Rodents: Uninvited Winter Guests

This time of year we should all be vigilant in our battle against influenza. The winter months, however, bring additional health concerns from some little creatures who roam freely throughout our communities and inside an estimated 21 million homes. This threat comes from rodents.

Rodent infestation can contaminate food sources, especially since rodent feces can spread Salmonella and Hantavirus. Food contamination aside, rodents can also bring lice, fleas, ticks, and mites into the home. And if that was not bad enough, mice can cause extensive damage to homes by  gnawing on wood, walls and wires.

According to Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for National Pest Management Association, Inc. (NPMA): “Rodent infestations are cause for concern because not only do they pose risks for your home, but for your family’s health and safety as well. It is crucial to take steps to prevent rodent infestations and to recognize the signs that you might have one.”

NPMA offers some tips to identify and avoid rodent problems this winter:

  • Inspect wires, insulation and walls for any signs of gnaw marks, which may indicate an infestation.
  • Store boxes and containers off of the floor and organize items often to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas.
  • Install gutters or diverts to channel water away from your home.
  • Seal cracks and holes on your home’s exterior, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

For additional information, visit the NPMA Website.