Homeowners' Winter Blues Won't Melt Away with the SnowNPMA Staff
Monday, March 8, 2010
For homeowners, the end of winter also
signals the end of snow shoveling and high heating bills. But one
looming effect of winter - especially after a season that brought
heavy snowfall and harsh weather to many regions of the country -
is the potential for serious pest issues in the spring. The
National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports that when ice
dams form on roofs during the winter they can damage walls,
ceilings, insulation and drywall, with resulting moisture
attracting pests such as termites and carpenter ants.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof
and prevents melting snow from draining properly. The melting snow
backs up behind this dam and can leak into a home, causing water
It is this water damage that attracts termites and carpenter
ants, as these pests specifically seek out moisture. According to
the NPMA, termites alone cause
$5 billion in property damage in an average year, but the number
could rise after a year with excessive moisture. Carpenter ants are also
attracted to moisture and cause serious property damage as they
excavate wood to build nests.
"With the unusual amount of snow this winter in many regions of
the U.S., more homeowners may now be dealing with ice dams and
subsequently termite and carpenter ant
infestations down the road," says Missy Henriksen, vice president
of public affairs for the NPMA. "Homeowners should take steps to
ensure that the snowy winter does not lead to serious pest issues a
few months from now."
To prevent ice dams, the NPMA recommends that homeowners:
- Promptly clear snow off roofs.
- Ensure that gutters and insulation are properly
- Clean out gutters and install gutter guards.
Most importantly, homeowners should contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect for signs of pest infestations.
To learn more or to find a pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org
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