Winter Vermin: 5 Pests that May Harm Your Children

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With temperatures dropping and snow on the way, you and your family can retreat to the warmth, comfort, and safety of your home. Unfortunately, many outdoor pests will try and do the same. Many of nature’s critters can actually pose a danger should they enter and nest in the dusty corners and behind the walls of your property, so take the necessary precautions to keep your home free of these pests this winter.

The Common Mouse

Favoring dark corners and secluded spaces like basements and attics, mice infestations often go unnoticed until they’re well entrenched in your property. Though small, mice present a serious risk if left unchecked. Their compulsive chewing often leads them to munch on your home’s wiring, creating the conditions that cause dangerous electrical fires. Air contaminated by their urine and droppings can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, an infection that causes fever, fatigue, muscle pains, and can even prove fatal.

Check wiring for signs of fraying caused by chewing, and examine dark spaces like the garage, attic, or basement for droppings. Mice can be difficult to root out on your own since they often live behind walls and other difficult-to-access areas, so contact a pest control company like Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management if you fear an infestation rather than just relying on store-bought traps.

Brown Recluse Spiders

These eight-legged terrors may be small, but their bite packs a powerful punch, especially for small children. While typically setting up their webs in corners or near windows, one of their more dangerous behaviors is to hide among sheets and clothing. Brown recluse spiders have a powerful bite that can break the skin, allowing them to inject their potent venom. While sometimes only causing a minor reaction, children are far more likely to need medical attention if bitten. Learn to identify brown recluse spiders and prevent them from hiding in your linens by storing out-of-season clothing, extra bedding, and other items in sealed totes.

Raccoons

While cute when viewed within their natural habitat, raccoons are less adorable when they’re rifling through your trashcans or nesting in your garage. These otherwise endearing critters are unfortunately a common carrier of the rabies virus, which turns them aggressive and extremely dangerous to humans to prevent raccoons from living too close to your property, store your trash cans a healthy distance from your home and use secure lids.

Cockroaches

These nasty insects are legendary for being tough to kill, making it necessary for you to seek the intervention of a pest control specialist in the event of an infestation. Cockroaches thrive in moist areas and can subsist on unnoticed crumbs on your kitchen floor and countertops. From their they can easily enter the cabinets, spoiling breakfast cereal and other foods with a host of bacteria and pathogens. For every cockroach you see, you can bet five more are hiding behind the fridge and in other dark spaces, so have a pest specialist deal with them quickly before you have a full infestation on your hands.

Rats

Commonly found in cluttered basements and garages, these vermin use their powerful bite to chew through insulation, plastic, wood, and even metal pipes in search of food. Rats are crawling with dangerous germs and disease, spreading rat-bite fever and jaundice when in proximity to children. They often enter the home through small cracks and unsealed spaces, as they can shimmy their bodies through gaps as small as a half inch in diameter. Check your home carefully for these small entry points and seal them with caulk before cold weather drives these pests indoors.

Secure Your Home

Your home should be a place of peace and comfort for you and your children, especially during the winter holiday season. Therefore, you should take careful steps to secure your home against pests like roaches, mice, and spiders. Take precautions to keep them from entering, and when that isn’t enough, have a specialist take care of infestations promptly.

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