Winter's Chill Drives Rodents IndoorsNPMA Staff
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By NPMA Staff
During the chilly winter months, most people seek refuge in the
warmth of their homes, but they are not alone. From October through
February, rodents, including mice, rats and squirrels, often take
shelter in homes, causing potential hazards to both health and
Rodents seek to protect themselves from winter's chill by
invading your home, says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public
affairs for NPMA. Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in
the United States every winter and are a considerable health and
Rodents can enter homes through almost any opening. Once inside,
rodents can cause severe damage as they can chew through
wallboards, cardboard, wood and even electrical wiring, increasing
the potential risk of a fire.
Henriksen advises homeowners to inspect for rodent droppings in
undisturbed areas, including pantries, attics, and garages as these
droppings can cause allergies and disease, such as Hantavirus.
NPMA also recommends taking these precautions to keep rodents
- Make sure all holes, cracks and voids are sealed.
- Don't overlook proper drainage at the foundation and install
- Keep branches and other plants cut back from the house.
- If you find rodents in your home, call a local pest
professional to identify and correct the problem.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed
limiting the use of several rodent bait products to certified
applicators who have had sufficient training to know when and how
to use these products in order to limit risks. Although homeowners
will be prohibited from purchasing these rodenticides, licensed
pest professionals will be allowed to purchase and apply these
products to meet critical public health needs.
Homeowners facing rodent problems can benefit from the knowledge
and training of licensed pest professionals in areas such as rodent
biology and integrated pest management. They should feel encouraged
to contact a pest professional for a complete inspection and
treatment, if necessary.