Rats and mice are notoriously good at infiltrating homes, especially during autumn and winter. They tend to rely on the same few access points; so, by identifying and sealing off these entry points, you could keep rats and mice out of your home for good!
From mouse-proofing your house to cleaning up your kitchen so rats aren’t tempted to come inside, there are plenty of ways to stay rodent-free this season. Keep reading our blog to learn how to keep pests out as temperatures drop:
Rat and Mouse-Proofing Your House: How to Stay Rodent-Free this Winter
Rodent infestations commonly happen as temperatures drop when rats and mice look for a warm place to overwinter. That’s why it’s important to start rodent-proofing as soon as possible. To keep your home free of rodents this winter, follow these tips:
1. Patrol the Perimeter
The first step to mouse and rat-proofing your house is finding where and how they’re entering. Mice can squeeze themselves through cracks and gaps that are as ¼ of an inch, making it relatively easy for them to find their way inside. To find out where mice and rats are coming from:
- Walk the perimeter of your house, both inside and outside, looking for gaps in the foundation or walls.
- Check carefully around where utilities, like sewage or gas pipes, enter the house.
- Look for tears or small holes in screens
- Inspect insulation for tears or damage
- Scan walls and ceilings for faint stains
- Make sure your doors, windows, and garage doors are completely sealed when closed
2. Investigate Inside Your House
Now that you’ve inspected the outside of your home, it’s time to investigate the inside:
- Feel for any drafts around windows and doors. Even the small gaps and holes can act as entry points for rats and mice.
- Turn off the lights, cover the windows, and look for any sources of light. Even a tiny sliver of light could be where mice are finding their way into your home.
- Turn the lights back on and line the floor with a light coat of flour or talcum powder; the mice or rats will leave a trail you can follow back to their nests.
- Look for droppings in neglected corners or under furniture.
- Make note of any tearing or chew marks in mattresses, furniture, fabric, or electrical wiring.
- You can even use an ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet will make mouse urine glow in the dark. Cats can actually detect UV light, which is how they hunt their prey.
1. Seal Up the Gaps and Damage
Now that you’ve identified every nook and cranny where mice are sneaking in, it’s time to cut them off. Use sealants, like steel wool, contact cement, concrete, sheet metal, or caulk, to fill in any gaps and cracks you found find.
Repair or replace screens and rubber seals that have rubbed away. Reinforce any worn insulation, making sure you don’t leave any hollow points or gaps. Be careful around gas and electrical appliances, wiring, and lines.
Of course, if you’re struggling to keep pests out or you’d rather have the professionals deal with your rodent infestations, get in touch with Plunkett’s Pest Control!
2. Prevent the Rodents from Returning
Mice and rats are extremely persistent. Even though you’ve made it more difficult for rodents to find their way inside, you still need to make your home unattractive to opportunistic critters:
- Take down bird feeders, especially during the winter.
- Remove fallen seeds, nuts, and fruits from your yard.
- Store your firewood high off the ground, and far enough from your home so that rodents can’t use it to get inside.
- Store your food in tightly sealed plastic or Tupperware containers.
- Sweep or vacuum crumbs and food remains promptly.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Tidy up your house (especially your basement and attic) to deprive mice and rats of valuable hiding places.
- Put up mouse traps out.
Keep Rodents Out with Plunkett’s Pest Control!
Now that you know how to mouse-proof your house and keep rats out for good, you can have a pest-free winter! However, if you need a little extra help, the rodent control professionals at Plunkett’s can get and keep mice and rats out of your home. For more information on our pest control services, visit our rodent control and removal page. Or, if you’re ready to get rid of your rodent problem for good, contact us to request a service.