Keep Out the Cold, and the Pests

The National Pest Management Association shares seven steps to a pest-free home this fall

FAIRFAX, VA (November 9, 2017) – Autumn months welcome pumpkin treats, family gatherings and crisp air perfect for nights by the fireplace. However, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns homeowners to protect against unwanted visitors this fall, as pests like rodents, cockroaches, squirrels and spiders will likely seek shelter from the cooling climate.

“In order to survive the colder months, pests with life cycles longer than a year will look to houses and buildings for warmth and protection,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Though it may seem like pests are more active in the summertime, homeowners should take preventative measures to avoid infestations during fall and winter, as these pests can pose serious risks to both people and homes.”

Rodents, like roof rats and house mice, can damage drywall and electrical wires, and also transmit diseases, including salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches carry numerous bacteria, and can contaminate food. Additionally, pests like spiders and ants may hitch rides into homes on firewood.

Below are seven fall pest-proofing tips from NPMA for homeowners to consider:

  1. Keep basements and attics well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture – something they need to survive.
  2. Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Some rodents can fit through holes the size of a dime.
  3. Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  4. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed.
  5. Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are ideal entry points for pests.
  6. Inspect items such as boxed deliveries and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  7. Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time.

For more information on preventing pests, visit

About the National Pest Management Association

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 6,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and YouTube.