National Pest Management Association: Every year, as families are gearing up for trips to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treat night, rodents begin their search for a winter hideout. When temperatures drop and food sources become scarce, mice and rats desperately invade homes across the U.S. In a recent online survey conducted by The Harris Poll, 49% of Americans reported issues with rodents in their home and 14% reported an infestation. This Rodent Awareness Week, happening October 16-22, 2022, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is sharing prevention tips to help homeowners keep these pests outdoors.
“Mice and rats are sneaky, squeezing through openings in a structure the size of a dime and quarter, respectively,” said Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. “Capable of spreading more than 35 diseases, including Salmonella and hantavirus, it’s important to practice proper prevention to keep yourself and your family protected from the health threats associated with rodents.”
Even the tidiest of homes are at-risk for a rodent infestation this fall. Luckily, proper prevention can be done in a few easy steps:
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
- Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
If you suspect an infestation, it is best to contact a pest control professional for assistance. Rodents reproduce quickly, making an infestation difficult to control. For more information, please visit www.PestWorld.org.
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