Creepy, Crawly Pests: A Nightmare for HomeownersNPMA Staff
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Spiders, bats, and bugs are all part
of the typical Halloween décor, but finding the real thing inside a
home usually elicits screams from residents. The National Pest
Management Association (NPMA) offers a guide to several "scary"
Arachnophobia aside, most spiders are mere annoyances, but the brown recluse
and the black
widow pose a danger to humans. Both species tend to bite when
threatened. Their bites can be painful, cause allergic reactions
and be fatal to small children. To prevent spiders from nesting,
keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free.
Bats - These nocturnal
mammals can cause alarm if they are found inside structures. Bat
droppings pose a health concern as fungi which grow in the
droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a lung infection. Because bats
are protected by law in most states, homeowners should contact a
licensed pest professional to remove the bat in order to comply
with the law. Close off any entry points to prevent bats from
coming into homes.
One of the most reviled pests, rats damage materials, contaminate
food and carry a host of diseases. Rodents can enter homes through
quarter-sized openings, so seal up holes and cracks on the outside
of the house.
Bed Bugs -
These blood-sucking pests are found in homes, apartments, hotels,
retail stores, hospitals, and numerous other places where people
live and gather. Bed bugs easily travel from place to place in
bags, furniture, suitcases and on clothing. Vigilance is key in
detecting and preventing bed bug infestations- and Halloween is no
exception. Before wearing any clothing that came from a rental or a
second-hand store, put it in the dryer on high for 20 minutes to
kill bed bugs and their eggs.
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