Don’t Invite Pests Into Your HomeNPMA Staff
Monday, February 7, 2011
By NPMA Staff
Colder weather can inspire you to spend more time inside your
cozy home, but some annoying pests may have the same idea.
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), when
temperatures begin to fall, an estimated 21 million rodents head inside to escape
winter's chill and to find new sources of food. Other pests have
the same idea, including spiders, ants and cockroaches.
More than a nuisance, these household pests can trigger
allergies and asthma attacks, spread diseases, transmit bacteria
and contaminate food. They can also compromise the value of a home
by gnawing through electrical wires that can create fire hazards,
as well as chewing through support beams and drywall, risking
structural stability. Pests find ways into homes by hitching rides
on the items brought in, such as firewood, packages and even on
Fido. They also gain entry through small cracks and crevices in the
Luckily, there are many ways homeowners can prevent these
unwanted guests through effective pest
proofing measures. NPMA offers the following tips on pest
proofing the home:
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including
areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel
wool or a combination of both.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage
- Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement
foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and
clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages
brought into the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep
shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.