Pests Moving In? Evict Unwanted Winter Tenants

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Are you hearing a quartet of scampering and scratching during these long winter nights? Are you noticing droppings in your basement or cupboards or holes in boxes of cereal or pasta? If so, you might have a winter pest problem.
Winter pests aren’t just unpleasant. They pose severe risks to your health and property. Mice, for example, can chew through walls, electrical wires and baseboards, not to mention produce 12 babies every three weeks. Rodent droppings can trigger allergies and spread disease — causing headaches, fever, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Although most common, mice and rats aren’t the only pest threat this winter. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) estimates that a whopping 21 million rodents retreat indoors each winter. In addition to rodents, squirrels, carpenter ants, spiders, and cockroaches prefer to spend cold winter months indoors with us.
The pest experts at the NPMA suggest the following preventive tips for avoiding pest infestations during cold weather.
* Inspect firewood before bringing it inside, as several ant and cockroach species prefer to nest in firewood. Firewood piles should also be positioned on a raised platform away from the house. Arranging piles into neat stacks of wood makes pest infestations more noticeable.
* Clean kitchens thoroughly. Some homeowners wipe down countertops after every meal, but only vacuum the floor once every few weeks. Crumbs and leftover messes will attract ants, mice and rats — especially if left on the floor for days on end. Don’t leave dirty dishes spilling over the sink either. Standing water attracts ants and cockroaches, too.
* Don’t store birdseed or dog food in bags. Some pest professionals advise against feeding birds altogether because it will inevitably attract rodent activity. However, if you do have a bird house, make sure it’s at least 20 feet away from your home. Also, be sure to store your birdseed or pet food in sealed storage containers, not bags. This is especially important if you’re keeping the dry food inside your home.
For more preventive tips, or to find a pest professional near you, visit www.pestworld.org.

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