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Pests in Public Buildings and Private Residences: Pests in Our World

A collection of resources regarding pests that infest public buildings and private residences.

Pests in Our World

Environmental Protection Agency Pest Control Resources

The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
EPA's purpose is to ensure that:
  • all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
  • environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
  • all parts of society -- communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments -- have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
  • environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and
  • the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
The EPA website includes many resources dealing with pest management:
There are various sources of documents to use in your school integrated pest management (IPM) program. The examples listed here provide a basic set of information to start with.
On this page:
  • IPM benefits
  • Options, IPM strategies, and success stories
  • Pesticide safety resources
  • Model school IPM policy
  • School IPM Program Bid and Contract Guidance
  • Sample pest management contracts
  • For more information on school IPM contracts
  • Pest sighting log
  • Cafeteria inspection checklist
  • Notification forms for school administrators and pest management professionals
  • Additional Resources and Tools

Effects of Climate Change on Pest Increases

How does climate change affect agricultural pests and disease?
Climate change poses a threat to the control of pest and disease invasions. These "pests and diseases" include insects, plant diseases, and invasive weeds. As climate variables continue to change in the Central Valley, new pests and diseases may become able to invade previously uninhabitable areas like Yolo County. Climate factors that aid in pest and disease invasions are mostly temperature related and include increasing average temperatures, warmer winter minimum temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, and water shortages.


Where do pests and diseases come from?

Some crop diseases and pests are native to California, while others originate from other regions of the continent or world. In their native regions, potential pest species are kept under control by predators and other ecosystem processes. However, once introduced to a different region such as the California Central Valley, these pests and diseases may no longer have natural predators or other environmental variables to control their population size. Climate change is aiding these invasions by widening the "invasion niche," or the set of environmental conditions under which pests can successfully invade.

What are some examples of pest and disease invasion threats due to climate change?
Increasing temperatures contribute to a poleward migration or expansion of the ranges of many organisms [1]. In the case of California, this means ranges will move northward. Average annual temperatures have been modeled to increase by up to 4.5 degrees Celsius 2100 [2]. Additionally, winter minimum temperatures may increase by up to 2.4 degrees Celsius in that same window [2]. This will likely result in an increased amount of new pest and disease species, as the ranges of many pests and diseases have historically been limited by cold winter minimums. This general hypothesis has been used to study specific pest invasions in further detail.
Milder winters have been shown to increase the survival of many frost-sensitive insects [3]. Increasing temperatures also allow for higher rates of growth and reproduction in insect herbivores [3]. Studies on aphids and moths have shown that increasing temperatures can allow insects to reach their minimum flight temperature sooner, aiding in increased dispersal capabilities [4] [5] [6] [7]. Multiple studies have shown the northward expansion or shift of insect ranges, such as Edith's checkerspot butterfly or the mountain pine beetle, to be correlated with increasing temperatures [1] [8].
While not nearly comprehensive, the factors discussed above provide a sense of the types of responses we can expect from insect pests in light of climate change. Positive physiological responses to increasing temperatures will allow for faster insect growth and movement. Additionally, milder winters will allow for earlier insect growth and a reduction in overwinter deaths. The expansion or shift in ranges coupled with an increase in growth and numbers will likely result in an increase in insect invasions.
Insect pests already present in Yolo County may also benefit from many of the same factors. Historically, cold winter temperatures have helped to keep pest and disease life cycles at a minimum and otherwise delay the growth and dispersal of pest organisms. Just as we expect an increase in growing degree days and a reduction in chilling hours for crops in Yolo County, we can expect the same for insect pests. Therefore, the challenges presented by currently established pests in Yolo County will become greater, on top of those challenges presented by invasion threats.
From; accessed August 18, 2017.
How rising temperatures affect insects
 Climate change resulting in increased temperature could impact crop pest insect populations in several complex ways. Although some climate change temperature effects might tend to depress insect populations, most researchers seem to agree that warmer temperatures in temperate climates will result in more types and higher populations of insects.

The Main Pests in Hotel and Commercial Kitchens

Top pests in hotel and commercial kitchens

Pests are a public health and business risk. They can cause damage to buildings, fittings, furnishings and food products, transmit disease, cause unsightly marks and smells.

They affect customers in several ways, including causing illnesses, irritating bites, bad feeling, which can be expressed in many social media platforms and review sites, and loss of custom.

On this page you can find detailed information on these pests that affect hotels and commercial kitchens:

Pest infestations impart costs to businesses from:

  • treatment to eradicate pests;
  • replacement of contaminated stock or defaced items;
  • loss of reputation;
  • loss of business; and
  • potential litigation from the public and regulatory authorities.

Businesses providing products and services to the public are expected to give pest control a high priority. Hotels and restaurants have a responsibility for protecting public health by preventing contamination of food and transmission of pest-borne diseases inside their premises.

Food safety legislation (in the EU Regulation (EC) 852/2004) mandates that food handling businesses exclude pests and prevent food contamination by taking effective measures.

From; accessed August 18, 2017.

Information on Pests in Schools and Their Control

Information on Pests in Schools and Their Control

Pests such as insects, rodents, fungi, and weeds can affect the school environment and the people who work and learn there. These pests can cause human health problems, structural damage, and plant damage.

On this page:

Pests of concern in schools
Where to look for pests in schools
Basic information on pest control in schools
For more information

Subject Guide

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Brian Bess
915 Monroe St.
Huntsville, AL 35801

Identifying Bugs and Their Bites: A Slideshow from Web

Identifying Bugs and Their Bites