Aside from being nuisances, rodents and cockroaches are vectors of a wide array of diseases and can exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms – effects only worsened by the increased time spent indoors during the winter. Rodents can also chew through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent pests from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Pests often take up residence in wood piles and can easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
- Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
- Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Winter Weather Increases Risk for Allergies & Asthma Attacks
Cockroaches seek shelter from the cold which could mean trouble for allergy sufferers
Most people think of pollen, dust and animal dander as common asthma and allergy triggers. However, Hulett Environmental Services a pest management company servicing South Florida warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to allergy and asthma sufferers. The threat for cockroach allergens is elevated in the winter because there a greater chance for cockroaches to invade homes in search of warmth and because families spend more time inside.
Children are the most at risk to be affected by this often-overlooked asthma trigger. Cockroaches spread over 33 types of bacteria, including E. coli, and studies show that about one in five children in the U.S. are sensitive to cockroach allergens.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises homeowners to seal cracks around the outside of their home, keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs that can attract the pests and vacuum frequently. Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations due to the presence of food products and moisture around sinks or appliances.
If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional who will be able to recommend a course of treatment. To learn more about cockroaches and the health threats they pose, visit www.pestworld.org.
Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:
- Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
- Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
- If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
- Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
For more information on pests, please visit www.bugs.com
Tips for finding a qualified termite control provider.
Hulett Environmental Services offers the following tips for finding a qualified pest professional:
- Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management association.
- Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
- Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
- Buy value, not price.
Hulett Environmental Services highlights health risks posed by cockroaches
Cockroaches are more than just a household nuisance; they are also significant danger in the home. Hulett Environmental Services warns that cockroaches can pose a health threat to humans by spreading many different types of bacteria that can increase asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in children.
Cockroaches are known to spread diseases like Salmonella by picking up germs on the spines of their legs. Furthermore, their saliva and droppings contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms.
Hulett Environmental Services experts advise homeowners that cockroaches prefer warm, moist places with available food sources, so it’s important to eliminate those attractive environments. Homeowners should pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms — especially under appliances and sinks — as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations. In addition, homeowners should vacuum frequently, and keep counters and floors clean at all times.
If a cockroach infestation is suspected, a licensed pest professional will properly