With Arrival of Fall, Pests Seek Shelter Indoors

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall is a favorite season for many, as it signals the beginning of colorful leaves and crisp weather. But for many pests, including rodents, spiders and cockroaches, the change in season indicates the need to find refuge from the cold winter ahead. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners of the importance that fall pest-proofing can play in keeping pests from making their home in yours.

Rodents carry diseases, including Salmonella and Hantavirus, and can cause structural damage to a property by gnawing through wires, which can cause house fires, and nesting in insulation. Cockroaches also spread disease and their droppings and saliva can trigger asthma attacks, especially in young children. Brown recluse spiders will bite if threatened, injecting venom that can be dangerous to those with allergic reactions.

"When the weather cools, our warm homes are just as enticing to pests as they are to us," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Yet, pests are unwelcome houseguests as they can pose serious health and property threats. In preparation for winter, homeowners should be proactive and vigilant in preventing pests from coming indoors."

The NPMA recommends these fall pest-proofing tips:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well-trimmed.
  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.

For more information or to find a 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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