Pests appearing due to mild winter

DALLAS, April 29 (UPI) -- In the past 12 months, 84 percent of America's homeowners experienced a pest problem -- nearly half were invaded by ants, a U.S. survey indicated.

The survey, for HomeTeam Pest Defense, of 1,319 U.S. adults also found in the past year 43 percent had to deal with spiders, 37 percent flies, 34 percent mosquitoes, 30 percent mice and 29 percent wasps.


"Pests have appeared earlier than usual this year due to warm winter, early spring and recent heavy rains," Russ Horton, national technical director for HomeTeam Pest Defense, said in a statement. "We have already seen termite swarms in Texas, Georgia and Florida, odorous house ants in the Mid-Atlantic and scorpions in Arizona."

Additionally, 80 percent of homeowners are concerned about pests termites, cockroaches, rats, bed bugs and mice in the home. Thirteen percent said they actually experienced termites in the last 12 months, 22 percent of homeowners experienced structural damage to their home from a pest problem.

To help prevent pest problems, Horton suggested:

-- Seal cracks and small openings around doors, windows, garage doors and utility entry points.

-- Get rid of standing water around the home.


-- Cut back tree branches and bushes, keeping them away from the side of the house and roof.

-- Install or repair screens on windows and doors.

-- Fix dripping taps and leaking pipes to remove the water and humidity that some pests need to survive.

-- Empty garbage cans and recycle bins regularly.

-- Store food in sealed containers.

The survey has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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