About Pests

Pests pose a serious home health and safety hazard. To rid your home of pests requires appropriate treatment so you do not make health problems worse and or cause respiratory illnesses.


The Facts

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for rodents?

Appropriate pest removal uses integrated pest management (IPM) and other less toxic treatment methods to reduce pests such as cockroach, mouse, and rat infestations, which can trigger asthma episodes and other health problems.

The Risks

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic spider-like creatures that live in dust, fabric, bedding, furniture, and carpets. Dust mites eat dead skin cells and need food, moisture and warmth for survival.

Dust mites’ feces are breathed in and can trigger asthma attacks. Some people are allergic to them and develop rashes from too much exposure.

Mice and Rats

Mice do not have bladder control. As a result, as mice run around your house and search food, they are constantly leaving behind a stream of urine. Many people are allergic to mouse urine. For people with asthma, it can cause an asthma attack when they are exposed to it. Many people are allergic to mouse dander or dandruff. This can also lead to asthma attacks.

Rats can live in walls, trees, vines, and holes in the ground. Rats have been known to attack sleeping children and babies.


“Waterbugs” or “roaches” are just other names for cockroaches. Cockroaches can live a month without food, but only one week without water. Some roaches will lay 37 eggs at one time. Cockroaches are likely to be hiding in your house in spaces that are tiny, tight, dark, cluttered and near food and water. Cockroach frass or waste is dangerous for your family as it can trigger asthma attacks when breathed in.

Steps you can take

  • Keep pests out with no place to hide
  • Change surrounding landscape
  • Block pest entries, passages, harborage & clutter
  • Seal holes and cracks – use wire mesh
  • Reduce food and water availability
  • Practice proper food storage & disposal
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight
  • Clean crumbs, grease, etc.
  • Conduct regular cleaning to reduce pest urine and feces
  • Use appropriate traps
  • Use appropriate pesticides ONLY when needed

How to rid your home of dust mites?

  • Use allergen blocking mattress and pillow covers
  • Wash bed linens weekly in hot water
  • Regularly wash, freeze or put in dryer pillows and stuffed animals
  • Use a HEPA filter vacuum on all carpeted areas and on furniture and upholstery
  • Keep humidity levels down (under 50 percent relative humidity) by using a dehumidifier, ventilation fan or air conditioning

The Green & Healthy Homes Quiz is a quick and easy way to determine if your home has any potential hazards and what you can do to address them.