How To Prevent Rodent Infestations In Winter
It's cold outside, and the winter is a perfect time for rodents to get into your home. Mice and rats can be a real pain to deal with—they chew on wires, make a mess of things in the kitchen, and carry disease. Not to mention their droppings are one of the leading causes of asthma. When you spot them inside, it's important that you get rid of them immediately, or else your house will be overrun with rats!
In this article, we're going to talk about preventing rodents from getting into your home in the first place, signs you might have an infestation, as well as getting rid of mice and rats if you do have an infestation. In total, we'll cover trapping strategies, sealing off access points, poisoning techniques, and more!
The Dangers Of A Rodent Infestation
Rats and mice can introduce harmful diseases into your home and introduce them to your family and pets. Some of these diseases include hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonella.
Not only do rodents carry disease, but they also destroy property. They chew through wood and wires, leaving holes that let in drafts while chewing on insulation for their nests! Not to mention that they can strip insulation from your HVAC pipes inside the walls, causing all sorts of damage.
Rats are also notorious for gnawing through plastic water piping which results in flooding the area where the broken pipe is located, ruining drywall and carpeting. Some rat species are known to dig under foundations of homes or commercial buildings causing large chunks of concrete to come loose. This can result in structural damage to a building if it's not discovered soon enough! Any of these conditions might result in being denied insurance coverage for damages or even having an insurance claim rejected meaning you're stuck with the bill!
How To Prevent A Rodent Infestation
Here are a few things that you can do to prevent rats or mice from entering your home:
Seal any Entry Points
This may include all cracks, holes, or openings that a pea can fit through in your home's foundation, around doors and windows, garage door, attic vents, etc. If you have a vent to the outside that is rarely used, consider sealing it off completely with some heavy-duty duct tape or mesh wiring. This will prevent any rodent from entering or exiting your home via this opening. You can check for gaps under your doors by using a broom handle - if you are able to fit the broomstick easily under the door you should seal up this entry point with something sturdier like steel wool.
Clean Your Home And Yard Thoroughly
Rodents are attracted to food sources, so if you have food lying around, you're basically giving them all the more reason to set up camp inside your home. Be sure that you've picked up every morsel of food and crumb from your kitchen and any other areas of your home where food particles may accumulate. Also make sure to use air-tight, resealable, plastic containers whenever possible. Rats can track down small pieces of food from a mile away so be thorough in this task!
Invest In A Cat
Cats are the ultimate rodent-prevention companion for your home. Even if your cat isn't a great hunter, just the scent of your new furry friend will be enough to scare away the vermin and keep them from setting up camp in your home!
Common Signs Of A Rodent Infestation
Rat droppings are the main sign of an infestation. They are shiny, dark brown in color, and can be about the size of a grain of rice. There are other similar-looking droppings belonging to different types of rodents so you should take some care when identifying them to confirm what type they are!
The droppings may appear in clusters on the floor, on surfaces close to walls (the vermin like to follow along surfaces for shelter), on attic insulation, or behind stored items where the critters might have chewed their way through boxes or bags leaving small openings. Large numbers of rat droppings in an area often indicate that there is a large population of rats somewhere nearby, and most likely they're in your home.
Other signs of rodent infestation include:
- Nesting materials like shredded paper or fabric.
- Signs of chewing on food packaging, electrical wires, or other home materials.
- Chewed through entry points to your home or basement which rodents use to enter your home.
- Strong urine odor, which has a strong musky smell that is quite identifiable.
How To Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Home
If you are already dealing with an infestation, here are a few options on how to deal with the critters:
Spreading Peppermint Oil Around Your Home
Peppermint oil has been known to be extremely effective against rodents, especially mice. This is a scent that the critters aren't particularly fond of and can actually make your home uninviting for current rodent dwellers.
Invest In Rodent Traps And Baits
Rodent traps are a vital part of the elimination process. Never rely on glue boards because they take too long to work, but traditional rodent traps are very effective. We also recommend that when picking a trap to look for instant kill options to be as humane as possible with your rodent removal efforts.
Hire A Professional Pest Control Company
This may seem like the most expensive option, but it is definitely worth it. Rodents are persistent little creatures so hiring a pro will help guarantee you success. Ensure that you're picking a professional that is highly rated, as well as a satisfaction guarantee so that if they don't get all the rodents in your home, that they'll come back and re-treat your home for free. If you are ready to learn more about our rodent control program, reach out to us today!