October 31, 2012
When October rolls around, everyone enjoys a good scare when trick or treating or celebrating at a Halloween party. When that scare comes from an unexpected sighting of spooky pests like bats, spiders, rodents, and bugs, the fright is a lot less fun! The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers a guide to some of the more popular creepy pests.
“We all love decorating with plastic and faux spiders, mice, and bats during this time of year,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “What we don’t love is finding these living, breathing pests in unexpected places around our homes.”
Spiders – Arachnophobia aside, most spiders are mere annoyances, but the brown recluse and the black widow pose a danger to humans. Both species tend to bite when threatened. Their bites can be painful, cause allergic reactions, and be fatal to small children. To prevent spiders from nesting, keep garages, attics, and basements clean and clutter free.
Bats – These nocturnal mammals can cause alarm if they are found inside structures. Bat droppings pose a health concern as fungi which grow in the droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a lung infection. Because bats are protected by law in most states, homeowners should contact a licensed pest professional to remove the bat in order to comply with the law. Close off any entry points to prevent bats from coming into homes.
Rats – One of the most reviled pests, rats damage materials, contaminate food, and carry a host of diseases. Rodents can enter homes through quarter-sized openings, so seal up holes and cracks on the outside of the house.
Mice – A common pest, mice may be spotted frequently but that doesn’t make them any less creepy or dangerous. Mice pose a variety of health risks like allergies in children, and often serve as carriers for other pests like fleas and ticks. To prevent mice from entering the home, seal all holes larger than a pencil point and any cracks and voids.
Bed Bugs – These blood-sucking pests are found in homes, apartments, hotels, retail stores, hospitals, and numerous other places where people live and gather. Bed bugs easily travel from place to place in bags, furniture, suitcases, and on clothing. Vigilance is key in detecting and preventing bed bug infestations â€” and Halloween is no exception. Before wearing any clothing that came from a rental or a second-hand store, put it in the dryer on high for 20 minutes to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
If you need your home to be inspected, a pest identified, or an infestation treated, contact Pest Ops. To schedule an appointment, click here or call our office at (865) 966-0750.