When temperatures drop, you can bet rodents will find their way into your warm, weather-proof home. Unless, of course, you follow the tips outlined below to keep your home unappealing and inaccessible to these unwanted winter pests.
Don't Allow Them Easy Access
Mice and rats can be resourceful little nuisances, finding their way into your toasty home through the tiniest of holes. Before winter hits full force, be sure to seal any cracks or holes on the exterior of your home.
Place screens over chimneys and and any other vents you have on the outside of your home, like the dryer vent. If you think there is already a screen in place—check again. Over time, screens can rust, fall away, or become otherwise unusable.
Be sure to seal any small cracks and holes around pipes and utility access points. Stuff small holes with steel wool and seal with caulk. The fine nature of steel wool makes it difficult for rodents to penetrate as it can become stuck in their teeth.
Don't Give Them Reasons To Choose Your Home
Rodents are opportunistic—if a better living situation opens up, you can bet they'll move on in. In the winter, the rodents previous living situation has become inhospitable and your home looks like a much better option.
The mistake that many make is in thinking that a rodent's only criterion is food. Nothing can be further from the truth. Warmth and moisture play as much as a role in a home's attractiveness as available food sources.
Make sure gutters have a way of releasing water away from your home. You don't want standing puddles of water near possible access points, even if they've been properly sealed off. It's also important to keep any possible nesting locations away from your home (mulch, firewood, overgrown bushes).
Work With A Pest Control Professional
In some cases, patching possible entrances and keeping the above mentioned things away from your home aren't enough. If you notice any signs of a rodent infestation, call a pest control professional immediately.
Common signs include droppings, chew marks on wood and wires, and shreds of paper, foil, etc. Rodents waste no time in making your house their home once they've found a way in.
A pest control professional can rid your home of these unwanted pests and keep them out.
Don't let your home become an extended stay hotel for rodents this winter. Be proactive in prevention. If you do find yourself unexpectedly hosting, call a pest control professional, one like Cavanaugh's Professional Termite & Pest Services, for removal.