There’s a chill in the air here in Piedmont, which means you’ll be spending more time cozied up indoors to stay warm and toasty. Just like we humans enjoy the warmth our homes provide us, there are many rodents that might also seek shelter from the cold in your home. From mice and rats to raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and others, these critters will not only seek out shelter to hold up for winter, but also food and water sources. This is why homes in the area are so enticing to these creatures, which can make for a long, unnerving winter if they make your home their home. But there’s no need to fear. Not only do the friendly folks at Ray Pest Control have some tips for you to consider to help you protect your home from a wintertime rodent invasion; but we are always just a call or click away when you need an expert wildlife control and removal. In the meantime, take these preventative measures to rodent-proof your home this winter.
Six Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home
Seal Off Entry Points
Walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect the exterior for openings that could become points of entry for rodents and wildlife. We recommend taking note as you inspect your home to make sure you identify all potential entryways. Next, note points of entry such as basement windows, doorways, vents from the laundry room and on roof overhangs, and any other areas you see where pests might enter your home. Be aware that rats and mice can squeeze into tiny openings. We suggest sealing off any openings larger than ¼-inch.
Once you have a determined these points of entry, you will want to seal them off. There are a number of materials you can use to build a barrier, but keep in mind the stronger the material, the better. Here are some of the best materials to use when sealing entry points:
- Use wire mesh for openings in the wall, in exterior vents, or in the foundation.
- Use caulk for small holes and gaps along windows.
- Combine wire mesh and caulk for pipe openings.
- Seal your chimney with a chimney cap.
- Heavy hardwood can provide a barrier, but some rodents can chew through wood.
Store All Food Securely
It’s always important to seal and store your food properly and securely, but especially during winter when food is scarce. Avoid leaving uncovered food out on counters. Rodents, like mice and rats, can easily chew through and even crawl in cardboard boxes and bags that hold food. Therefore, always store dry foods like rice, noodles, cereal, chips, crackers, and so on in sealable food storage containers and canisters. Keep these items stored up off of the ground in a pantry or upper cabinet.
Human food is not the only thing you need to worry about. Pet food will attract rodents, especially when there are spilled pieces of dog and kitty kibble laying on the floor in the pantry, laundry room, or garage. Store pet food in airtight tubs that are harder to chew through, which also seal in the aroma of food that could attract rodents. Be sure to clean up any and all spills, as even the smallest piece of kibble can entice a mouse or rat.
Critters love clutter. Especially animals like raccoons and other nesting rodents that will use clutter to build a den and nest. If you have a clutter built up in your attic, basement, spare rooms, crawlspace, garage, laundry room, or closets, be sure to clean it up. Not only will it reduce potential nesting materials, but it can also reduce the number of hiding places where creatures like mice, rats, opossums, and insects could hunker down in for the winter. If you have boxes of stuff stored in the garage, go through them and get rid of anything you don’t need. Then, move the items you keep into a large storage box that seals shut to keep pests and rodents out.
Install Brush Strips on Exterior Doors
Most doors leave just enough space between the bottom of the door and the floor for a rodent to squeeze through. Installing brush strips on all exterior doors can seal up that space and help prevent mice and rats from sneaking in through the gap. There are many options when it comes to brush strips, and one of the easiest to install is the adhesive strips. You can find these in any hardware or home store, and online.
Smart Firewood Storage
Pests and rodents love stacks of firewood. These can provide them shelter from the elements and can be much warmer or more comfortable than sitting out in the cold of the yard. If you burn firewood during winter to keep your home nice and toasty, you’ll want to be mindful of where and how you stack your firewood. We recommend storing firewood away from the home to keep pests and rodents like rats and mice a good distance away from your home. Whatever you do, don’t store firewood near entryways! While this may seem like a convenient location, storing firewood near the garage door and back door places rodents that may be hiding in the wood right near points of entry to your home. Stock firewood near fences or other spaces away from the home. It’s also a good idea to store firewood up off of the ground.
Be Mindful of Trash Cans
Winter weather can create windy conditions that can blow your trash cans over in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping or during the day while you’re at work. The trash then becomes more like an all-you-can-eat buffet for mice, rats, opossum, and raccoons. Oftentimes, once they have identified a food source, they’ll continue coming back in the hopes of finding more food. Critters like raccoons are even known to knock trash cans over to get the tasty treats inside. Therefore, make sure your trash cans have lids that can seal shut. It’s also a good idea to tether them so they can’t be tipped over by hungry, resilient rodents.
Call the Wildlife Removal Pros
If you discover a family of raccoons living in your attic, rats in the basement, or mice in your kitchen, we’re just a call or a click away! At Ray Pest Control, not only can we safely and efficiently remove these and other unwanted critters from your home, but we can also provide preventative pest control to keep them out for good. In the unfortunate case that rodents take up residence in your home this winter, call your Top Rated Local® pest control company in Piedmont for wildlife control.
From all of us at Ray Pest Control, we wish you Happy Holidays and a great start to the new year!