Freezing temperatures force rodents and other winter pests into a hyperactive “survival” mode. Their sole activity during the winter is to find warm shelter and, hopefully, enough food to live on until spring. Guess what the first place they head to in search of a winter hideaway? Your home, of course. Fortunately, there are ways you can try to protect your home from the triple threat of rodents and insects–they spread disease, they destroy property, and they contaminate food.
- Seal cracks and crevices leading from the outside of your home to the inside of your home. Rats and mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime by flattening their bodies. Use an appropriate sealant to lock rodents out of your home this winter
- Trim bushes and low-hanging tree limbs in the fall, especially branches that extend near or over your home’s roof. A rodent can scurry up a tree, run out to the end of a branch, jump onto your roof and find a way into your home within minutes
- Store pet and human food in air-tight containers. Rodents can detect food odors from outside your home, especially if they are running around your home’s foundation, searching for the tiniest crack or crevice you’ve missed sealing
- Don’t leave overripe or rotten vegetables in your garden. Once rodents have scavenged your garden for leftovers, they won’t stop there. They’ll head for your house next
- Keep your home as uncluttered and clean as possible. Don’t allow unwashed dishes to sit in your sink or on countertops, don’t leave flour, sugar and other commodities in paper bags (put them in metal or glass containers to prevent rats from chewing holes in paper containers) and clean under kitchen appliances regularly
- Keep your lawn and living spaces uncluttered. The more things you have lying around your yard and inside your home, the more places for winter pests to hide
How Do You Know You Have Unwanted Winter Squatters?
If you see one rodent scurrying around inside your home or notice insects invading your space, you’ve probably got an infestation problem. Signs you need to call pest control services include finding tiny brown or black pellets (droppings) on window sills and countertops, noticing dark smudges along baseboards (mice rub their bodies against baseboards) and discovering chew marks/holes on food packages.
Rats, mice, and squirrels are the most common culprits of chewed wires inside or outside a home. The main reason rodents love to chew anything chewable is because they have continuously growing teeth that need constant sharpening and honing. If a rodent couldn’t chew on hard or semi-hard items, their teeth would actually grow beyond their lips and prevent them from eating.
Winter Pests and Your Vehicle
Not only do sharp-toothed rodents love spending hours chewing happily on exposed wiring inside and outside your home, but they also like to crawl into your car’s engine and chew, chew, chew. In fact, some newer cars have soy-based coatings on engine wiring that make wires even more palatable and chewable.
Things you might find chewed under your car’s hood if you have pest problem include heating and air lines, plastic fluid containers and battery cables. If chewers can get into your car’s front seat through a barely opened window, you might find seat cushions and carpet chewed up as well.
When You Need Extermination and Pest Control Services
Before cold temperatures send winter pests fleeing from the snow and ice and straight into your nice, warm home, in, get a professional inspection of your home by trained, pest control technicians. After technicians have determined your home is pest-free, you can start winterizing your house against rats, mice and other rodents seeking shelter and food. Pest control services can also examine your home for potential “doorways” through which pests can wiggle and march and advise you about how to eliminate those doorways.