Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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Tired of Being Bugged? How to Keep Winter Pests at Bay in and Around Your Home
by Michele Dawson
It seems that every winter while we're trying to stay warm and cozy, so are all sorts of bugs and rodents that creep into our houses and garages.
Why wouldn't they want to make a home for themselves in your home - after all, who (or what) wouldn't want to partake in the comfort your home offers?
But you probably have a different take on the situation. It's not a compliment that these things are trying to share your living space - it's a nuisance at best and unhealthy at worst.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common diseases spread by insects and rodents include hantavirus, leptospirosis, rabies, tularemia, West Nile Virus, tapeworms, salmonella, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, strep, staph, polio, murine typhus, malaria, Lyme disease, dysentery, dengue, cholera and plague.
But never fear. If you know how to arm yourself you can likely handle the infestation, whether you do it yourself or hire professionals.
The National Pest Management Association , an association made up of pest control companies, lists mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons and opossums among the rodents that may try to infiltrate your home between October and February.
Signs include scampering or gnawing sounds late at night in the attic or behind walls, and droppings found in undisturbed areas of the house (pantries, attics, garages, under baseboards, and along walls).
These fuzzy creatures are destructive. They'll chew through packaged goods, cardboard boxes, walls near pipes and vents, and electrical wiring.
If you have a rodent problem, you're not alone. The NPMA says that 21 million households in the U.S. fight rodent infestations each year during the winter.
Common points of entry include pet doors, holes in walls, missing vent screens, openings around pipes and dryer duct vents ¾ even openings as small as a nickel or half dollar.
So what can you do to keep them out? The NPMA suggests sealing all holes of larger diameter than a pencil, sealing any cracks and voids, and making sure there's proper drainage at the foundation, including gutters or diverts which channel water away from your home.
According to the NPMA, common home-invader insects include cockroaches, termites, ants, flies, pantry pests, wasps, fleas, ticks, spiders and silverfish.
To prevent infestation, keep gutters free of debris, repair fascia and soffits, replace rotted or broken roof shingles, prune vegetation back from roof, caulk around windows and doors, replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows, and make sure attic vents are in good condition.
For more extensive do-it-yourself tips, visit www.gotpest.com, a company with experience in the pest control industry. You can also contact us by phone at (918) 282-7621.