what is pest control? A "pest" is any insect, rodent, or wildlife that is considered undesirable because they either invade people's homes or businesses, causing damage or heightening the risk of communicating a disease or illness. So pest control would be the process of managing (by using deterrents or repellents) or removing pests from the house or place of business.
Managing or controlling pests can be done with a number of methods. Killing them is often done (using the services of an exterminator or doing it yourself), but there are methods of humane pest control available too. These include using sound to deter or repel pests, and making changes around the property to prevent pests from entering. Preventing a pest issue is far preferable to having to deal with one that's already happened... but if the problem already exists, then there's no way around it: the pest(s) have to be removed first.
Insects and wildlife enter buildings primarily to seek food, shelter, and warmth. The areas typically affected are the attic, the basement, and the roof. Homeowners can do some things to help ensure we don't provide an environment that's attractive to pests - for example, we can keep our spaces clean and uncluttered, without easy hiding places. Likewise, in the areas outside the home, we can make sure we don't stack firewood or other items near the house, and keep tree branches trimmed away from the home. We can seal up any obvious areas where pests might try to enter.
A professional pest control service can help a great deal in preventing and controlling pests too. They can inspect the premises to determine whether or not there are pests inside (sometimes it's hard to know for sure, as a homeowner... we only suspect there may be pests when we hear noises although sometimes we will see evidence such as feces). These services can:
Some services will use bait or traps, and some specialize in humane pest removal and prevention. If you have pets in the home, ask whether the methods used are toxic to pets.
The goal of pest control is to essentially remove any insect or wildlife from areas where people live or work. What type of approach is used to manage pests is the choice of the homeowner and may also be dictated by the situation itself. Humane methods are becoming more popular but there may be situations in which they will not work. Regardless, the goal is to prevent (or minimize) structural or other damage caused by these pests, and reduce the risk of pests spreading a disease or illness to people.