Winterize Your Home From Vector Infestations

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– 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 mosquitoes, rodents, fleas and ticks. If infected, these vectors can transmit Hantavirus, Plague, West Nile Virus, or Lyme disease to humans and other animals.

During the wintertime, vectors climb, claw and gnaw to find an entry way into your home. This can cause structural damage to roofs, siding, and basements. 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 vector infestations often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Below are some simple tips for preventing vector infestations in your home.

Rodent Control Maintenance

Maintaining your yard plays a large role in keeping your home vector-free. Be sure to trim shrubs, bushes and trees near your house to prevent rodents from climbing the branches and reaching your roof. Squirrels and rats like to gnaw at roof overhangs, shingles, gables, and sections where two roofs meet. Squirrels can even get into the attic through crevices in the chimney.

Outdoor Rodent Control Tips:

  • Keep your branches and bushes trimmed back away from the house
  • Check for leaking outdoor faucets and pipes
  • Don’t leave pet water bowls or food bowls outside
  • Always keep doors closed – 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 glasses of 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, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at

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