On Thursday, April 25, the Kent County Board of Commissioners approved funding for two staff positions to investigate homes that are lead-poisoning children. Landlords who fail to act to be held accountable.
In Case of Emergency
Although pests like mice and cockroaches do not pose an immediate health threat, they can result in adverse health effects for people with asthma and breathing problems. Call the Healthy Homes Coalition for more information on Integrated Pest Management.
The Healthy Homes Coalition offers Integrated Pest Management (IPM) services for low to moderate income families in the Grand Rapids area that have children with asthma in the home.
IPM uses an environmentally and family-friendly approach to eliminate roaches, mice and rats from homes without using toxic bombs or sprays. Healthy Homes works with families and teaches them simple strategies to eliminate the pests and keep them from coming back.
Contact the Healthy Homes Coalition for more information.
Follow three simple steps to safely get rid of pests in the home.
Step 1: Starve them OUT!
To us a few crumbs are just a few crumbs, but to pests they can be an entire meal.
- Clean up spills and crumbs right away.
- Eat meals at the table or in a designated area, not all over the house.
- Store trash securely outside of the home.
- Empty trash weekly and use a garbage can with a tight fitted lid.
- Store food, snacks and pet food in tightly sealed containers.
Step 2: Dry them OUT!
A leaky faucet or dish with water can provide a drinking source to pests.
- Wipe off counters and floors when wet.
- Do not leave standing water overnight.
- Report and/or fix leaks.
- Drain water out of sink and dry wet dishes.
Step 3: Keep them OUT!
Pests are small and can fit through tiny openings. Mice can fit through a hole smaller than the size of a dime. Cockroaches can hitchhike in on bags and furniture.
- Get rid of clutter where mice and cockroaches like to hide.
- To keep mice out, seal up holes with copper mesh and spray foam or caulk. Seal all holes up to five feet. Make sure all windows and doors close tightly, including underneath.
- To get rid of hiding places for roaches, seal cracks with caulk.
- For mice, place snap traps along walls and in areas where children can’t reach. Use peanut butter instead of cheese and check them daily.
- For cockroaches, use bait stations and insect growth regulators.
- Do not use toxic sprays or bombs. Bait stations work better.
With a few simple changes, the pests will be gone!
For more information about getting rid of pests, see the Resources to the right or contact the Healthy Homes Coalition.
Did You Know...
The use of chemical pesticides is associated with eye, nose and throat irritation, skin rashes, nausea, and nerve damage.
How to Control Pests Safely(1.3 MB)
A simple guide from the New York City Health Department.
A list of safer pest management supplies and where to get them. Pricing subject to change.
Stop Bed Bugs Safely(217 KB)
Information from the New York City Public Health Department on bedbugs.
Little Louian's recently renovated home was in good condition, yet there were still things about the home environment that triggered Louian's asthma. Things had gotten so out of control that Louian ended up in the emergency room four times in a year. Healthy Homes provided Louian's mom with the knowledge, skills, and tools she needed to take action.
But this is just one of many families in need of support. Asthma attacks are the leading reason kids are going to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s emergency room. We need to do more to keep children like Louian from hurting, and we can with your help.
In November of 2018, the World Health Organization stepped firmly into the healthy housing world when it released its WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. While local conditions are different all over the world, the strategies WHO suggests are universal and certainly apply to Grand Rapids.