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Article Archive >> Community

Winter opens homes to pest invasion

Winter opens homes to pest invasion

(NewsUSA) - Surviving winter can be an endurance marathon for the average house. After the trials of hurricane season come the bitter cold and precipitation brought on by winter. Severe winter weather can freeze pipes, cause roof cave-ins and lead to extensive water damage -- all of which leave a house vulnerable to winter pest invasions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates each winter costs the economy several million dollars in repairs and damage control. 2010's series of epic storms cost $2.6 billion in property losses, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute.
"The destruction of Hurricane Irene was followed by September floods and October snow storms that caused power outages in several areas. If the early weather is any indication of what's yet to come this season, we can expect snowfall similar to last winter. Now is the right time for homeowners to quickly repair damage that would otherwise give opportunistic winter pests access to their home," advises Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
The most common winter pests are rodents, but a slew of insects will also eagerly warm themselves by your furnace and feast on your dry goods if given a chance. Cockroaches, ants, stink bugs and spiders are some of the usual suspects.
These tenacious insects can find points of entry anywhere, especially if winter weather results in structural damage. Issues like missing shingles, water damage to roofs or walls, burst pipes and even small cracks leave your home susceptible to infestation. Rodents are known for their ability to fit in openings as small as a coin.
"Ripped screens and broken doors or windows will admit pests faster than you can spot them. Pay attention to your home's insulation, like weather stripping, and look for signs of mice in places near moisture or food," says Henriksen.
Don't wait until you're knee-deep in ruined holiday decorations to start thinking about pest control after a storm, because a pest infestation can be costly to you and your home.
If you have an infestation, contact a pest professional to see how you should proceed. Get more pest control tips at www.pestworld.org.

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