(NewsUSA) - When it comes to common household pests, they enter homes in search of three things: water, food and shelter. They can find entry points through almost any size opening, including tiny cracks and crevices or holes as small as a dime in the structure's exterior. Once inside, pests, such as rodents, cockroaches, ants and spiders, will find a hiding or nesting spot -- the most common rooms being the kitchen, bathroom, basement and attic.
Whether it's dry foods in the pantry, crumbs on the counter or under the fridge or food scraps in the trash can, all are items rodents, ants and cockroaches are looking for. Once they've discovered the goodies, they will keep coming back, contaminating kitchen surfaces and food and posing health and property hazards.
Not only do sinks and bathtubs provide a never-ending source of moisture for pests, the pipes provide a good travel pathway from the outside or throughout the house. Cockroaches, house centipedes and silverfish can often be found in the bathroom.
The Attic and Basement
Usually these rooms house boxes, papers and insulation and at times are filled with moisture, which is why homeowners tend to discover rodent and spider infestations there. Rodents are also capable of destroying insulation in attics and chewing through walls, baseboards and electrical wires, increasing the risk of fire.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that there are many effective pest-proofing measures they can take to discourage unwanted guests from taking shelter in these places:
* Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves.
* Wipe down kitchen appliances and clean under them.
* Store food in airtight containers, and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
* Run your garbage disposal regularly.
* Don't let dirty dishes pile up and stand in the sink.
* Don't leave pet food and water bowls sitting out for long periods of time.
* Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or drips.
* Give bathrooms a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers with warm soapy water.
* Check to ensure that shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secure and no contents have spilled out of their containers.
* Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation.
* Store items in basements and attics in sealed, plastic containers off of the floor.
* Keep attics and basements well ventilated and dry. Use a dehumidifier and install gutters or diverts as needed.
* Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest professional who can properly assess and treat the problem. For more information, visit pestworld.org.