5 Ways To Rodent-Proof Your Home This Winter
Many rodents turn to hibernation to survive the cold winter months. Unfortunately, rats and mice lack the ability to slow down their metabolisms and gorge on food to gain extra weight like chipmunks and squirrels. Their only option is to seek out warm, food-filled places to wait out the winter -- with your home being one of those places.
Follow these tips to keep unwanted guests of the whiskered and long-tailed kind out of your hair and away from your home.
1. Be Careful With Your Food
Most rodents are opportunistic eaters, meaning they'll get their hands on anything that's edible as their hunger dictates. As the fall season gives way to winter, rats will step up their attempts at foraging to build a winter stockpile. This is where the following advice comes into play:
- Maintain a clean kitchen at all times. Make sure to pick up any dropped food debris and thoroughly wash dishes after cooking and eating.
- Store your dry food in plastic or glass containers with tightly-sealed lids. Rats can and will chew through soft bags to gain access to tasty treats within.
- Feed and water your pets indoors. This will prevent rats from being attracted to your home by unattended pet food.
2. Look for and Plug Up Holes
Rodents are also surprisingly agile creatures. Rats are capable of squeezing through dime-sized holes, making any unsealed crevice or electrical, gas or plumbing conduit leading into your home fair game. Closing off these gaps with metal rodent guards or mesh wire can help prevent rodents from gaining easy access into your home.
3. Keep Your Basement Dry and Organized
Moist environments are often beacons for rodents in search of water. Not only can the dampness of your basement attract thirsty rats, but a disorganized basement also provides plenty of cover for rodents to travel out of sight. Use a dehumidifier to dry out your basement. Whenever you store items in your basement, make sure they're packed in an organized fashion.
4. Ditch the Bird Feeder
Mice absolutely love bird seed and rats aren't too picky about the stuff, either. Instead of climbing on bird feeders like their squirrel cousins, rats and mice are typically content to scavenge fallen bird seed. Putting away your bird feeder for the winter will eliminate those collection efforts.
5. Don't Hesitate to Set Traps
Sometimes rats can get into your home no matter what you do. For the few adventurous rodents that do manage to get in, make sure there are plenty of rodent traps waiting for them. If setting legal traps isn't your thing, there are plenty of nonlethal solutions you can use to catch rodents and release them far away from your home.
Contact a service, like Xtermco Inc, for more help.