“Many people think pests are just an annoyance and often forget that there are real health dangers associated with the presence of these pests in and around the home,” says Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA. “People don’t think of asthma, Salmonella, or severe allergic reactions, which is why infestations should not be taken lightly.”
People are continually on the lookout for ways to safeguard their family’s health at home. However, some of the most likely sources of danger may not be the first that come to mind. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that rodents, cockroaches and stinging insects pose serious, but often hidden, health risks when they infest a home.
Rodents bring other pests including fleas, mites, ticks and lice indoors and contaminate food with feces that can transmit Salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches spread 33 kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens. More, cockroach droppings and shed skins lead to allergen accumulation that can trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. Nearly $1B is spent on professional cockroach management services in the U.S. each year, making them one of the most prevalent and hazardous pests.
Why Rodents are a Danger to Health and Home
Rodent control and management are important for health and safety reasons.
It’s a challenge to stay healthy during the winter, especially with the prevalence of the flu and common colds. Unfortunately, something most people don’t think about this time of year is the threat posed by rodents to both our health and property. Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. every winter, and an infestation can cause more than just a headache for homeowners. During the colder months, rodents such as mice and rats search for food, warmth and shelter indoors, often entering homes through small cracks and crevices. However, the real concern is that these pests can spread diseases and cause serious property damage once inside.
Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.
The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year. House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches. House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.
In addition to health risks, rodents can pose a significant property risk as they have a tendency to destroy insulation in attics and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and even electrical wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year. With rapid reproduction rates, rodents can quickly go from being unnoticeable to causing a full-blown infestation. Homeowners should look at prevention as the first line of defense again these pests and take steps to keep them out of the home.
House Mouse Prevention
To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice can hide in clutter. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building to prevent ideal conditions in which house mice can nest. Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice including droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food goods. If you suspect a rodent infestation, contact Bohmz Pest Services, your locally owned licensed rodent pest control professional to treat and get rid of your house mice infestation.
Stinging insects, including wasps and hornets send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. And according to the Center for Disease Control, West Nile virus, a disease spread by mosquitoes, resulted in more than 1,300 human cases and 43 fatalities in 2008.
If an infestation is suspected, we can offer the expertise and knowledge to treat the problem!
If you see signs of a pest infestation, contact Bohmz Pest Services, your local licensed pest professional serving Dane County, Rock County, Walworth County & Jefferson County.