Pest Counterpunch: Integrated Pest Management

Adjusting an insect incubator in his lab at Hood River, OSU entomologist Peter Shearer examines how hot and cold temperatures affect pests such as spotted wing drosophila. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

The phone rings in a dark room in Corvallis, where Colton Bond sits illuminated by a lone lamp and headset around his neck. On the line is a distressed caller with snakes in her attic and a box of mothballs in her hand. She’s called Bond for advice on how to deploy mothballs against the snakes.

Mothballs are not intended to kill snakes—nor squirrels, bats, or birds—Bond gently informs her. Because mothballs change from solid to gas in closed spaces, they can be dangerous to people breathing in the fumes.

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