Pests

Bedbugs

Anyone or any home can get bedbugs. They are small bugs that live on human and animal blood and live in dark and undisturbed locations close to their host. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has a bedbug action plan which you can access here.

Bedbug bites can cause itching,a nd sometimes can lead to secondary infections. Minimal treatment which may include anitbiotics, antihistamines, topical and oral corticosteroids, and epinephrine may be used. For more information visit the CDC

Integrated Pest Management

IPM allows owners to protect their homes from pests without threatening their health. There are 3 steps:

  1. Find out what kind of pests you have and where they are coming from. You should research your pets to learn about their habits and how to target them.
  2. This step focuses on prevention and taking away shelter, food, and water from pests:
    1. Keep living areas clean and uncluttered
    2. Keep food properly stored
    3. Keep trash properly stored
    4. Fix plumbing and water leaks
    5. Seal points where they could come from such as gaps in walls, pipes, pavement, and other surfaces, with caulking, steel wool, or other pest-proof materials.
  3. Use traps and baits, then less-toxic dusts such as boric acid.
    1. Put the bait close tot he pests's hiding place, and don't spray pesticides. This would keep them away from the bait.
    2. When choosing and using chemicals, be sure to read every label thoroughly, and only use according to instructions.

Rodents

To tell if you have a rodent infestation, look for droppings around food, in drawers and cupboards, and under the sink, nesting material like shredded paper, fabric, or dried plants, signs of chewing on food packaging, holes chewed in walls and floors, and stale smells from hidden areas.

To prevent rodent infestations, seal holes inside and outside the home with steel wool or another material, and remove potential rodent nesting sites from your property, like leaf piles and deep mulch. In addition, clean up food and water sources in your house by keeping kitchen garbage properly stored, consistently turning compost pile, and stop feeling outdoor birds while controlling an infestation.

For more information, visit the CDC and EPA.

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