6 Tips to Keep Rodents Out During the Cold Weather

4 Tips to Keep Rodents Out During the Cold Weather

Many rodents such as mice, rats, and squirrels that are happy to remain outside during the summer seek refuge from the cold during the winter months. In fact, approximately 24% of homeowners report experiencing rodent activity in the winter. Rodents can spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus, contaminate food and bring fleas and ticks inside. Further, rodents can cause damage to wood, electrical wiring and furniture. However, there are things you can do to keep these animals from entering your home. Here are some tips to help prevent rodent infestations:

1. Maintain Landscaping

Long branches and overgrown shrubs provide an ideal hiding space for rodents to hide before entering your home through the roof or attic. Perform yard maintenance such as pruning your trees, raking leaves and trimming bushes before the weather gets too cold. Don’t forget to get rid of any food or foliage remaining in your garden to ensure hungry rodents are not attracted to your yard.

2. Tidy Your Kitchen

Hungry mice and rats are drawn to countertops and other kitchen surfaces with crumbs and other food residues. Monitor your kitchen for any crumbs and clean all surfaces with soap consistently. Additionally, keep all food in sealed plastic containers. Mice have a keen sense of smell and have been known to gnaw into food packages that are left open. A food source that is often overlooked is pet food. Keep cat and dog food sealed at all times to avoid attracting unwanted pests.

3. Seal Points of Entry

Rodents are incredibly resourceful and can squeeze through tiny gaps to enter your home. Don’t make it easy for mice and rats to enter your home. Seal off any openings larger than ¼ of an inch. Monitor all window screens for holes and promptly repair any tears with strong material. Check your foundation and walls for cracks and repair with wire mesh if any needed. Additionally, cover your chimney with a secure top or cap. Rodents are adept climbers and have been known to enter homes through the chimney.

4. Keep Firewood Off the Ground

Many homeowners burn firewood in the winter to keep their homes warm and cozy. Unfortunately, firewood is a favourite hiding spot for rodents. Tidy up your stockpile of lumber outside the house on a consistent basis. Keep any fire logs found inside the home at least 15 inches off the ground. Store logs on a chair or even perch them on the mantle for temporary safekeeping.

5. Remove the Clutter

Rodents love clutter such as boxes and stacks of newspapers because of the protection it provides. Keep your basement, attic and garage free of clutter and monitor these areas for mice activity throughout the winter. If it seems daunting to clean up these areas, do the job in phases. Start by clearing out stacks of papers and other junk you no longer use. Next, go through discarded clothing and donate any pieces you no longer wear. Even well-maintained boxes can be inviting for rodents, so ensure they are kept off the ground and organized consistently.

6. Inspect Your Home

Mice infestations can go unnoticed if you do not remain vigilant. There are certain tell-tale signs of rodent activity that homeowners should look for throughout the winter months. Look for dark smears around corners or holes. Droppings, gnawed furniture and mounds of dirt are also signs of rodent activity.

Work With an Expert

Have a pest infestation problem that requires professional help? Contact Truly Nolen Canada today. We provide expert pest control and pest removal services in Waterloo. We can get rid of pests and even help prevent them from returning. All our technicians are trained to use safe, effective and hygienic practices.

Contact us today to schedule a free inspection.