Mice and rats are particularly attracted to homes and businesses as the winter months draw near and temperatures drop. There are important strategies that you need to consider employing as a means to keep rodents out of your home (or business) during the winter.
The Dangers of Rodents in Your Home
In advance of diving into specific tactics to keep rodents out of your home in the wintertime, you need to fully appreciate the dangers rats in your home present. One of the dangers rodents in your home present is the prospect of spreading disease. Rodents can carry an array of different types of disease that include:
The spread of disease is not the only danger that exists when rodents infest your home. Rodents are the number one cause of house fires in the United States annually. Over 25 percent of all house fires in the U.S.A. are caused by rodents. The primary way rodents cause house fires is because they gnaw on electrical wires, leaving them exposed.
Because rodents continually gnaw they can cause structural damage to your home. Rodents will gnaw on walls, floorboards, and many other components of your residence. They can gnaw on beams, reducing the structural integrity of your home.
Five Rodent Wintertime Infestation Prevention Tips
There are some very specific tactics that you will want to consider employing as a defense to a wintertime rodent infestation. Five of the more important are imperatives if you desire to truly form a protective shield around your home to prevent a rodent infestation during the colder months of the year.
- Seal any and all holes and cracks on the outside of your home. Pay particular attention to those areas on the exterior of your home where utility wires and pipes enter into the premises. Keep in mind that a mouse can squeeze through an opening that is only ¼ of an inch in diameter.
- Replace any loose weather stripping and mortar found around windows and the basement foundation.
- Store firewood at least five feet off the ground. In addition, keep firewood stowed at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Keep storage areas, attic, and basement as clutter-free as possible. Rodents are attracted to and thrive in a cluttered environment. In addition, eliminate any moisture sources that might exist in these locations and elsewhere in your home. This means addressing issues like leaking pipes and faucets and tending to clogged drains. (Rodents are not only attracted to food, but they need access to water to survive as well.)
- Keep food in tightly sealed containers. Make sure you stow pet food in this manner. People tend to be lax in the manner in which pet food is stored which results in the creation of a significant attraction to mice and rats. On a related note, keep trash and garbage cans tightly sealed as well, both inside and outside of your home.
Landscaping and Rodent Control Before Winter
Your landscaping and yard maintenance endeavors play a significant role in keeping rodents out of your home in the wintertime. In this regard, as you embark on fall landscaping and maintenance, take a look at what you have planted directly around the physical perimeter of your residence itself.
If you are like many homeowners you likely have plants of some type growing directly next to your home. For example, you may have bushes or shrubbery planted directly next to the walls of your home. If you do, that provides a pathway and cover for rodents to enter into your home, in the winter and all other times of the year.
As you undertake your fall yard maintenance and landscaping, consider the placement of vegetation up against your home. Ideally, you keep plants away from directly against your home. The best course to prevent a rodent invasion of your home is to create a gravel boundary of between 18 and 24 inches around your home. Rodents of all types will be reluctant to cross into such a gravel boundary because it leaves them exposed.
If you have trees with branches that reach over your roof, trim those away. Certain mice and rats are quite capable of climbing. They will take advantage of trees that grow over your roof and use them as a means of gaining entrance to your home via the roof.
When it comes to your fall yard maintenance efforts, don’t leave piles of leaves standing around your property. Place raked leaves into trash bags or garbage cans to get them off your lawn and away from your residence.
In the final analysis, by paying heed to the suggestions and strategies set forth in this article you will be in the best position to protect against a rodent infestation as wintertime approaches. If you do experience an infestation, you should strongly consider hiring a rodent extermination professional. In addition, you should also contemplate retaining the services of an experienced rodent remediation specialist to eradicate the aftermath of a rodent infestation, including overseeing the removal of potentially highly dangerous rodent droppings.