Salt Lake City listed on US cities public health pest watchlist for “increased pest pressure from vector pests” this winter.

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Salt Lake City listed on US cities public health pest watchlist for “increased pest pressure from vector pests” this winter.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released a watchlist of cities for increased vector pest pressure this season (winter 2020). Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City, made the list. A “vector” pest is a pest that is able to transmit diseases to humans. These pests can include rodents, mosquitos, ticks, flies, and cockroaches.

Utah residents should be aware of the increased threat from rodents this season. 

Why is this of concern?

Rodents make excellent “vehicles” for harboring and rapidly transporting diseases. They have been found to carry over 55 different diseases. Millions of viruses can fit on a single rodent dropping. A house mouse excretes between 50-75 droppings in just 24 hours. Rodents are prolific breeders and are well-adapted to living with humans. They and their parasites share our homes, workspaces, restaurants, schools, and other buildings. Rodents nest and sleep in our furniture where we rest and in kitchens where we prepare our food. With all this close contact, we are vulnerable to potential transmission of the various pathogens carried by rodents. 

The NPMA explains why Salt Lake City is on the list:

A mild start to winter and predicted freezing tempts for the remainder of the season, may lead to increased rodent activity in or around structures. 

To help prevent rodents from entering your home, the NPMA suggests these tips: 

  1. Insert door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens. 
  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys. 
  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities enter.
  4. Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  5. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry. 
  6. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows. 
  7. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  8. Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages before bringing them into the home. 
  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well-trimmed. 
  10. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect and treat the problem. 

Please be aware of the increased threat this season and stay vigilant. Do what you can to prevent rodents from entering your home or business. Any infestations should be eliminated as quickly as possible. 

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