A Chill Is In The Air: Are Pests In Your Home?

Friday, October 23, 2009

By NPMA Staff


With falling temperatures and changing leaves, unwelcome friends may soon find their way into homes as pests seek refuge from the changing seasons. Pests, like people, crave warm places, especially those that provide food, water and shelter. Homes often provide exactly this. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers solutions for homeowners on how to keep unwanted pests out of their homes during fall.

"Homeowners can protect their property and families' health in the fall through yard maintenance," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "This is an inexpensive and simple way to deter pests, such as termites, carpenter ants, spiders, flies and rodents, from entering one's home and posing serious risks to the health and property of one's home and family."

As a majority of these pests are nocturnal insects, longer fall nights affords them increased opportunities to access homes. Homeowners can minimize the number of accessible routes these persistent insects have into their home by collecting fallen leaves, cleaning out gutters, keeping shrubs neat, cutting branches back from the roof, and removing leaves and grass clippings from around the foundation of the home. These fall clean up measures will prevent leaves and grass from building up around homes and providing typical access points for pests.

According to Henriksen, as the crisp fall air sets in, air conditioners are turned off and windows are opened; during the evening hours homeowners begin lighting their fireplaces again, providing even more ways for insects to enter into the home. Homeowners should stack firewood away from the house to prevent rodents, spiders and centipedes from harboring near the home. NPMA also suggests making sure there are screens on all windows, doors and chimneys to protect against flies and rodents from entering into the home.