Pests can cause serious health issues to all occupants of your home.
Pests typically refer to insects or animals that invade your home and have the ability to transmit diseases, cause illness, and/or trigger asthma symptoms and other respiratory issues.
The most common pests in a home include: dust mites, rats and mice, cockroaches, and bed bugs.
- Dust mites are microscopic spider-like creatures that live in dust, fabric, bedding, furniture, and carpets. Dust mites eat dead skin cells and need food, moisture and warmth for survival. Dust mites’ feces are breathed in and can trigger asthma attacks. Some people are allergic to them and develop rashes from too much exposure.
- Mice do not have bladder control. As mice run around the house and search food, they are constantly leaving behind a stream of urine. Many people are allergic to mouse urine. For people with asthma, it can cause an asthma attack when they are exposed to it. Many people are allergic to mouse dander or dandruff that can lead to asthma attacks as well. Additionally, mice are known to carry the hantavirus which is spread through their feces left in the home.
- Rats can live in walls, trees, vines, and holes in the ground. Rats have been known to attack sleeping children and babies, damage the wiring and the structure of a home.
- Cockroaches too are known to trigger asthma attacks. Cockroaches can live a month without food, but only one week without water. Some roaches will lay 37 eggs at one time.
- Bed bugs like to live in warm houses and especially near or inside beds and bedding or other sleep areas. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. They usually feed on your blood without being noticed though people tend to report insect bites. On a positive note, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans though they are responsible for disrupting sleep of those affected by bed bugs.
To control pests in the home, it is important to: 1) Starve them out by limiting their access to food sources, 2) dry them out by controlling moisture sources and leaks in the home, and 3) keep them out by sealing holes and penetrations from the outside that they can use to enter into the home. Use of integrated pest management tools will help eliminate these pests without the risk of exposing your family to toxic and unhealthy chemicals used in standard pest control.