Put simply, pest management or control is the destruction or prevention of unwanted pests.
Many differing techniques are used, but the basic principles are common to most situations. These involve environmental management to exclude pests from sites, restrict access to food, water and harbourage, and, as a last resort, physical or chemical control.
The financial impact of pest activity can take many forms, from the contamination of food, rendering it unfit for retail sale, the direct consumption of stored food by insects, rodents, birds or other pests, damage to buildings by rodents gnawing through electric cables, water pipes or structural timbers, or by birds blocking ventilation pipes and guttering with nesting materials.
Damage to parks, gardens and recreational facilities such as sports fields and golf courses by the burrowing behaviour of rabbits and moles can also be significant, as can the effects on trade and reputation when pests become established in a commercial premises.
Most pests have the ability to carry or transmit disease, be responsible for allergic reactions, bite or sting.
In some cases, neither health nor finance are put at risk, but the pest becomes a nuisance because of a phobia, excessive noise caused by the persistent call of birds, or rendering a building unsightly with droppings.
There are many services available to remove unwanted pests, from year-round, contracted pest control services, monitoring entire sites on a regular basis against specific pests, to ensure that the site remains pest-free, to the occasional employment of a pest control company to eradicate a localised pest problem such as wasps’ nests, rodent or bird infestations.
Training courses can help create ‘awareness’ amongst workplace staff of the problems that pests can cause, to recognise the signs and potential for infestation.