(WVLT) -- As temperatures begin to cool, and summer and mosquitoes head into hibernation; bed bugs, insects, and rodents are looking for warm places to move in for the winter. Recent reports show that bed bug infestations continue to rise across the country, while rodents and cockroaches in homes and schools, can trigger or worsen asthma attacks. In fact, uncontrolled insect populations can contribute to asthma, disease transmission, food contamination, and even electrical problems.
It is important to safeguard your home, inside and out, in order to maintain your property's value and protect your family's overall health. To help homeowners pest-proof their homes for fall, Gail Getty, researcher for University of California at Berkeley, talked to Local 8 News about easy-to-follow tips to safely inspect and protect your home by using the acronym, INSPECT.
IN - Investigate: Take a serious, thorough approach for looking at potential pest problems.
S - Study: Take a deeper look into your home and study the situation, including learning more about the specific pest problem.
P - Prepare: Plan how to most effectively solve the problem, including changes in behavior or spot treatments.
E - Eliminate: This step includes eliminating the pests' entry way into your home and eliminating existing problems.
C - Clean: Maintaining a clean home and lawn is essential for discouraging pests from calling your home theirs.
T - Treat: Treating for problems at the first sign or before they appear is key to keeping your home pest-free.
Gail Getty warns people "If you don't pestproof your home, there are health risks. Obviously you get mosquitos coming into your home. Cockroaches, one of the greatest causes of asthma to people and young children in our country, so this is really important to pest proof your home. Termites on woodpiles beneath your home, leaky faucets or water sources bring insects into your home so it's really important to take a look around for health reasons for the value of your home."
There are a lot of myths about how to eliminate pests. "It's about empowering yourself with knowledge that's based on research and science so you can make an educated decision on what's best for you and your family around your home when it comes to pests," says Getty.
Also, remember to be careful with any over-the-counter pest eliminators. Always be sure to follow the label.
For more information on pest proofing your home, visit debugthemyth.com