Rodents Invade Homes Across U.S. As Winter Chill LingersNPMA Staff
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
With frigid temperatures blanketing the country, homeowners
aren't the only ones seeking shelter indoors this winter. The
National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that rodents are also looking for access
to warm homes this season. In fact, the NPMA reports that rodents
enter an estimated 21 million homes
in the U.S. each winter.
While rodents are unwelcome houseguests for any homeowner, the
real concern is that these pests can cause property damage and
spread disease. Rodents such as mice serve as vectors of
many common diseases, including salmonella and Hantavirus, which
they spread by contaminating food and food preparation surfaces.
Rodents also chew through wires, in some cases sparking house
"Many homeowners notice signs of a rodent in their home and
assume it's no big deal or that it may be just the one," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "However,
a female mouse can have as many as 12 babies every three weeks. A
small infestation can quickly grow into a huge problem. We
recommend taking steps to prevent rodents from ever gaining access
to your home in the first place."
The NPMA recommends these tips to keep homes rodent-free this
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help
prevent rodents from finding easy entryways. Pay special attention
to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Replace loose
mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and
- Don't build rodent attractions near your home. Store firewood
at least 20 feet from the home and five inches off the ground. Keep
shrubberies cut back from the house.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and store
boxes off of the floor. Keep food in rodent-proof containers.
- If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls
or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
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