Slinking spiders, scurrying rats, and swooping bats, normally, these creepy creatures are meant to be avoided, but at Halloween we are able to embrace pests that on any other day we would never want to see. In honor of Halloween, here are some fun facts about these scary pests, and some ways to keep them out of your house every day BUT Halloween.
Spiders: Did you know that spiders live on every continent except Antarctica and there are over 40,000 varieties worldwide? In your garden, spiders may play a pivotal role in keeping down the number of plant-killing bugs, but very few of us want to share our homes with these eight legged creatures. To keep spiders out of your home, try to fill all cracks and holes with silicone caulk. Another “green” idea is to put peppermint oil around your windows and doors. One could argue that the best defense against spiders in your home is your vacuum. Not only will a vacuum easily remove the spider itself, it will also remove the cobwebs which in many cases means you remove the spider’s home, nursery, and food store in one suctioning motion.
Rats: Much like spiders, rats can enter your home through relatively small cracks and holes. Did you know that a rat can squeeze its body through a hole the size of a quarter? That is a really small space for an animal that can grow to be eighteen inches long! There are a couple of actions you can take to keep rats away. First, fill any holes you find around the perimeter of your home. Second, make sure that you don’t have leaky pipes. Like many other pests, rats are drawn to moisture. Lastly, never feed pets outside and leave leftover food scraps there. On the inside be sure to keep food off your counters and in tightly sealed containers. Leaving food around whether it is indoors or out encourages rodents as well as many other pests.
Bats: Bats are unlikely to crawl through the same holes as rats, but they can still get into your home. Bats are plentiful. Did you know that according to Bat Conservation International, bats make up one-fifth of the mammal population on Earth? In our area, most people come in contact with bats when they come into our attics. Although people often talk about being afraid of getting rabies from bat bites, an even greater risk is becoming ill from bat feces, also known as guano. The fungi that is harbored in bat droppings can cause the lung disease, histoplasmosis. In most areas, bats are protected by law, so bat removal is never a good DIY project. Instead, hire a professional pest management company like Trius Pest Management to not only remove the bats, but also perform exclusion to your attic or chimney to ensure that the bats do not return.
Halloween pests are fun when they are decorations, not when they are actually in your home. Taking precautions will help to keep pests out. If you continue to have pests, contact a pest professional to help you make your home less hospitable to these slinking, scurrying and swooping creatures!