Rodent Awareness Week: How to Keep Creepy Critters Out of the Home

FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Each year, as families prepare for trips to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treat night, rodents begin searching for a winter hideout. As temperatures plummet and food sources become scarce, mice and rats frantically invade homes across the United States. In a recent online poll conducted by The Harris Poll, 49% of Americans reported problems with rodents in their home and 14% reported an infestation. During this rodent awareness week, taking place October 16-22, 2022, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is sharing prevention tips to help homeowners keep these pests outdoors.

“Mice and rats are insidious and will squeeze through openings in a dime- or quarter-sized structure,” said Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. “Capable of spreading more than 35 diseases, including salmonella and hantavirus, it is important to practice adequate prevention to protect yourself and your family from the health hazards associated with rodents.”

Even the tidiest homes are subject to rodent infestations this fall. Fortunately, proper prevention can be accomplished in a few simple steps:

  1. Attach door sweeps to exterior doors and repair broken screens.

  2. Screen openings and openings to chimneys.

  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the house, including the areas where utility lines and pipes enter the house, using caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both.

  4. Store food in airtight containers and throw out trash regularly.

  5. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

  6. Replace loose mortar and caulking around the basement foundation and windows.

  7. Eliminate all sources of moisture, including leaky pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding ground for pests.

  8. Examine items such as boxes, grocery bags, and other packages that you bring home with you.

  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and keep shrubs trimmed and cut back from the house.

If you suspect an infestation, it is best to contact a pest controller. Rodents breed quickly, making infestations difficult to control. Visit for more information.

About the National Pest Management Association

The NPMA, a not-for-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was founded in 1933 to support the pest control industry’s commitment to protecting public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information visit or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tick tock and youtube.

Survey method:

This poll was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of National Pest Control Association September 6-8, 2022 among over 1,300 US homeowners ages 18+. Harris online survey sample accuracy is measured using a credible Bayesian interval. For this study, the sample data are accurate to +2.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For a complete survey methodology, please contact [email protected].

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