When the temperatures drop, there’s nothing more we love than cozening up indoors where it’s nice and warm. Unfortunately, rodents have the same idea when winter hits. Yep, they hate the cold too, so there’s a chance you’ll encounter a few pests looking for food and shelter in your home this winter
— that is, unless you take the right preventative measures. This is especially important because once they move in, it’s difficult to get them out, thanks to their quick reproduction cycles. So, before you get any uninvited holiday guests, check out our list of tips to rodent-proof your home this winter.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
One of the first things to know about rodents is that they love to hide and burrow. If you’ve got an attic, basement or garage that’s being used for storage, you might have a perfect spot for rodents to nest. Make sure piles of paper, old clothes or fabric and even old boxes are cleared away. Try to store items as high up off the ground as possible.
2. That Includes Outdoor Clutter, Too
That pile of fallen leaves or your overgrown bushes can act as a perfect hiding spot for rodents. Even though you might think outdoor messes have nothing to do with rodents coming indoors, it actually beckons them inside the closer the mess is to your actual home. Continue landscaping and outdoor maintenance through the colder months to curb rodents before they get closer to your home.
3. Seal All Points of Entry
Did you know that mice can fit through a dime-sized gap and rats can fit through a nickel-sized gap? Most rodents are extremely flexible, and that means any gaps or holes you have in or around your home can be an open door. Always inspect your home for gaps larger than 1/4-inch, but especially around winter time — looking at your home’s foundation, walls, windows, doors and roof are great places to start. To seal any openings, sealants like caulk, concrete, brick and mortar, wire mesh, foam, metal siding or metal rodent guards can be used, depending on its size.
4. Keep Food Locked Up Tight
It’s easy to ignore a few fallen crumbs here and there, but make no mistake: to rodents, they’re a full feast. Be sure to make sweeps of the kitchen and other eating areas regularly. If you’ve got young children, make sure they don’t leave their snacks laying around and if you’ve got pets, try not to leave their food out in the open. For added security, keep all pantry foods stored in well-sealed containers.
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