Winter Pest-Proofing Can Keep Rodents and Other Pests AwayNPMA Staff
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
By NPMA Staff
For many homeowners, pest proofing is a chore relegated to the
warmer months of the year. But many pests gain entry into homes in
the winter as they seek shelter from the cold weather. In fact,
according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA),
rodents alone invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S.
With 24% of homeowners reporting mice infestations specifically
in the winter, they are among the top pest issues of the season.
Mice and rats
spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus when they
contaminate food, and bring fleas, ticks and lice indoors. Rodents
can also cause serious structural damage by chewing through wood
and electrical wiring.
Other winter invaders pose
health threats, as well. Cockroaches and ants contaminate food sources, and
cockroaches can trigger asthma attacks in children. Spiders bite when they feel
threatened, causing serious reactions in some people.
"Pests including cockroaches, ants, spiders and especially
rodents are common home invaders in the winter," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "An
infestation by these pests can cause serious health and property
issues if not properly dealt with in a timely manner. However,
homeowners can help prevent infestation troubles by taking a
proactive approach in eliminating entryways into the home."
To prevent pests from infesting your home this winter, NPMA
recommends following these tips:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
- Inspect wires, insulation and walls for gnaw marks, which may
indicate a rodent infestation.
- Store boxes off of the floor to prevent rodents from residing
in undisturbed areas.
- Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off