While a wagon full of toddlers dressed as spiders is cute, it should remind you that actual pests infestations can be going on in your home and cause quite a big problem. You need to take preventative measures to keep pests from moving in for the winter.
Here’s a guide to some common critters that may spook homeowners this fall, along with tips to prevent them from turning the home into a haunted house.
Bed bugs – Bed bugs are similar to vampires in that they feed off of human blood, typically at night. These elusive pests do not transmit disease, but they can leave red, itchy welts on the skin. Always inspect the costume you have rented from the second-hand or costume store before you put it on.
Rats – One of the most reviled pests, rats can contaminate food, spread dangerous diseases and create fire hazards by chewing through electrical wires. Before homeowners bring boxes of pumpkins and faux cobwebs inside to decorate for Halloween, they should inspect them for signs of an infestation such as gnaw marks and rodent droppings.
Bats – Bats are frequent carriers of rabies, which can be fatal if left untreated. They often enter homes through attics, belfries and under fascia boards. Homeowners should screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and install door sweeps this fall to keep bats out of the home.
Spiders – Some species of spiders, mainly the brown recluse and black widow, can administer a painful bite when disturbed. Homeowners can avoid coming in contact with spiders by wearing heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time and shaking out shoes before wearing them.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers some additional tips to prevent a pest infestation this Halloween season:
- Seal cracks and crevices around the home’s exterior using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure.
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed.
If you see signs of an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.
For more information on common household pests and how to protect your home, visit www.a1exterminators.com.