Answers to Your Winter Pest-Proofing QuestionsNPMA Staff
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The National Pest Management Association’s best practices for
keeping pests out
FAIRFAX, Va. – Winter is all about survival for many common household
nuisance wildlife. They search for food and shelter from the
cold temperatures, and without the proper prevention tactics, that
food and shelter could be found in homes. Once inside, these pests
can infest properties in short order, can contaminate food and even
Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the
National Pest Management Association and author of The Bug Lady
blog on the consumer education site, PestWorld.org,
addresses some of the most common questions homeowners have about
how pests find their way indoors.
What makes homes attractive to
Pests are attracted to food, water and shelter. Exclusion
techniques and removing sources of food and water will help deter
pests. Be sure to keep food in sealed containers and clean up after
each meal to avoid leaving crumbs. Eliminate moisture from leaky
pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have
ideal conditions in which they can thrive.
How do pests get into
Pests enter structures through cracks and crevices around
windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, uncapped
chimneys, and also through holes where utilities enter homes.
Firewood, groceries, and other deliveries can carry pests in, too.
Mice fit through holes the size of a dime, so seal any openings
with silicone caulk or steel wool. To avoid hitchhiking pests,
examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.
Where are pests most likely to settle
Pests have direct access to basements and attics through roofs
and foundations, so they should be kept well ventilated, dry, and
clutter-free. Also, because of the concentration of food and water,
kitchens and bathrooms are other common areas.
What should I do if I have an
Despite our best efforts, pests sometimes find their way inside.
If you have a pest problem or want advice on how to better
pest-proof your home, contact a qualified and licensed pest
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with
more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the
pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public
health, food and property. For more information visit