Keep Pests Out of Your Home this Winter

<b>Keep Pests Out of Your Home this Winter</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Pests are most commonly associated with summer weather, but cold temperatures drive rodents and insects indoors and into homes. Even innocent-looking items, like firewood, wreaths, holiday decor or recently delivered parcels, can contain damaging pests.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a 75-year-old non-profit organization that works to protect public health, food and property from destructive pests, offers these tips to keep unwanted creatures from your home:

– Check your pantry. Insects, such as the Indian meal moth consume flour, cereal, nuts, spices, candies and chocolate. To prevent contamination, store food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers, and discard food that has passed its expiration date. Pay special attention to pet food and keep your kitchen clean to avoid attracting pests.

– Keep pests out. Mice can squeeze through holes the size of a nickel and reproduce quickly, so an infestation can quickly become a big problem. The NPMA estimates that 21 million pests, including mice as well as insects, invade homes every winter. Once indoors, mice can chew through wires and spread disease like Hantavirus and Salmonella. Signs of an infestation include scampering sounds in walls and ceilings, droppings and damaged or partially eaten food. To prevent pests from entering your home, seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, screen vents and openings to chimneys and replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around the basement foundation and windows.

– Consider your firewood. Yes, firewood keeps you warm, but cut-up wood also provides an ideal home for pests, especially spiders. Keep firewood piles at least five inches off the ground and 20 feet away from your home. Before carrying any firewood inside, inspect the logs for pests.

– Ask a local pest professional. If you suspect an infestation in your home, contact a local pest professional to help you properly identify, treat and remediate the problem. They can also work with you to find entry points into your home and offer advice on other pest prevention methods.

To learn more about pest prevention or to find a professional near you, visit www.pestworld.org.

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