Unfortunately, rodents are a common problem all year round. You may be more likely to notice them in winter compared to summer however. This isn’t because there are more of them in January and February, it’s simply because they’re more likely to make their way indoors at this time of year.
Why are rodents a problem in winter?
Rats and mice remain active throughout the year. While the temperature is pleasant, they’re generally happy staying outdoors because there’s plenty of food and it’s easy to stay warm.
In the depths of winter however, survival is much harder. Common hiding places such as shrubs are no longer safe because leaves have fallen off, food supplies become increasingly scarce and they need protection from the cold.
Naturally, this makes homes, offices and buildings a very tempting prospect. Although they may be very brazen in their attempts to break in (rats can even climb walls), like any wild animal, rodents will do everything they can to avoid human contact. This means that unfortunately, we’re often unaware of their presence until we’re faced with a full-blown infestation.
How can I stop rodents getting into my home?
Prevention really is key when it comes to rodents. While their numbers can multiply quickly during breeding season, even just one can cause significant damage. As well as posing a risk to our health, they can destroy your property and even cause fires thanks to their tendency to chew through wires.
Remove any food sources
An easy food source is always going to be the biggest lure for any pest. Try to make it as difficult as possible for rats and mice to detect and find food. Do bear in mind that rodents will eat pretty much anything so it’s also a good idea to wipe down counters and hoover or mop floors regularly.
• Wipe up spills and crumbs immediately
• Hoover regularly
• Keep any open food items in a tightly sealed container
• Clean cupboards regularly
• Clean around, under and behind your fridge regularly
• Don’t leave food like fruit out on countertops
• Store rubbish in a bin with a lid which closes tightly
• Don’t leave pet food out for too long
• Check for leaky pipes and taps because this provides a source of water for rats
• Try to store bins, bird feeders and compost away from your home
Seal potential entry points
The most obvious reason for this is to prevent rodents getting inside in the first place. It is however, also important to stop them coming and going. Rats need a lot of water to survive which means they will often travel in and out of buildings.
Mice can be very small but even larger rats can fit into surprisingly small gaps (about half an inch), so it pays to be overly cautious. Some of the most common ways these rodents get into buildings include:
• Roofs (especially fascias and wherever an eave meets the roof)
• Plumbing stacks
• Air conditioning units
• Power line entry points
If you identify any potential entry points, fill them with cement, caulk, plaster or cover them with steel wool or sheet metal.
If the frames around your windows and doors are poorly sealed, buy some sealant to fill the gaps.
Call a professional pest controller
The best thing to do with any infestation is to call a professional pest controller. Here at Prokill, we can eliminate infestations quickly and effectively. What’s more, we can put in preventative measures to stop rodents making their way into your property in the first place. Contact us today on 0800 328 9354 or via our online enquiry form.