Fall Pest-Proofing Helps Keep Pests Outdoors

The National Pest Management Association recommends tips to prevent pests in the home

FAIRFAX, Va. (September 18, 2013) – With fall upon us, the warmth of homes is attractive to both people and pests. Mice and rats, cockroaches and spiders may try to find their way inside to escape the coming chill. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), once inside, these pests can quickly become health and property concerns.

Besides being a nuisance and irksome, these pests can also pose serious risks to families and structures. Rodents spread diseases such as Salmonella, contaminate food and can damage drywall and electrical wires throughout a home. Cockroaches trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children, and some species of spiders may bite if their hiding spot is discovered.

“Pest-proofing is a year-round task that can help keep these pests out,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Each season brings new pests trying to seek shelter indoors and fall is an opportune time. While we turn off the AC and open windows for fresh air, pests are moving into survival mode and looking to hunker down someplace warm and near a food source for the winter.”

The NPMA recommends these pest-proofing tips for the fall season:

  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention where utility pipes enter the structure.
  • 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.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well trimmed.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.

If you suspect an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem. For more information on pest-proofing tips and common household pests, 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.