Keep it Pest-Free

How Pests in Your Home Can Affect Your Health

"Pests" include rates, mice, cockroaches, mosquitoes, ticks, and bedbugs. Some pests can trigger asthma attacks in some people. Pests such as deer ticks, fleas, cockroaches, and rats carry diseases. Although bedbugs do not carry diseases, their bites may itch and irritate the skin.

Pesticides (the chemicals designed to kill pests) can trigger asthma attacks, other breathing problems, nausea, and headaches in some people. They can also have long-term effects, such as birth defects, learning disabilities, and cancer.

How to Know if You Have a Problem

You might have pests in your home if you are:

  • Seeing or hearing the pest itself – dead or alive – often in damp areas (like bathrooms and basements), wherever food is stored, and at night.
  • Finding droppings, hair, or nests.
  • Finding damage from pests chewing on walls, wires, food, food packages, or newspapers.
  • Seeing tracks (areas where pests frequently run, usually along walls, where there is not dust or dirt).
  • Finding rows of red bite marks on the skin or reddish spots on bedding from bedbugs.

How to Fix the Problem:

  • Use integrated pest management (IPM) methods to control pests safely.
  • Remove food, water, and places where pests can live:
    • Repair moisture problems, such as leaks.
    • Store food in strong, covered containers, and keep dining and kitchen areas clean and dry.
    • Take out the trash every day.
    • Clear away clutter where pests can live.
    • Vacuum well and often.
    • Seal cracks and openings in floors or walls, using copper mesh, brass wool, or silicone caulk.
  • Use the least harmful solution to solve pest problems, such as sticky traps or boric acid.
  • Use pesticides only when other methods fail. Follow directions very carefully and store pesticides where children cannot reach them.

For more information:

Norwalk Health Department - Bed Bugs

Norwalk Health Department - Bed Bugs / Insectos de la Cama

CT Department of Public Health - Lyme Disease

CT Department of Public Health - Lyme Disease (Spanish)

Connecticut Mosquito Management Program

CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Integrated Pest Management