Have you spotted a rat recently? Seen more mice scurrying around your house? This isn’t a coincidence. Even if your home has been rodent-free for months on end, this time of year heralds the beginning of rodent season, when these pests tend to flock to residential properties. Keep reading to learn why you’re likely to see more rodents in the next few months from our experts at proof. pest control.
what to know about rodent season
Rodent season basically starts when mice and rats begin to search for places to take shelter during the winter. While rodent breeding season happens earlier in the year (in fact, during the warmer months, rodents pretty much don’t stop breeding,) the fall and winter weather is when they begin to hunker down and look for the warmest, most appealing spaces to wait out the cold—and that often means invading your house. Granted, a few rodents may not seem like a big problem, but mice can have up to 60 infants, or “pups” a year, while rats often have litters totaling 24 babies within the span of 12 months. Plus, with mice, it only takes three weeks for them to reach maturity, so your small mouse problem can grow into a major infestation in just a short while.
Rodent season generally starts anywhere between late August and October and lasts until late winter/early spring, when temperatures rise, and rodents are comfortable going outside to look for natural food sources once again. However, not every rodent season is the same. As we discussed on our blog last year, the 2020 rodent season was particularly unique, as more rodents flocked into suburban areas from the city due to restaurant and other business closures that resulted from the pandemic. Bottom line: whether your home has a history of rodent activity or not, it is a good idea to stay on the lookout for these pests as it gets colder out, and to take precautions to prevent mice and rats from entering your home.
To prevent a rodent infestation in your home this fall/winter, make sure you:
- Look out for droppings/marks: Rodents leave fecal matter wherever they go, and some mice even use urine to communicate, so look out for small dark fecal droppings and trails of urine across your property this coming season. Rodents also cause a lot of damage, so watch for scratch marks and signs of gnawing on wood and furniture, as well as electrical wires, which rodents often use to sand down their sharp teeth.
- Try to declutter: The more clutter you have in your home, the more spaces there are for rodents to hide. Make sure to check areas where there are tight, dark crevices, such as your garage, basement, closets, and attic, where rodents often use insulation as nesting. The less clutter you have in these spaces, the less appealing these areas will be to rodents this season.
- Put away food properly/keep your home as clean as possible: Rodents are attracted to any kind of food and waste, so it is important that you put any leftovers into tightly sealed containers and throw away any old, rotted food as soon as possible. You should also wipe down surfaces and vacuum to get rid of crumbs regularly, and take out the trash as often as possible. In general, practicing proper hygiene and sanitation goes a long way to keeping rodents away.
- Seal Up Cracks & Crevices: While it may be impossible to patch up every single hole in your home, sealing up crevices wherever you can will help to discourage rats and mice from sneaking into your property. That means weather-stripping doors and windows, caulking up holes and cracks, and generally closing unwanted openings around your house. Remember, some rats can squeeze through openings roughly the size of a quarter, while mice can compress their bodies to fit through holes the diameter of a dime, so this is extremely important.
- Use Traps & Repellents: It’s never a bad idea to purchase traps and rodent repellents at the beginning of rodent season as a precaution. Especially if you have had rodent problems before, these products can act as a first line of defense to help keep these pests away from your property. Of course, for more comprehensive protection, you can always hire a professional…
call our rodent control pros at proof. pest control
At proof. pest control, our residential pest control pros offer effective rodent control and treatment to get rats and mice off your property and keep them away for good. From extermination to exclusion, or goal is to make sure your home gets through this rodent season completely unscathed. Do not hesitate to call us for a free quote today, and find out why so many homeowners love proof. for yourself!