Say it Ain’t Snow: Harsh Winter Weather Yet to Come

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Old Man Winter is apparently here, but much of the country that usually sees a snowfall or two by now, has been enjoying one of the mildest winters in years.  However, meteorologists are predicting that storms and precipitation are still in the forecast for later in the season. Besides the dangers posed to roads and airports, the winter weather trifecta of ice, snow and wind also poses a threat to homes. These elements can cause new cracks and openings in foundations and roofs, leaving the house vulnerable to spring rains and unexpected pests.

"Unfortunately, the damage caused by winter storms may not be evident until after pests have already invaded your home," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). "Ice dams, which form on roofs and prevent snow from melting, can be especially problematic as the moisture back up can damage walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall, thus attracting pests such as termites and carpenter ants."

NPMA recommends the following tips for homeowners to ensure their homes are and remain pest-free:

  • Look for missing roof shingles, ripped window screens and clogged gutters, all of which are entry points for pests.
  • Seal cracks and holes including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Vacuum around doors and windows. Frequent vacuuming can catch invaders like spiders, silverfish, earwigs and beetles.
  • Inspect garages and outbuildings for rodents or signs of a rodent infestation. organzie cluttered debris, boxes and random items along the walls where mice may hide or nest.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional.

For more information about pest maintenance, tips on identifying an infestation and to locate a qualified and licensed pest professional, visit www.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.

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