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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across Southern California, businesses, schools, and organizations are reeling from its effects. From enforced shutdowns of restaurants and bars to school and office closures, COVID-19 has drastically impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives.
That impact isn’t limited to just people, either. As our habits and routines change to deal with the virus, common pests are finding new ways to insert themselves into our homes. Vacant buildings, increased time at home, and more opportunities for unchecked growth can lead to pest infestations and health concerns. To make matters worse, these pest issues can exacerbate existing respiratory problems or help create new ones.
At Lloyd Pest Control, our focus is on keeping you and your family safe from pests and the common problems they cause. Let’s look at some major impacts that pest infestations can have on your home—and how COVID-19 could make things worse.
Pandemic Pest Problems at Home
Given that most Californians aren’t venturing out of their homes as often, people are experiencing much more quality time indoors. From cooking up meals in the kitchen to spending long periods of time in common areas, increased household activity means making more messes than we’re used to. And, if those messes aren’t cleaned up in time,pests can pick up on even the smallest traces.
Cooking, Crumbs, Cardboard, and Cockroaches
One major pest issue that can occur with heightened activity around the house is a cockroach infestation. The increased presence of food for them in the form of crumbs, grease, or oil stains makes for an attractive environment. That’s why it’s key to quickly clean up after every meal; sweep up crumbs wherever possible and wipe down kitchen counters. If you haven’t checked behind your stove or oven in a while, it’s worth a look to mop up any grease spills there, too. (Because really, roaches will feed on just about anything.)
Of course, cockroaches don’t just thrive in dirty kitchens. The increased reliance on shipping and mailed package delivery mean there might be a lot of cardboard in your home. Make every effort to regularly break down boxes and put them in a recycling bin as they arrive. Leaving stacks or piles of cardboard boxes—even broken down—is an invitation for cockroaches (or other pests that thrive on clutter) to take up residence.
Roach Respiratory Risks
The main reason to ensure cockroaches aren’t building a colony in your home? Molting roaches can cause breathing problems in young children and people with respiratory diseases. If you or your loved ones are asthmatic at best or—at worst—recovering from COVID-19, the presence of these pathogens can make things even worse.
Cockroaches aren’t the only potential pests you might find around the home. With greater levels of outdoor activity, such as barbecues and picnics, come the potential for unwanted wildlife encounters.
Leaving unfinished food or garbage outdoors can encourage critters such as raccoons and other rodents to sniff out leftovers and congregate around trash cans in search of things to eat. If you’re regularly entertaining the family outside, be sure to clean up promptly and never leave food unattended.
Creating conditions that are pest-friendly isn’t just a hazard for outdoor activities, of course. When you don’t put a quick stop to incursions from animals and other pests, they will eventually get adventurous and start looking for more resources like food and water. That usually leads to them trying to get into your home, where they can cause even more problems. Common pests that we see during cooler weather include:
Rodents present a multitude of hazards, from damage to structures and electrical fixtures to contamination of the area with urine and feces. Mice and rats will also chew through food containers to eat what’s inside. Because they can carry fleas, ticks, lice, and other parasites, they’re known as disease vectors.
Allowing rodents to take up residence in your home could lead to costly property damage as well as unsafe and unsanitary conditions in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or attic.
The presence of birds around your home isn’t necessarily dependent on outdoor activity, but these nuisance pests can still cause plenty of problems. Bird droppings can carry diseases and corrode surfaces, and their nests can clog up gutters and downspouts—leading to water damage when rain accumulates and overflows.
To avoid birds making a mess of your home’s exterior, drain all birdbaths and remove any bird feeders from nearby. Just like with rodents and other wildlife, don’t forget to clean up after yourself when entertaining outdoors.
Flies multiply quickly if left alone. They can carry many microorganisms and parasites, and they contaminate foods as they crawl around, vomit, and defecate on both food sources and previously clean surfaces. Flies are a common nuisance at backyard barbecues and around the house. Where there’s food, flies can be found.
To avoid allowing flies into your home and breeding in common areas, ensure your window screens are in good condition and that all trash cans have lids. Tie off trash bags tightly when throwing them into cans, and clean up any messes around the kitchen—especially if they involve meat or sweet, sugary spills. Fruit flies in particular are small enough to sneak their way inside and rapidly reproduce before you even know it, so it’s crucial to store your produce properly, consuming or disposing of any ripe fruit or vegetables in a timely manner.
Dealing with Pest Problem inside Your Home
If you’re spending significant time at home due to COVID-19, pest management is a serious and ongoing concern. At Lloyd Pest Control, our focus is on providing expert pest control strategies to help kick unwanted bugs, birds, and other invasive pests off your property. To learn about how our essential services can help keep you, your family, and your home safe, contact us today.