Summer Getaway Homes Vulnerable To Pest InfestationsNPMA Staff
Thursday, May 21, 2009
By NPMA Staff
Many vacationers open their summer homes over Memorial Day
weekend and they may find themselves crashing a party - a party of
pests, which found refuge in their unoccupied home during the
off-season. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises
second-homeowners on signs of infestation and how to prevent this
"Homeowners may open up their mountain cabins or beach homes for
the season to find ants in the kitchen, spiders in the bathroom,
and small wildlife in chimneys and crawlspaces," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Leaving a
home unoccupied for months at a time allows pests to find their way
in through cracks, crevices, holes, vents and chimneys."
To protect vacation homes from potential infestations while the
home is unoccupied, NPMA recommends the following tips:
- Clean all kitchen areas thoroughly and free from clutter before
your departure. Kitchen appliances should be cleaned thoroughly to
remove food residue and crumbs. Dust shelves and be sure that foods
such as cereal, flour, and dog food are stored in resealable
- Sweep and vacuum floors in the kitchen, under furniture, and
around dining areas.
- Keep garbage areas clean. Garbage should be stored in sealed
containers and disposed of regularly and completely before
- Seal cracks, crevices, and other gaps around doors and windows.
Doors and windows should always be kept closed or well
- Check pipes around the house for leaks, cracks and gaps and
seal any problems if necessary before closing your home for the
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and
dry. If mold and mildew are present, it's a symptom of an excess
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly.
Insects have been known to come in on potted plants and in
"Second-homeowners that do find their getaway plagued by pests
should contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat
the home immediately as a way to protect it from further
infestations, " advises Henriksen.