Ghoulish Pests Can Be A Nightmare For Homeowners

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls aren't the only scary creatures to steer clear of on Halloween. People should avoid contact with creepy critters and pests such as bats, rodents and bed bugs because of the real health threats they can pose to humans. The National Pest Management Association provides tips for homeowners to prevent these spooky pests from interrupting holiday festivities.

"A variety of pests share similarities with some of Halloween's most famous characters," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "For example, bed bugs, like vampires, feed off of human blood."

Bed bugs are nocturnal pests that typically feed on sleeping homeowners by injecting an anesthetic-like liquid to numb the skin prior to making their mark. Although these bites cannot transmit disease, they can leave people with red, itchy welts.

Bats and rodents can also pose real threats to the health of a homeowner and his or her family. The accumulation of their feces can spread bacteria and viruses. Once this accumulated mass becomes dry, it can be hazardous to those who breathe it in.

While these pests can provide their fair share of scares, NPMA recommends tips for homeowners to limit their trick-or-treaters to neighborhood children, and not the local pests, on Halloween:

  • Keep an eye out for tiny blood spots left behind by bed bugs. They can be found throughout the house, and are not just limited to bedrooms.
  • To keep rodents out ensure that all holes larger than a pencil are sealed and inspect the perimeter of your house for possible pathways inside.
  • Put screens over laundry or attic vents to prevent rodents and bats from entering the home.
  • An active infestation should not be controlled with do-it-yourself measures; contact a licensed pest professional.

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