Volume 6, Issue 2
Protect Your Home from Vector Infestations
It is important for the health of your family and pets to maintain a vector-free living environment. A vector is any animal that can transmit disease to humans. Examples of vectors are rodents, fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks. If infected, these vectors can transmit Hantavirus, Plague, West Nile Virus, or Lyme disease to humans and other animals.
Rodents climb, claw and gnaw to find an entry way into your home. This can cause structural damage to roofs, siding, and basements. During the winter, rats and squirrels seek warmer climates for building nests. Rodents work at night to gather food and often gnaw on electrical wires, possibly causing home fires.
Signs of rodent infestations often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Below are some simple tips for preventing vector infestations in your home.
Outdoor Rodent Control Tips:
- Keep your branches and bushes trimmed back away from the house
- Clear fruit that has fallen from fruit trees
- Check for leaking outdoor faucets and pipes
- Don’t leave pet water bowls or food bowls outside
- Keep doors closed at all times– rodents are quick
- Store firewood away from the home
- Empty garbage cans and keep lids closed
Indoor Rodent Control Tips
- Seal all entryways, cracks, and holes in siding, doors, window screens, and areas around pipes
- Practice good sanitation by cleaning up crumbs and spills
- Never leave containers with water or pet food/water bowls out at night
- Store dry food in sealed containers
- Clean under counter-top appliances and large kitchen appliances
For more information, please contact us at 800-442-2283 or visit our website at www.sbcounty.gov/dehs
Swimming Pool Covers are Vector-Risks during the Winter
Pool covers may be installed to keep debris and leaves from filling the pool during the winter months. However, the pool cover becomes an excellent mosquito-breeding area before the pool is reopened in the spring because of the decomposing vegetation that is on the pool cover, the rain that accumulates on the top of the pool cover during the winter, and the mosquito eggs laid on the pool cover in early fall and early spring. This provides ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed: stagnant water, protection from wind that can sink floating eggs, the near absence of predators, and warm water created by the pool cover collecting heat just below the surface.
Remember that green pools can still be a risk during the winter months. Maintenance of swimming pools and spas during the warm months also apply during the winter.
For more information on how to keep your pool and spa safe during the winter and year-round visit CDC Healthy Swimming.