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 and require professional rodent control services. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, rodents invade about 21 million homes each winter. Additionally, roughly 24 percent of homeowners report mice or rats on their properties during the winter season. However, certain factors – from the weather to your home – determine if you’ll be one of those homeowners that ultimately needs a rat or mice exterminator to help keep your home safe and pest free.
Colder Temperatures Yield Winter Rodent Infestations
Once temperatures dip, rodents, such as mice and rats, want shelter out of the cold (just like us). As a result, starting in fall, colonies starting looking for potential places to shelter as winter approaches. In extreme instances, all the signs pointing to your house – like trails of bodily waste – could mean a potential rat infestation with hundreds of rodents arriving and building nests over the course of the season.
Small Cracks and Holes Are Still Big Enough for a Mice Infestation
It’s winter, so you’ve naturally closed all your windows and doors, so how can your home still endure a rat or mice infestation? Most rodents, like mice, only need a hole smaller than an inch to squeeze through. Which means, any place where pipes or wires go outside are actually a suitable entrance to your home and potentially leads to a winter mice infestation. Additionally, 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. Plus, 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 work with a professional pest control company to properly seal your home. Plus, as part of the rodent control process, you not only reduce the potential of a rodent infestation, but you also end up conserving heat. However, understand that the exterior wall is only one way to get through. For example, rats and mice can both swim, so check your sewer lines and look for cracks in your foundation.
You’ve Got Clutter Leading to a Rat Infestation
All rodents look for a place to nest or materials to build one. This means that clutter in your home offers a perfect source material. 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 and reduce the need of rodent control, consider taking 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 Creating a Rodent Infestation
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 rodent infestation under control. To learn more about our rodent control services or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 1-866-802-7378.