Pest Control

Pest Control: What Are the Different Types of Insects and Why Are They Important?

Pest control protects homes and businesses from the health risks associated with unwanted pest infestations. When looking for a pro, look up their ratings on social media or review websites and ask about their pricing transparency and scheduling flexibility. For more information, click the Kansas City Pest Control to proceed.

Threshold-based decision making focuses on scouting and monitoring. A few house centipedes or cockroach sightings don’t usually warrant action, but a full-fledged infestation should be addressed immediately.

Many people see insects as a nuisance or as disease carriers, but the vast majority of insect species are beneficial from an agricultural viewpoint. They pollinate flowers, fruits and vegetables, act as scavengers, control other pest insects, break down and bury animal waste, and improve soil conditions.

Insects are extremely adaptable creatures and have developed to survive in all environments on Earth, from deserts to glaciers. They have six legs, two antennae, a head, thorax and abdomen, and an exoskeleton that contains organs for sensing light, sound, temperature, wind pressure and smell. They also have a wide range of behaviors to protect themselves from predators, parasites and diseases. Some use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings, while others mimic the color or scent of their enemies to deceive their foes. They can also use acoustic signals to communicate with other insects, and some have wings that allow them to fly.

While most insects live solitary lives, certain grasshoppers and true bugs (including the stink bug) enter a gregarious phase that causes them to form massive migratory swarms that may be transported by wind or flying for hundreds or even thousands of miles. These swarms are known as locusts and can destroy crops in their path.

Some insects damage growing plants by eating their leaves, stems or roots. This is called direct or internal feeding. Hundreds of plant pests belong to this category, including orthopterans such as grasshoppers and locusts; homopterans such as moths and butterflies; coleopterans like beetles and sawflies; and lepidopterans such as gypsy moths and leopard moths.

Other insect pests cause indirect damage by introducing a bacterial or viral disease into a crop. They include aphids, leaf miners, borers and gall insects such as the emerald ash borer that began killing trees in southeastern Michigan in 2002.


Rodents are a diverse group of mammals, with species as small as pygmy mice and as large as capybaras. They inhabit a wide range of habitats and are found throughout the world. They are adapted to live near water and food sources and can thrive in a variety of climates. Many rodents are nocturnal.

Rodents can cause significant property damage. Their sharp incisors can chew through anything, including wooden structural beams in homes. This constant chewing can weaken the structure of a building, potentially leading to pricey repairs. Rodents can also spread diseases. They carry and transmit bacteria and viruses such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella.

Rodents often enter structures to find food, shelter, and water. The best strategy for rodent control is an integrated pest management approach that includes sanitation, exclusion, and lethal controls. Sanitation involves removing food sources, cleaning up droppings and pilfered materials, and closing off shelters by blocking access points. This includes ensuring that garbage cans and dumpsters are closed and secured, and that food is stored in sealed containers.

Mice and rats can squeeze through openings that are as small as 1/2 inch. They may enter through gaps under doors, around vents, through cracks in walls and floors, and through unsecured crawl spaces. Sealing all entry points and repairing broken windows and screens is important for rodent control.

Rodents can be prevented from entering by removing all food and water sources inside and outside the building. All trash should be emptied regularly, and containers should be tightly closed. Water should not be allowed to puddle or stand around air-conditioning units, and plumbing should be checked frequently for leaks. All doors should be kept shut, and if they open over a drain, the door must have a metal kick plate to prevent rodents from gnawing through it.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a frequent problem in hotels and other lodging establishments. They are efficient hitchhikers and can be transported into homes and apartments on luggage, clothing, shoes and other belongings brought in by visitors. They are difficult to eradicate once established.

When a bed bug bites, it injects saliva to ensure blood flow and pierces the skin with needle-like mouthparts. It then ingests the host’s blood while elongating in size. A bitten person may experience itching, swollen arms or legs, reddish marks on the skin, and fecal droppings. Bed bug bites tend to cluster around the feet but can occur anywhere on the body.

During the day, bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices where they are too small to be seen. They are mahogany in color when unfed, but engorged and bright red after feeding. Young nymphs are translucent and can fit into very narrow hiding places, such as the piping and seams of mattresses and box springs, in crevices of beds and headboards, on nightstands and bed frames, in folds of curtains, under loose wallpaper or in door and window frames, picture frames, smoke detectors, electrical switches and outlets, and in the cracks of baseboards.

Cooperation of owners and occupants is essential to a successful bed bug control treatment. Excess clutter should be removed from bedrooms and living areas to permit access for inspection and treatment. Cover mattresses and box springs with protective covers, repair cracks in walls and ceilings, and vacuum often, using a brush attachment to reach crevices and corners. Be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner bag immediately into an outdoor trash container.

Bed bugs are resistant to many pesticides, and aerosol “bug bombs” are rarely effective. Treatments usually require multiple steps and repeated treatments. Follow-up evaluation and monitoring will help to detect recurrence and prevent the spread of infestations.


Mosquitoes are a nuisance pest that bite and transmit diseases to people and animals. Their bites are painful, and some species (especially the females) are vectors of dangerous diseases such as encephalitis, malaria, west Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue fever, filariasis and Zika virus.

Mosquito larvae grow in standing water and feed on aquatic algae and organic material until they become adults. Adult mosquitoes swarm after heavy rainfall in areas with poorly drained, stagnant water. This is particularly true for the cosmopolitan, floodwater mosquito, Aedes vexans, which emerges from river backwaters, marshes and other low-lying areas.

Female mosquitoes feed on vertebrates, including people, to produce eggs. They probe the skin with their mouthparts to find a blood vessel and pierce the host with a sharp proboscis. They then suck blood from the host, injecting a small amount of a pain killer that makes the piercing less painful to the host.

The best control method for mosquitoes uses techniques to target every stage of the insect’s life cycle, a method known as integrated pest management (IPM). Pest control programs that follow IPM protocols focus on prevention, regular monitoring, property management and education to reduce the need for pesticides.

Pest control professionals use plant-derived pyrethrins and synthetic pyrethroids, which kill mosquitoes by blocking nerve impulses. They also use organophosphates, which kill mosquitoes by disrupting their nervous systems and are typically applied as a liquid spray. In addition, homeowners can help reduce the need for pesticides by removing all containers that hold standing water and repairing torn window and door screens. They can also improve drainage around their homes and yards, aerate ornamental ponds or stock them with fish, and recycle used tires and other outdoor appliances.


Wasps are highly valuable in agricultural production as pest control agents and pollinators. They also play an important role in regulating insect populations.

Wasp nests are most often found in secluded places like trees, under porches or in attics. They are largely constructed from fibrous materials such as wood, plant material and bark, which is chewed with saliva until it has reached a paper-like consistency. These nests can be the size of a beach ball or larger, and vary by species. Some social wasps, such as yellow jackets, hornets and paper wasps, live in colonies with anywhere from a couple individuals to a few hundred. Others, like mud daubers, are solitary and build tunnel-like nests under eaves and overhangs.

Many solitary wasps are kleptoparasites that lay their eggs inside of other insects, such as spiders or caterpillars. The eggs hatch into larvae that eat their way through the host, eventually killing it. Some will even paralyze their prey and carry them back to their nests to provision for their sibling larvae.

As a result of their predatory behavior and scavenging, wasps have evolved to be highly effective natural pest controllers. They prey on a wide range of pests, including fruit fly, leaf miners and stink bugs, helping to reduce crop losses.

If you have a wasp problem, limiting their access to food and water can help keep them away. Sprayed pesticides formulated for wasps and hornets can be used to control them, but they must be applied as soon as the nest is active in order to work. It is recommended to hire a professional that has the proper equipment and expertise for dealing with wasps, especially removing their nests.