Homeowners take pride in their property and take the necessary steps to care for and maintain their home and outdoor space. Insect and rodent infestations are one of the biggest headaches for homeowners.

Each area of the United States is home to indigenous pests. Northeast Pennsylvania is no exception. Some common pests are more harmful than others.

Not only can these household pests wreak havoc on a property’s physical structures and green spaces; they can spread disease and trigger health problems in humans—everything from allergic reactions to conditions like zika virus.

Let’s look at five of the major health benefits of having a pest-free home.

Insect bites or stings cause a temporary reaction—usually itching or redness and some discomfort at the site.

What are the major effects of pests and rodents on the health of humans?

  • Allergic reactions. As discussed in a previous post, most insect bites or stings cause a temporary reaction—usually itching or redness and some discomfort at the site. For those with allergies or other sensitivities, an insect bite or sting can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Severe reactions may lead to anaphylaxis, a condition in which the affected person may experience dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure (or worse) and require medical attention.
  • Some insects and rodents carry disease. It’s widely known that certain insects and rodents carry disease—rats and mice, cockroaches, and mosquitoes among the top carriers. A range of illnesses, from E.coli to salmonella and malaria, have been directly traced back to these pests.
  • Air contamination. Even the air inside your home can be affected by a pest infestation. Many insects and/or rodents leave behind droppings or shed skin which can easily be airborne and eventually breathed in.
  • Food contamination. No one wants their food supply to be touched or tampered with. Unfortunately, improperly stored food can be an open invitation to pests. Mice and other rodents, and insects like cockroaches are known to contaminate food. With their chewing impulses, mice can easily gnaw through cardboard boxes or plastic food bags. Mice have no bladders, so they leave a trail of urine wherever they go, as well as droppings. These bodily secretions can lead to E.coli, salmonella, or the potentially life-threatening hantavirus. Cockroaches are also known carriers of e. Coli and salmonella, two common food-borne viruses. 
  • Impact on mental health. The constant strain of worrying about potential property damage (and the cost to repair it) or possible health risks to vulnerable family members can cause stress and anxiety. Mental strain triggers physical health issues. Insomnia, poor appetite and increased blood pressure are all stress-related side effects.

Lyme disease, caused by ticks, is another health risk to keep in mind. The ticks don’t enter a home by themselves. They live in woods or tall grass. When we spend extended periods of time in these areas, the tick will attach itself to our body, and that is how it comes into our home.

Always look for ticks on yourself and your pets after being outside. Lyme disease is a difficult condition to live with. Symptoms include fever, headache, arthritis, and fatigue. It can be life-threatening if not treated properly.

What pests pose the biggest health risks?

By their name and nature alone, pests are nuisances for most homeowners. Some, like spiders, are a headache but present no real danger to your home or health.

From a public health perspective, mice and rats undoubtedly pose the greatest risks. (Squirrels are also considered rodents, as they are close cousins to rats and mice. They are not hazardous to our health, although they damage the “health” of a property.

They are highly destructive, known to chew through electrical wires and insulation, among other damaging behavior).  

Among insects, pests such as cockroaches and mosquitoes are the biggest offenders when it comes to our health. According to the National Pest Management Association’s website, cockroaches have been known to carry over 33 kinds of bacteria, as well as trigger asthma and allergies.

An infestation of these insects must be remediated by a pest control team as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of serious health hazards.

Pests come inside seeking warmth and food.

What are some quick ways to prevent pests from entering my home?

This post discusses some of the most harmful pests and how to keep them out of your home all year long.

Pests come inside seeking warmth and food. The best way to prevent pests from entering your home is to put barriers in place to keep them from these two things. Secure any potential entry points. Doors and windows should be closed tightly. Next, look around the frames. Some pests can squeeze through the smallest opening in a door or window frame. It’s critical to repair any holes in screens or other gaps in these areas.

Pests follow their food sources. Secure all outdoor garbage bags. Inside your home, try to avoid storing food in cardboard boxes in kitchen cupboards or pantries, opting for secure glass or plastic canisters instead.

Regular upkeep and maintenance checks should alert you to any unsecured areas. Be vigilant in checking dry, dark areas like attics, basements, storage sheds, and garages for signs of pest activity. If you suspect an infestation, contact a trained pest management company below to determine the type of pest, the extent of damage, and the best way to remove them.


Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.