The dip in temperatures, arctic wind chill, and lack of light drives us indoors for the winter season. Picture all the things you love about your home in the winter: baking cookies and family meals in the kitchen, reading a good book by the crackling fire, enjoying hot cocoa under the warmth of a blanket. Your house is your shelter, your fortress, and ultimate winter destination. The opportunity to be warm, dry, comfortable, and well-fed- these are all reasons that rodents will try their absolute hardest to gain access to your house during winter.
1. Move The Woodpile.
There are several stake out spots in your yard that rats can comfortably camp out in while they plot how to get inside. What rats really seek out above all else is a food and water source. They even enjoy dark and damp spaces. So it’s actually no surprise that the woodpile is one of their favorite hiding spots. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably stacked your wood pile right up against the house for convenient access. The woodpile will catch and collect rain, giving rats a water source. Rats will wriggle their way into the nooks and crannies of the stacked wood and find a comfortable spot to nest. All the while, they’re checking the exterior of your house that the wood is stacked against for weak spots that they can gnaw through to get in! Be proactive and move your woodpile at least 20 feet away from the house.
2. Check Chimneys And Vent Openings.
Carefully evaluate the exterior of your home. Rodents enter attics through small, weather-worn holes or openings such as vents and chimney pipes. Bear in mind that rats can enter through a hole that is only ½ inch in diameter! Secure all vent covers and confirm that the chimney has a cap. If you have uncovered vents or chimneys you’re practically inviting rodents inside your house! This is a relatively easy fix, but it is important to use a cover made of wire, not mesh, to keep rodents out. They can gnaw right through the mesh!
3. Get Serious About Food Storage.
Your pantry is full of smells of tasty food stored within. Rats have a sharp sense of smell, so while your sugar doesn’t smell incredible to you, a rat will sniff it right out! How can you eliminate odors that you can’t even smell? You can contain the scents within your pantry by using airtight containers to store your food. If you want to add an extra deterrent, you could even plant scents that rats find offensive like peppermint oil, or bay leaf, on a shelf inside. Use these strategies and rats won’t have a reason to come sniffing around!
4. Seal Outer Nooks And Crannies.
Any weakness in your home’s exterior will be an entry point for a rat or mouse. Cracks in the foundation, small holes worn into the roof and shingles, for example. Not quite sure what you’re looking for? Contact the experts at Green Rat Control to do a thorough inspection. They will find and seal all possible entry points with steel and a polyurethane sealant!
5. Take Out Trash Daily.
If your garbage is setting out in a open accessible area, then you are basically setting out a holiday feast for rodents! Plan a trash schedule and get into a routine of emptying the trash daily. That way there will be no food or odors attracting rodents in for a meal.
6. Install Door Sweeps.
Not sure how they pull off this trick, but mice and rats are both known for squeezing themselves through tiny holes that seem to defy the laws of physics. They commonly enter the house by squeezing right under the door itself! Install a door sweep to seal the gap between your door and the floor. An added bonus is that it will also help retain heat and regulate temperature inside, while it keeps frigid winter air out. Secure door sweeps on all exterior doors.