Five pests could be lurking in your home at this very moment that can threaten your family’s health. These pests can go undetected for long periods of time and once they do make their presence known, their numbers may be unmanageable without professional help. Knowing what pests are a threat and how you can control them can help protect your home and family from these problematic creatures.

Five Pests That Threaten Your Family's Health

Rodents

Rodents are, unfortunately, a common problem in homes around the world and infiltrate your home through almost any crack or opening. Rodents are dangerous because their droppings are linked to serious diseases such as Hantavirus. Rodents are also vectors for bacteria – including salmonella – and can contaminate kitchen surfaces, equipment and food sources. For the occasional rodent problem, inexpensive traps can be placed in areas throughout your home where children and pets won’t encounter them.

Cockroaches

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 1 in 5 children have a severe sensitivity to cockroach allergens. These allergens will aggravate asthma symptoms, allergens transmitted through cockroach droppings, saliva and their decomposing bodies. Cockroaches also carry E coli, salmonella and other bacteria that will contaminate cooking equipment, food sources and food. Trying to control cockroaches is a difficult task and you may need to seek the help from Sacramento pest control professionals or ones in your particular locale to successfully get rid of these pests.

Ticks

Ticks are more than an annoying problem: they carry the potentially deadly Lyme disease. Ticks usually don’t crawl into your home themselves. Instead, they attach themselves to hosts – such as people, pets and rodents – who bring them indoors. There are things you can do to reduce a tick infestation and it starts in your yard. Ticks prefer shaded areas, so keep your yard well-maintained, and remove debris and low-hanging branches that could shade the ground. If your yard borders a wooded area, create a barrier measuring several inches wide with wood chips or gravel to help prevent ticks from entering your yard. These simple steps will help keep ticks out and help protect your family.

Wasps, Bees, Hornets and Yellow Jackets

Every year, over 500,000 people are admitted to the emergency room because of insect stings. Despite the many benefits wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets provide, when they are near the vicinity of your home, they quickly become a danger to your family’s health. Ensuring the window screens are not ripped or damage will help keep stinging insects out. Large nests in or around your home and yard should be dealt with by a professional exterminator. Trying to get rid of it yourself can lead to painful and potentially deadly stings.

Fire Ants

Fire ants were accidentally introduced to the United States in the 1930. These South American native insects spread rapidly and pose a serious danger to your family and pets. Their mounds and colonies are home to thousands stinging, aggressive ants that will attack en masse when threatened or disturbed. Fire ant bites are extremely painful and potentially deadly to those who are allergic to the venom. Commercially available pesticides are available to control fire ants. However, large infestations should be left to professionals who have the knowledge and tools to control this serious threat.

The best defense against pest of any kind is to prevent them from infesting your home in the first place. Be proactive by regularly looking for signs of a pest infestation, and take the necessary steps to control the problem before it gets out of hand.

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