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Why Rodent Infestations Are More Likely in Winter

This time of year, you prefer to stay indoors – so do rodents like rats, mice and squirrels. They also want a warm place, with plenty of nesting materials and food nearby. In response, several homes deal with rodent infestations once winter arrives.

In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, rodents invade about 21 million homes each winter. Roughly 24 percent of homeowners will report mice or rats on their properties during this season. Certain factors – from the weather to your home – determine if you’ll be one of those homeowners.

Colder Temperatures

Once temperatures dip, rodents want a spot to stay out of the cold. As a result, starting in fall, colonies look for places to stay. In extreme instances, all the signs pointing to your house – like trails of bodily waste – could mean that hundreds of rodents may arrive and build nests over the course of the season.

Small Cracks and Holes

You’ve closed all your windows and doors, so how could they have gotten inside? Most rodents only need a hole smaller than an inch to squeeze through. Any place where pipes or wires go outside looks like the perfect entrance. If the hole is about the size of a pencil eraser, a typical mouse can slip through and rats can get through the size of a quarter. Larger rodents with stronger jaws (i.e. squirrels) may even chew their way in through the roof or insulation.

As a solution, it’s always a good idea to assess your property each winter for such pathways, then have them sealed. In the process, you not only reduce the potential of a rodent infestation, but you end up conserving heat. However, understand that the exterior wall is only one way to get through. Check your sewer lines – rats and mice can both swim – and look for cracks in your foundation.

You’ve Got Clutter

All rodents look for a place to nest or materials to build one: Clutter can be perfect. Indoors, this could be piles of clothing or anything else in storage. Outdoors, rodent often prefer piles of firewood.

To make your property less attractive to rodents, you can take the following steps:

  • Keep firewood away from the home and off the ground. Ideally, store it on a shelf at least 20 feet from your property and elevated five feet.
  • Always trim your shrubbery. Squirrels can use branches as a pathway to access a roof.
  • Keep your home clean and clutter free, with boxes kept off the floor.
  • Store any food you own in rodent-proof containers –never leave it sitting out on the counter.
  • Get rid of moisture, which looks like a source of water. Fix clogged drains and leaking pipes.

You’ve Got a Food Source

While rodents go after almost anything, grains are preferable. In fact, tears in bags of cereal often indicate you’re dealing with mice or rats. If you cook with any type of grain, including oats and rice, store it in a sealed container, never leave it out and dispose of it in a trash can with a secure lid.

Are you currently dealing with rats, mice or squirrels and need to get rid of them right away? Work with the professionals at Eliminate ‘Em to get the problem under control. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 1-866-802-7378.