Pests & Public Health

Public Health Information Concerning Pests


Public Health Concerns – Pests

Why are pests considered a public health risk or concern? They are called “pests” for a reason. Many people get chills just thinking about bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. And still, one misconception is that clean homes keep pests like cockroaches, mice, or rats away. It does, but we still produce waste in our homes, a food source for many insects and rodents. Nobody wants to spend all day cleaning and hear rodents scratching all night!

Need to Know

To begin with, the information you need to know can be found through personal research. There are simple ways to create a safer environment in and around your home. We’ve listed some of this helpful information here for you to read for your benefit. Revealing some of the common risks here to keep you informed. Furthermore, the amount of information on the web is astonishing!

Risks

There can be enormous risks for you, your children and your pets to be exposed to diseases that pests carry into your home. However, the physical damage caused by these invaders to family homes and structures is shocking in relation to cost!

Unlike damage, the diseases can lead to long-term illness, symptoms of asthma, and life-threatening illness. We find diseases like plague, Salmonella, hepatitis, and West Nile virus. Several different bacteria are transferred and transported by many insects or animals that infiltrate the home.

The EPA issued the latest list of significant health importance-related information regarding categories of pests. There are several different sources on the internet but beware of the private sites trying to “fear” you into something you may not need. 

Raise Awareness

Our hope is to raise awareness of the importance of pest control to the public. Not just to the overall danger, but pest-borne diseases which have been increasing over the years. Because of this, our job is not simply to rid your home of an invasive species but to help stop the further spreading of harm due to health issues. One of the unseen things behind the scenes is protecting schools, healthcare offices and hospitals, shopping centers, nursing homes, and so much more.

Cleaning may not be enough!

Cleaning a home inside and out sometimes is not enough. Moreover, make sure that lids are on trash cans and moved away from the house, even if just a few feet, can make a huge difference, keep trees and shrubs near your home pruned. Not every pest goes through your waste outside, they are looking for shelter. Food and water are the main attraction for all pests and animals. When taken away, they move on or out of your home.

Dust mites, fleas, and flies

While we’ve only mentioned a few more common threats, there are many more. Dust mites, fleas, and flies are all still a yearly problem in Oklahoma. There are thousands of species of insects and animals. Fleas can serve as intermediate hosts to tapeworms that occasionally infest humans. They carry murine typhus and the bubonic plague. Subsequently, they are still a significant concern in the southwest and western states. Flies are classified as “biting” or “nonbiting” to categorize the different species. Most homes incur the swarm of houseflies which are nonbiting but a nuisance.

Spiders

First, the fear of spiders is still in the top ten list of fears shared by many living in the US. Having spiders in your home is to be expected. The myth that all spiders are bad is just that, a myth. In addition, known to actually kill disease-carrying insects, spiders act as tiny exterminators themselves. They show up inside and outside the home. Most are not welcomed at all in many homes due to fear. In all honesty, spiders offer a big advantage outside to control insects and pests and prevent damage to plants, landscaping, and trees.

Believe it or not, spiders do not hunt humans and do not eat the food we eat. They eat insects and other pests that can and do cause damage to our homes. Generally speaking, the spiders you will see are different species of house spiders that are not dangerous.

However, black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders do have the ability to pierce the skin when they bite and inject venom. These bites cause different reactions in humans and are very rarely fatal when treated properly. In the case of the Brown Recluse spider, the added danger is the possibility of skin necrosis at the site of the bite. Both of these spider bits include pain in the bite area, possible fever, and nausea.

Biting Flies

Biting flies like the horsefly and deerfly are given their names respectfully by the animals they frequent. Sand flies are also biting flies, many find out while on vacation or taking part in recreational activities. Flies are not particular about where their food source comes from. It is important to know they also lay eggs in the same areas they frequent, like garbage cans, animal manure, spilled food or animal feed, and soil contaminated by organic matter.

A female fly will lay 500 to 600 eggs in her lifetime. Those eggs in favorable conditions start hatching in 24 hours or less. In short, they are a force to be reckoned with. Homeowners spend hundreds of dollars on pesticides and treatments from hardware stores for a temporary fix. Calling a professional exterminator first would be a wise decision. You may find out the prices are more affordable than you thought.

Stored Product Pests

Equally important are stored products or “pantry” pests as many call them. Several moths, beetles, and mites can infest processed foods and whole grain products. Furthermore, signs of small beetles on countertops or moths flying inside your home could indicate a problem. Open bags of bird seed or dog food in pantries can be a good source of food. At the same time, seeing adult moths resting on your living room or kitchen walls should demand a closer examination. Generally speaking, the kitchen is the biggest draw to these types of pests. However, they can be found in basements and attics as well as closets and warm dark areas.

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*This information for our records ONLY
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