaches
      • American Roach
      • Australian Roach
      • Brown Banded Roach
      • German Roach
      • Oriental Roach
      • Pennsylvania Wood Roach
      • Smokey Brown Roach
      • Vaga Roach
  • Crickets
  • Earwigs
  • Fleas
  • Flies
  • Gnats
  • Gophers
  • Lacewing
  • Lady Beetles
  • Leaf hoppers
  • Leaf Miners
  • Lice
  • Mantids
  • Mealy Bugs
  • Mice
  • Millipedes
  • Mites
      • Spider Mite
  • Mosquitoes
  • Moths
  • Rats
  • Scale
  • Scorpions
  • Silverfish
  • Snails and Slugs
  • Sow-bugs and Pill-bugs
  • Spiders (General)
  • Spittlebugs
  • Springtails
  • Tarantulas
  • Termites
  • Thrips
  • Ticks
  • True Bugs
  • Wasps
  • Whiteflies
  • “ Worms” and Caterpillars
  • Conclusion



There are over one million different species of animal on our planet. More than 70 percent (about 715,000) are insects, and about 10,000 new species of insect are discovered every year. This doesn’t include other pests, like spiders, scorpions, and centipedes, none of which are insects.

Many species have only a few thousand members; others have populations in the billions. Individual ant or termite colonies often contain more members than do some large cities.

The study of insects is called entomology. Entomologists are, perhaps, one of the least appreciated of all scientists. After all, who would be interested in bugs? Who other than a child could find them so fascinating that he would spend hours watching them and dissecting them?

Bugs aren’t all that interesting, are they?

At first, this may seem the case to many people. But the insect world is one of the most interesting and varied of the entire animal kingdom. Nowhere else will you find such diversity. Insects do things you would never suspect them capable of doing.

They are also of extreme economic importance. Crop damage from insect pests runs into billions of dollars every year. Termites in the United States cause nearly ten times the amount of damage of fires and storms combined.

Other insects, such as bees, pollinate crops. Without them, humanity would be in pretty bad shape.

Insects are found wherever man is, and a few places where man can’t survive. From the highest mountains to the deepest valleys, from wet tropical jungles to burning deserts or the icy cold of snowbound areas, there are insects. In size, they vary from the microscopic to huge monstrosities reaching lengths of almost two feet. Colors vary like the rainbow, from earthy browns to bright, metallic greens, blues, and reds.

They crawl, jump, fly, and swim. Some are carried around by willing (and unwilling) hosts. They make their homes in plants, trees, the air, the ground, or inside animals. Their food consists of just about anything you can imagine.

When we think of pests in the home we immediately think of insects, spiders, and mice. There are thousands of pest control companies in America, making several billion dollars every year killing the tiny crawlers.

Obviously, pest control is a big business. In fact, it is one of the largest in the world. So large that there is even a National Pest Control Month.

So, one morning you wake up to find some horrible creature creeping across the table. Out comes the ever-present aerosol can of insecticide. But, try as you might, the problem not only continues, but gets worse.

Not only that, but you notice that something is eating everything in your garden.

What to do, what to do?

You flick through the Yellow Pages, and pick one of the hundred- odd companies listed there. What kind of price do they demand to come out and kill these darned bugs?

“Well, we can do it for a fee of $65, after which we’ll come by to continue control for only $25 a month.”

Figure it out. That’s $340 for the first year, plus whatever tax is applicable.

And, $300 a year after that.

With a pained expression you reach for the checkbook to see if the budget will stand the strain this month, or even this year. As you flip open the checkbook, a silverfish whose supper you’ve just interrupted gives you a dirty look and scampers off.

“Can I get it just one time?” (That $65 price still hurts.)

“Sure. But, there’ll be no guarantee with it.”

Desperation works its way into your voice as you inform the salesman that you’ll let him know. Then, you go online or drive to the local library to find a book on how to control the bugs yourself.

None really useful.

Of course, you could try the “home remedies” your friends and neighbors suggest. But, do they really know any more about it than you do? If the remedy doesn’t work, what do you do then?

Well, you could fork over $840, and cry a lot. Or, you can use this guide.

Everything you need is right here. The equipment you’ll need, how to use it, and where to buy it, are all covered in Section 1.

Want to know something about any of the chemicals you’ll be using? Refer to Section 2. There isn’t any great mystery to them. If you follow the simple directions, they can be perfectly safe. Section 2 tells you what they are, what they’ll do, how and where to use them, and for which pest. It’s all listed alphabetically for easy reference.

Section 3 tells you of the best-known method of pest control, that of home maintenance. The easiest way to control pests is to not let them get established in the first place. Section 3 will tell you exactly what to do, and why.

Section 4 takes you through the basic exterminating procedures.

Section 5 gives you some of the basic information on the various pests you might encounter.

Section 6 goes into detail on each individual pest. Most of the pests you’ll run into are listed in alphabetical order. Nothing could be easier. Along with specific information on each pest, you’ll be told exactly what to do about it.

The final section wraps everything up with information on the Environmental Protection Agency, Poison Control Centers, and a few final remarks to make your task easier and safer. At the back of the book there is even a place where you can record important phone numbers in case of an emergency.

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