What is Pest Abatement?
We’ve all heard of the term “exterminator,” “pest-control,” but what actually happens when that random “guy” that every landlord knows comes and sprays some mysterious substance around the windows and doors. What is pest abatement? This article aims at satisfying your curiosity surrounding some of the common thoughts regarding mitigating the pests in and around your home, i.e., the techniques, differing chemicals commonly used, their side effects, and home remedies.
Most referred to as “pest control,” the more accurate term, “pest abatement” is the process of limiting the quantity of unwanted bugs, pests or animals and the quality of their effects in or around your home with the hope of eradicating them entirely. The dictionary definition of “abatement,” aligns perfectly with the job of pest control as it is defined as “the ending, reduction, or lessening of something.” Often, the mere term “control” can be misleading, as it has no definitive meaning in regard to pests, and the pests cannot always be adequately “controlled.” The definition of abatement, however, provides a full spectrum of what your money will pay for; again, the lessening of the pest’s overall presence with the hope of total eradication.
The term “abatement” is also frequently used in legal settings⎯so think of it as pest “eviction,” and the tenant does not always want to leave!
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Types of Pests and their Effect on the Home
Kate King, writing for “prokill,” a UK-based pest control practice, eloquently groups pests into four main categories:
- General Wildlife
Rodents: The paradigm example of the rodent is, of course, the mouse… These creatures are notorious for making people scream, and if you think they don’t scare you, maybe the potential effects they could have on your home and health will do the trick.
Rodents such as mice can cause problems to your health by:
- Spreading bacteria through their saliva
- Contaminating food sources
- They feces can cause problems though airborne inhalation alone
Subsequently, mice have been known to spread diseases such as “hantavirus,” which can sometimes be fatal.
Additionally, a bite from a rodent can cause illnesses with symptoms such as:
The damage doesn’t stop there! Rodents can cause harm to your:
- Electrical Wiring
I definitely do not want these critters in my home…
Insects: Taking the paradigm example of the insect pest, the cockroach can cause problems such as:
- Respiration issues (especially if you suffer from asthma)
- Contamination of Food
Other pests such as spiders, flies, mosquitoes, etc., can cause physical damage to your person in the form of bug-bites, and especially for the spiders, these can cause serious problems to your health, and in rare cases, they can be fatal.
Birds: This one might come as a surprise, but birds can be a real nuisance to your home too! Birds will often find themselves nesting in the tight areas of the exterior of your home, causing damage to your gutters, for example.
While birds are generally pleasant creatures, they are not always kind to the outside of your home.
General Wildlife: This list is, of course, exhaustive… This includes everything from bears, to foxes, to racoons, and beyond.
This, of course, comes with its challenges… If there was a bear making itself at home near my family, I’d certainly want it “abated…”
What can be done about these Pests?
Obviously, each pest must be handled within reason according to its own dispositions and tendencies. You wouldn’t catch a bear with a mousetrap, nor would you hit an ant with a rubber bullet.
There is, then, no “one size fits all” when it comes to pest abatement. Furthermore, varying degrees of care must be handled with certain types of pests. As our society rightly deems appropriate, the stray dog that finds its way into your yard, ought not be treated in the same manner as the pesky spider on your wall.
So, excluding larger pests like friendly bears and inquisitive racoons as the list would be far too long, the most common method for smaller pest abatement is, you guessed it: PESTICIDE. Literally, coming from the Latin suffix -cide, like homicide, fratricide, patricide, pesticide, refers directly to “killing” pests.
What are the most common types of pesticides, and what are their effects?
A Harvard study looked at the most used pesticide, “Chlorpyrifos,” and its effects on not only on bugs but on people.
According to researcher Xindi Hu, the chemical is used widely on crops to keep bugs away. It is sprayed on corn, soybeans, broccoli, apples, and more. This chemical, then, finds its way into the human system and it can have a few adverse effects on human health! In the study, they found that when children were exposed to this chemical before they were born, they experienced developmental issues such as being smaller in size as well as having an increased chance of being diagnosed with ADHD and other similar conditions.
These findings, however, are not limited to Chlorpyrifos alone. According to the study, there are over 34,000 different pesticides which come from the same 600 chemicals, and there have been very, very few chemicals banned in recent years. The legislation has not limited the toxic use of a vast majority of these chemicals, and they are making their way into your bell peppers, apples, corn, and… YOUR HOMES.
Obviously, this article is not about the adverse effects of pesticides on agriculture, but it should get you thinking… “what is being sprayed in/on/or around my home?”
Perhaps you will give it some more thought the next time you decide to go toe to toe with those ants in your garden!
Home Remedy for Pest Abatement
We live in a very harmonious world, and if we look deep enough, we are often met with natural solutions to natural problems that go beyond human invention. There are several ways that you can deal with pests in your home naturally:
- Planting natural herbs like: (Different pests dislike different herbs)
- And so much more!
There are also some more practical steps you can take:
- Seal any cracks in doors/windows
- Trim tree branches touching your home
- Take out your trash
CONCLUSION: What is Pest Abatement
Well, pest abatement is any way that you can limit the number of bugs and critters getting into your home! We hope you can get that number down to zero, but if all home remedies seem to be failing, contact your local pest-specialist for some help, but don’t forget to ask him what he’s using!