All Creatures Great and Small

What is a pest?


What is a pest?  A pest is an organism so designated by the pesticide industry to promote the use of their chemicals.  In reality, most so-called “pests” are nothing more than nuisances we occasionally encounter in our homes or business.  Bed bugs don’t carry any diseases and are not dangerous, but they are one of the most profitable “pests” on the planet.  In reality, they are nothing more than a nuisance you may end up sleeping with some night.  Cockroaches are described by the pesticide industry as being filthy disease-laden bugs that will make you sick.  Except in a few cases in ghetto type environments, that is not the case at all.  Call your local hospital and ask them how many people they have due to cockroach related diseases.  None.  Ants are a nuisance in most cases but some species like fire ants can be dangerous and should be considered a pest.  Some other species, such as Argentine ants, that have enormous colonies and can overrun a house should also be considered pests.  Most species can be controlled with simple baiting solutions. There are other real pests such as certain species of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.  Some fleas and ticks can carry diseases.  Also, some rodents not only carry diseases such as hantavirus, but carry ectoparasites that can cause problems.  Termites can do serious damage to your home and some insects will destroy clothing or get into food.  These can be considered pests.  But most of the so-called “pests” we spray with dangerous pesticides are really no more than nuisances.  We need to look at our household invaders and decide, are they dangerous, or are they simply a nuisance.  Then act accordingly.  Even in the case of real pests, most can be controlled without dangerous pesticides.

Chances are that no matter what you do, you will see an occasional insect or spider or something else.  There are several things you can do to minimize the chances of seeing these intruders.  First, proper sanitation is important.  Keep debris on your property down to a minimum. This includes dead leaves, mulch, wood, garbage, manure, pet feces, weeds, boxes, grass clippings, and anything else that isn’t necessary and that bugs would find attractive.  Also, install door sweeps on your outside doors if they do not close tightly.  If you can see light under the doors, insects can crawl in.  Raise any garbage containers off the ground and place them on concrete pads, bricks or pallets.  Routinely clean any gutters you may have.  Inspect the outside of your house and seal or caulk any cracks in the foundation or voids abound pipes or any other areas which will give bugs access to your house. Make sure your screens are in good repair.  Do not let any branches from nearby trees or shrubs touch your roof.  Prune them back if necessary. If you live in an area where cockroaches are prevalent, make sure all your drains are closed at night.  If you don’t have a drain cover, you can put a Ziploc bag filled with water on the drain to keep the roaches from coming up and into the house

If you have any pest questions, you can contact me and I will help you solve any pest problems you have without using toxic pesticides. All my consultations are basically free. If you contribute $20 or more, I will send you three handbooks I have written. They include a handbook to safe and effective pest control in your home and garden, a handbook on pest control in commercial buildings and a termite manual for realtors and homeowners. Email me information on how to get them. I can help you control roaches, ants, bed bugs, or just about any pest without you having to have your house sprayed with pesticides. If you are not sure what it is, you can send me some samples. Once it is known, I will tell you what, if anything, you need to control it, how to apply it and what you need to do to prevent a re-infestation. If you need to send me some bugs to identify, my mailing address is 7595 Faith Rd., Las Cruces, NM 88012. Please put the pest samples in small plastic containers or vials and pack them in a bubble envelope so they don’t get smashed by the postal process. There are very rare instances where you may need a professional for a household pest problem and I can either recommend someone or tell you how to pick one. However, in 99% of the cases, homeowners and business owners can do their own pest control. There is no reason to endanger your family, your pets or your customers and employees if you are a business owner, with the wholesale spraying of pesticides. If you need a consultation or are interested in the handbooks, my email address is



About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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