While most people associate pest problems with warmer months, rodents are a huge concern during cold weather, as they make their way into homes to seek shelter from chillier conditions. In fact, rodents invade approximately 21 million homes each winter.
These pests are particularly hard to get rid of, and homes with plenty of sustenance to snack on are enticing targets for them. Unsurprisingly, half of all rodent infestations occur in the kitchen. It doesn’t help that colder months bring plenty of holiday food, from Halloween treats to Thanksgiving feasts and festive eats in December. That’s why it’s especially important to not only continue service with your pest control company during fall and winter, but also to take steps to prevent rodents from invading your home.
Rodents aren’t just a nuisance; they can also pose a danger to your family’s health and safety. Rodents chew through wood, drywall, and electrical wires, which can increase the risk of fires. Furthermore, both mice and rats spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites in their droppings.
Rodents are attracted to smells, so be sure to keep your pantry and cabinet doors shut. Store pet food and birdseed in metal or plastic bins and pick up pet bowls at night. Also, keep your garbage receptacles closed and trash bags tied. Tightly seal food in secure, air-tight containers, and definitely don’t leave any leftovers out!
The best rodent prevention is ensuring that they can’t get inside to begin with, or what the pest industry calls exclusion. Inspect the exterior of your home, looking for cracks and gaps that can serve as rodent entry points. A mouse can fit into a hole the size of a dime and a rat can fit into a hole the size of a quarter, so don’t discount even the smallest crevices. Seal cracks with caulk and fill gaps with steel wool or expanding foam. Install door sweeps or weather stripping, and don’t forget to check air vents, too! Protect all open-air vents with screens and sealing.
Eliminating rodent hiding spots can also help to keep these pests out. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and keep shrubbery and branches trimmed back from your home’s exterior. Another common spot for rodent nests is around or inside pool heating equipment, so make sure to seal it off. Finally, move boxes and containers in your attic or basement off the floor (a few inches above the ground will do).
Don’t ignore the signs. Check out our blog for a list of indicators to look for if you think you might have a rodent problem.
If you need a trustworthy rodent exterminator, we can help. Request a quote or call 855-855-4873 and one of our pest control professionals will work with you to address your needs.