Old Man Winter Blows Pests IndoorsNPMA Staff
Friday, November 12, 2010
By NPMA Staff
A warm home may fight off the chill of a cold winter day, but it
also provides the perfect cozy hideaway for pests, too. The
National Pest Management Association (NPMA) estimates that 21
million pests invade homes every winter. Cockroaches, termites,
ants, spiders and especially mice make a hasty retreat indoors
during the colder months.
Mice seek shelter, warmth and food, taking advantage of openings
as small as the size of a dime, to make their way indoors. Once
inside, mice are capable of chewing through walls, electrical wires
and baseboards and breed at alarming rates, as much as a dozen
babies every three weeks. Signs of an infestation include
scampering sounds at night in walls and ceilings, droppings, found
in undisturbed places and damaged or partially eaten food.
In addition to property damage and rampant infestations, mice also
carry and transmit diseases such as Hantavirus and Salmonella.
"Diseases are transferred from mice to humans through their urine
and droppings," says Jim Fredericks, technical services director
for NPMA. "With mice having the capability of dropping more than 70
times a day, its important to seal cracks around the home to
prevent mice from getting in. It's also a good idea to have a
maintenance plan in place, working with a local pest professional
to target vulnerable entryways and help prevent infestations in the
NPMA offers a few important measures to prevent pests during the
• Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the
home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home
using caulk and/or steel wool.
• Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
• Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well
ventilated and dry.
• Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping
around the basement foundation and windows.
• If you suspect a pest infestation in your
home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the