Wet Winter Weather Will Have an Impact on Pests This Season

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

As one of the stormiest winters in history ends, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that increased moisture from excessive rain and melting snow can create havens for pests in and around homes. These wet conditions encourage pest reproduction and growth.

Nearly 900 cities across the U.S. saw record snowfall and precipitation, while some states experienced the snowiest winter in decades, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"As many areas of the country emerge from a snowy and wet winter, homeowners should expect to see an increase in pest pressure this spring and summer," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "Common pests including rodents, ants and cockroaches flourish in these conditions."

"Homeowners should deal with a pest problem immediately as household pests can pose health risks to homeowners and their families such as allergic reactions, E.coli and salmonella contaminations, increased asthma symptoms and other health problems," advised Henriksen.

Typically, infestations occur when pests enter the house through small access areas on the home's exterior. Homeowners should perform seasonal home checks using the following tips provided by the NPMA:

  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  • Seal cracks and holes including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  • Trim tree branches and shrubbery and keep away from the house.
  • Screen windows and doors.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Call a qualified pest professional for additional advice and treatment if necessary.

"Planning for and defending against pests with the help of a licensed pest professional should be part of every homeowner's spring cleaning plan," Henriksen advised.

For more information on preventing pests or to find a pest professional in your area, please 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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