FAIRFAX, Va.--()--As the leaves change colors and the crisper weather arrives, many pests will begin to look for shelter indoors – and homes are the perfect refuge from the cold winter ahead. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners of the importance that pest-proofing can play in keeping pests such as rodents, spiders and cockroaches from becoming unwelcome houseguests during the winter months.
“The real concern is that rodents and other smaller pests can pose serious health threats by contaminating food and transmitting bacteria.”
“Unfortunately, these pests don’t need much space to get inside our homes, and once indoors they can cause more than just an unpleasant infestation,” said Missy Henriksen. “The real concern is that rodents and other smaller pests can pose serious health threats by contaminating food and transmitting bacteria.”
Mice and rats can spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus, while cockroaches are known to trigger asthma attacks and spiders can bite, which can lead to severe reactions. Rodents also put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing on wires.
“We know that pest-proofing is an easy chore to put aside, but it’s important for homeowners to spend some time over the next few weeks taking steps to protect their properties from dangerous pests,” Henriksen added.
The NPMA offers the following pest-proofing tips:
- Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention where utility pipes enter the structure.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
- Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well trimmed.
- Inspect items such as boxes full of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
If you suspect an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem. For more information, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.