Rodents, Roaches and Stink Bugs, Oh My!

Arrow Exterminators Predicts the Top 5 Pests This Fall

With cooler weather finally on the way, many homeowners think their battle with pests is over, but it is just beginning. Just as we seek shelter from the cold, pests are also looking for food, water and shelter indoors. Homeowners need to be on the lookout as these pests can transmit diseases, trigger asthma attacks in children and even cause significant damage to the home.

Arrow Exterminators has compiled a list of this year's top five, most prevalent fall pests along with tips for keeping them outside.

1. Rodents: Some of the most common fall intruders are mice and rats. They are looking for warmth and food to survive the winter. A concern because they can spread diseases, build nests in insulation and chew through wiring causing fires, these cunning little invaders have the unique ability to fit through cracks as small as a nickel, making small spaces and holes in the foundation easy entryways. And, they rarely travel alone, often bringing fleas, mites, ticks and lice along with them creating even more issues. To prevent these creatures from entering the home, homeowners should always store food in airtight containers and seal all cracks around the foundation of their home. Rodents reproduce extremely quickly, so an infestation is suspected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.

2. Stink Bugs: Brown marmorated stink bugs will definitely be out in force this fall, actively seeking shelter from the cooler weather. While they don't transmit diseases, bite or sting, these "stinky" pests can damage clothing, furniture and other fabrics with their droppings. So named because they emit a strong odor when frightened, disturbed or squashed to repel predators, they are also a bit lazy preferring to hide in personal belongings and cars to make their way indoors. Homeowners should always check their belongings before bringing them in the home and make sure that all screens on doors and windows are in good repair.

3. Bed Bugs: Bed bugs have been a constant in the news lately and this fall will bring no relief. In fact, as many travel for sporting events head back to schools and colleges, we are likely to see an increase in home infestations. Notorious hitchhikers, bed bugs will catch a ride on clothing, suitcases, and even schoolbags to enter the home. Although not thought to spread disease, bed bugs can leave behind itchy welts on their victims and there can be lasting emotional and psychological effects from an infestation. To minimize the risk of transporting these pests, always inspect hotel rooms before unpacking, keep personal belongings off the floor in public places and check all suitcases before bringing into the home. Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control. If an infestation is suspected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.

4. Ants: Many types of ants can be found in and around the home during the fall months and some can cause real harm. Odorous house ants can contaminate food and carpenter ants can damage the structure of a home. To prevent ants from entering the home, seal all cracks around the foundation, store food in airtight containers, sweep floors often, eliminate sources of standing water and keep tree branches and plants cut back. Additionally, don't store firewood and building materials next to the home and don't store unused firewood in the home overnight.

5. Cockroaches: "Cockroaches are definitely one of the most dangerous pests on our list," said Arrow Exterminators Pest Expert Shay Runion. "They have the potential to spread 33 different kinds of bacteria and they can trigger asthma attacks in children." Since cockroaches tend to be found near pipes and drains, keep kitchens and bathrooms sanitized, vacuum frequently and ensure that all cracks around the home are sealed.