Protect Your Home from a Pest Invasion!

Bed bug infestations in hotels and cockroaches sightings in restaurants are the pest problems that make headlines and garner attention. But, pests can find their way into your private home, too. Many homeowners don’t know how to properly identify a pest infestation. And, often times, if a pest problem is identified, it’s already too late. Read on to learn how to properly identify and prevent common pests in your region:

Identifying Pests

It’s true that many bugs are important to the ecosystem and life cycle. But, not all bugs are good. Insects can spread disease and damage your garden and home.

For example, wood-eating termites can destroy your home by eating away at the foundation. These pests can be spotted flying in swarms, and they often leave mud tubes on the outside of your home. If you have hollow sounding wood floors or you notice cracking or peeling paint, these may be signs that you have a termite infestation. Subterranean termites are most often found in the warm, humid southern states between Florida and California. Homeowners in the Northwest, Midwest and Northeast should be on the lookout for damp wood termites.

Larger pests, like disease-carrying rodents, can nest in your home and eat just about anything that’s available to them. House mice are typical in farming communities while Norway rats live and thrive in populated areas. Most rodent infestations are identified by droppings, footprints, odors and scratching or gnawing sounds coming from interior walls.

Global Warming and Pests

Insect populations will continue to grow as the Earth warms. As the winter season gets shorter and shorter each year, bugs, such as disease carrying ticks, are coming out of their dormant stages earlier and leaving later in the season. The increased population of ticks alone has led to a record-high amount of Lyme disease cases. As warmer temperatures spread across the globe, illnesses previously limited to warm-weather regions, like West Nile and Dengue Fever, will spread across the continents and infect the human population.

This change is already happening. For example, the green shield bug was previously only found in North America, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. But recently, the bug has been showing up in the United Kingdom, a region that was once too cold to support the green shield bug. Although this insect does not spread disease, English farmers have already reported damage to their crops, reports Earths Friends.

Pesticide and Chemical Usage

Pesticides are used everywhere, including parks, schools, homes, agricultural fields and forests. Not only are they found in these locations, but pesticides also are in the water and food we consume and in the air we breathe.

The University of Montreal and Harvard released a study in 2010 that found that pesticides in vegetables were linked to ADHD in children. The Public Health Institute also found that children whose mothers were exposed to organochlorine pesticides were six times more likely to have autism, according to Toxics Action Center. Pesticides can cause cancers in humans and disrupt the endocrine system, which can wreak havoc on the reproductive system, the regulation of hormones and embryonic development.

Humans are certainly impacted by pesticides, but these chemicals also harm the environment. Scientists have discovered that pesticides weaken plant immune systems and reduce concentrations of essential nutrients. The overuse of pesticides on farmland destroys essential soil microorganisms, worms and beneficial insects, claims Toxics Action Center.

Pests only become problems when they become a threat to humans. Pest control providers like Orkin use products that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency and are committed to eco-friendly business practices.

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