Uhh Huh: What?


As I am writing this, my area of Kansas is experiencing heavy rain, hail, high winds. We are in a flood and tornado watch. The power is out. So, here I am. Blogging in the dark. The husband texted me from the garage to come help save some baby bunnies from drowning. We found most of them. Where was I going with this?

How many social media pages do you have? 2? 3? 4? Do you skim the headlines or really read each post? Do you sometimes ask yourself “Why is there so much nonsense?”. I am amazed, on a daily basis, that so much misinformation is perceived as truth.


I found a new gardening chat group on one of my socials. I have managed to keep some house plants alive, and I have designed a pretty awesome flower bed at the front porch. I was looking for tips on the actual garden I had planted.

I did a quick scroll and found a wealth of information. One thing I noticed in those posts: many home remedies for insect control. Certain plants, hot water, garlic, hot pepper flakes, grits, frozen ladybugs were among the ways quoted to help control unwanted insects in a vegetable garden. Are you seriously kidding me?

Neem oil is commonly suggested

Oh, yes. The group participants, and its moderator, were adamant that this was the way to go. When I posted about how I owned a pest control business and that I would be happy to help, I was told to, and I quote, Leave the science out of gardening and pest control. Again: Uhh, what?


A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend an in person seminar about mosquito control. The guest speaker was Stan “The Mosquito Man” Cope. I digested information about effective control methods, species by state, inspection techniques, and I won a bag of candy by correctly answering a question.

Part of the discussion was about the possibility of plants being a deterrent for insect pests. While it is somewhat true that plants can help with garden pest control, the plant itself does very little for managing the pest populations.

The Mosquito Man described a process called maceration. This means “to crush to extract substances”, like crushing plants to get oils. The oils from plants are the substances commonly used in natural or green types of insecticides. Many are declared to be 25b exempt – meaning they are low risk to humans, animals, and health.

Science Is Part Of Pest Control

When choosing to manage, control, eradicate, get rid of, or decimate a pest, science HAS to be part of the equation. The PCO needs to know about insect identification, habits, habitats, lifecycle and mating, biology, food preferences and much more. Control measures for insect and rodent pests depend on knowing the science behind the why, and how.

Treatment processes cannot and should not begin until a proper inspection and ID is completed for your client. I know there are some baseboard jockeys out there. Just a reminder to grab your Sherlock Holmes hat and bag of detective gear to find the scientific answer. There’s a science to keeping unwanted pests at bay. If I remember correctly, a large pest control company used this as a tag line in a TV commercial.

For fun learning with the kids in your life. http://www.pestworldforkids.org

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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