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SpookyPestsWith Hal­loween and cool­er weath­er right around the cor­ner, sight­ings of creepy crea­tures indoors are sure to be on the rise as they search for cozy places to hole up for the win­ter. Rats, bats and spi­ders are the stuff night­mares are made of, and for good rea­son; these creepy crit­ters are capa­ble of spread­ing dis­ease, and incur­ring seri­ous harm to peo­ple, and even caus­ing prop­er­ty damage.

The Nation­al Pest Man­age­ment Asso­ci­a­tion (NPMA) offers the fol­low­ing guide on three com­mon, creepy fall invaders, along with a few tips for pre­vent­ing your home from turn­ing into a true haunt­ed house!

Rats

These pri­mar­i­ly noc­tur­nal pests are known to gnaw through almost any­thing to obtain food or water, includ­ing plas­tic or lead pipes. Rats are able to fit through an open­ing the size of a quar­ter, and once inside they are capa­ble of spread­ing dis­eases such as plague, jaun­dice, rat-bite fever, trichi­nosis and salmonellosis.

Tip: Before bring­ing dec­o­ra­tions out of stor­age and into the home, inspect all box­es for signs of infes­ta­tion such as gnaw marks and rodent drop­pings. When it’s time to put away dec­o­ra­tions, store them in a plas­tic, sealed box to keep rodents out.

Bats

Bats are fre­quent­ly asso­ci­at­ed with vam­pires and haunt­ed hous­es, caus­ing an unfound­ed fear in many peo­ple. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to note that bats are com­mon car­ri­ers of rabies, a dis­ease that can be fatal in humans, and their drop­pings can lead to histo­plas­mo­sis, a lung disease.

Tip: 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 is impor­tant to con­tact a licensed pest con­trol pro­fes­sion­al because bats are pro­tect­ed by law in most states.

Spi­ders

While most spi­ders that invade homes are sim­ply an annoy­ance, albeit a creepy one, the brown recluse and black wid­ow spi­ders will bite when threat­ened and can cause painful — pos­si­bly fatal — reac­tions. Prompt med­ical atten­tion is required if you’ve come into con­tact with one of these ven­omous spiders.

Tip: Avoid com­ing in to con­tact with spi­ders by keep­ing garages, attics and base­ments clean and clut­ter-free. Be sure to wear heavy gloves when mov­ing items that have been in stor­age, such as Hal­loween decorations.

For more infor­ma­tion on pre­vent­ing pests this fall, please vis­it www.pestworld.org.

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