It’s the time of the year when critters are preparing for cold weather and finding places to nest for the winter. We’re already seeing an increase in reporting of mice, rats, and raccoons. Animals are relentless at finding ways to get into your home, so you may want to inspect your home before it gets too cold. In fact, according to PestWorld, 45% of all rodent infestations happen in the fall and winter!
Pests like mice are relentless in the fall and winter as they seek warmth and food. Mice are like mini-torpedoes, with incredibly strong jaws and a body that can fit through cracks a fraction of their size. These pests will find cracks in your foundation, walls, attics, and floors – especially near food – and chew until they can make it in and out. And within months, a couple mice can reproduce into hundreds of mice!
Pests cause structural damage inside your walls, attics, and crawl spaces as they build out their new home in yours. The best means of keeping them out is to inspect and remove any openings or things that attract them.
- Piping – if you have water pipes that run through crawl spaces, be sure you don’t have any leaks. Even the smallest drip can be a great water supply for a small rodent. Damp spots are magnets for insects as well.
- Foundation – be on the lookout for any holes or large cracks in your foundation. Small animals can get into those gaps and then chew their way through wood to get to warmth.
- Doors and windows – a loose door or window can provide enough of a gap for pests to squeeze through. Even a screen with a rip in it can attract unwanted pests.
- Chimney – since you haven’t used it in a while, have your chimney cleaned and inspected. Birds and other small animals may have created nests without you realizing it.
- Roof – broken shingles and cracked caulk are gaps where pests and insects can enter your attic.
- Crawl Spaces – try to ensure you have an access cover or door to stop your crawl space from becoming the local hotel for every pest in the neighborhood.
- Ventilation – vents sometimes settle and provide a cozy superhighway and nesting ground right in your home.
- Vegetation – outside of your home, it’s time to trim limbs and bushes that are touching your property. A great tree limb is a bridge for an animal to get safely in your attic or chimney. Cut them back a couple feet so that they can’t take the leap.
- Firewood – store your firewood as far away from your home as possible while still being convenient.
- Food – store food like cat and dog food in plastic containers that close tight. The scent of a free meal may be too good to pass up for a pest. And once they find a source, they’ll stay close to keep themselves fat and happy for the winter.
It’s not just a great idea to keep your home secure from pests, these are also ways that the cold air gets into your home and racks up your electric bill. Taking a few hours to check everything while the weather is nice can save you a few bucks a month on your utility bills as well!
If you hear odd noises in your home like scratching or chewing, you may already have someone setting up their little pet apartment. As well, you may see small droppings and mistake it for dirt. Keep alert to these as you may have an infestation already. Pests will do a great job of staying hidden during the daytime or when no one is home.
You can’t blame a family of pests for seeking shelter as the weather turns cold. And it’s not necessary to kill or poison these pests, they can be safely removed and relocated to a new home far away from yours. We can trap the animal and release it in an authorized catch and release location designated by the city or county.