Keep Pests Out in the ColdNPMA Staff
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The winter season is a time for people to enjoy the comforts of
being indoors. Unfortunately, many pests enjoy spending winter
inside a warm house as well. Rodents alone invade an estimated
21 million homes in the U.S. each winter.
More than just a nuisance, there are real threats posed by many
of the pests that like to share our homes. Mice and rats can spread
diseases like salmonella and hantavirus and can contaminate food.
Rodents can also bring other pests like fleas,
ticks and lice indoors and can cause serious structural damage
to a home by chewing through wood and electrical wiring.
Beyond rodents, other winter
pests include ants, spiders and cockroaches, which can trigger
allergies and asthma attacks, spread disease, transmit bacteria,
contaminate food and in some cases, bite.
"The risks posed by these pests are not something to be taken
lightly," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs
for the NPMA. "An infestation by one or more of them can lead to
serious health and property concerns if left uncontrolled or if
they go undetected."
Fortunately, there are steps homeowners can take to prevent
pests from coming indoors on firewood, foliage and family pets, or
from gaining entry through small cracks and crevices in a home's
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
- Store items that are kept in garages, basements and attics in
plastic, sealed containers rather than cardboard boxes to prevent
rodents from nesting inside.
- Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose garbage
- If you suspect an infestation, contact your local pest
- For more information 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