Disease-Carrying Rodents Invade Homes This Winter in Search of ShelterNPMA
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The National Pest Management Association warns homeowners of
rodent-related health concerns
Each winter, rodents invade approximately 21 million U.S.
homes, through openings as small as a dime, bringing with them a
slew of hazards. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
reminds homeowners that rodents seek out shelter when temperatures
drop and their food supplies decrease.
The two most common rodents homeowners might find in their
attics, basements and pantries are the house mouse and Norway rat. Not just a
nuisance, these rodents spread Salmonella through their droppings
and bring with them other diseases such as murine typhus,
infectious jaundice, Weil’s Disease and rat-bite fever, not to
mention the risk of fires as they chew through wood, drywall
and electrical wires.
“They may be cute in cartoons, but in reality rodents pose a
number of dangers inside our homes, polluting every inch they
cross,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for
NPMA. “Once they have moved in their numbers will quickly multiply,
becoming a serious problem within weeks.”
NPMA advises homeowners of the most common signs of rodent
- Droppings. Typically left behind in kitchen cabinets and
pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, near nests,
and in boxes, bags, old furniture and other objects.
- Noises. Rodents often makescurrying sounds most often at night
as they move about and nest.
- Gnaw marks. New gnawings tend to be rough to the touch and are
- Tracks/footprints. These along with tail marks are easily found
in areas where the rodents travel.
- Burrows. Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such
as insulation, and they prefer nesting areas that are dark and
- Damaged food packages. Mice prefer seeds or cereals while
Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.
“If you suspect rodents have taken up
residence in your home, it’s best to contact
a pest professional to effectively and quickly eliminate the
infestation,” advised Henriksen.
For more information about rodents and
other pests, visit pestworld.org
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.