Rats, bats and spiders might serve as great Halloween décor, but real infestations make for a haunted house that can turn into a homeowner’s worst nightmare. These creepy pests tend to seek refuge and resources in homes during the fall, which is why Bill Clark Pest Control and the National Pest Management Association are taking this Halloween to educate homeowners on these critters and how to prevent them.
It’s particularly important to pest-proof the home against rats and bats as they pose health risks and can carry disease. Spiders, on the other hand, may cause people to cringe, but in reality, almost all types of spiders found in the United States pose no threats to people. Dangerous or not, it’s best to leave all pests where they belong — outside and out of the home.
Rats can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, so it is easy for them to find access into homes. Once inside, they can spread disease by contaminating food and put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires. Before homeowners bring boxes of pumpkins and faux cobwebs inside to decorate for Halloween, they should inspect them for signs of an infestation such as gnaw marks and rodent droppings. Once Halloween is over and it’s time to pack away the ghoulish decorations, make sure they are stored in a plastic box with a sealed lid. This will prevent rodents from making out-of-season décor their new home.
Bats are nocturnal mammals that roost in dark areas of buildings, such as attics, belfries and under fascia boards, and in other sheltered areas like caves. They are frequent carriers of rabies, which can be fatal if left untreated. Homeowners should screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and install door sweeps this fall to keep bats out of the home. If an active bat infestation is suspected, it’s important to contact a licensed pest professional.
Spiders have adapted to live in nearly every type of habitat, and they are one of the top 10 most diverse populations on earth. Homeowners can avoid coming in contact with spiders by keeping garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free. Make sure to wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time, like Halloween decorations.