NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — While the fall season brings about pumpkin spice and everything nice, the cooler temperatures can send a myriad of pests heading indoors in search of food and shelter.

According to a news release, pest-proofing is a year-round endeavor; however, each season presents its own unique set of pest populations to be prepared for.

As such, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is offering prevention tips for a pest-free home this fall.

“Once indoors, pests like rodentscockroaches, and spiders pose a serious risk to both people and property, triggering allergies and asthma attacks, transmitting diseases and bacteria, contaminating food, and even compromising the value of a home by gnawing through electrical wires and support beams,” said Cindy Mannes, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the NPMA. “It is important for homeowners to be proactive and vigilant in preventing pest infestations in the home.”

NPMA recommends the following tips to pest-proof your home this season:

  1. Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers, and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and garbage buildup are appealing to pests scrounging for food.
  2. Screen attic vents, openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
  3. Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure.
  4. Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry.
  5. Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  6. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  7. Install gutters or repair existing systems which will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or buildup that might attract pests.
  8. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well-trimmed.

As you carve out time for fun and holiday festivities this season, be sure to pest-proof your home to prevent an infestation.

If you suspect the presence of pests in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify, and treat the problem.

For more information on pest-proofing tips and common household pests, visit the Pest World website.