People aren’t the only ones who head indoors when temperatures fall during the holiday season. All types of pests—particularly rats and mice—want to keep warm, too, and your home is the best and most convenient place to do that. What can you do to protect your home and family from a winter rodent infestation? The best answer is a two-pronged approach: DIY prevention measures and professional rodent control service.
How to control a rodent infestation
The best ways to prevent a rodent infestation are sealing up their entry points and removing all sources of the food, water and shelter that rats and mice are coming inside to find.
These are just some of the specific steps you can take:
Rodents can squeeze through surprisingly small openings. Check all of the spots around your home where these openings may be, such as where utility cables and plumbing come in. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests filling holes with steel wool and caulking around them.
Remove potential nesting materials that you may be unwittingly providing to rats and mice. Clear away stacks of paper inside your home and cardboard boxes in your garage or attic. Use plastic boxes with tight-fitting lids to store paper items.
Remove all traces of food that rodents may be able to get to, including crumbs on countertops and bits of food in sinks. Store cereals and grains in sealed containers instead of the boxes they come in.
Check for potential nesting spots, which may not be where you expect to find them. Rats and mice are attracted to the warmth and shelter that your car engine offers, so if you have a car that you don’t drive frequently, check under the hood or leave the hood open if the car will be sitting for a while. Keep an eye on your car’s wiring, too, because rodents may be chewing your wiring.
Inspect areas around the outside of your home, such as piles of wood and even in trees, since some types of rats prefer nesting away from ground predators. Also check your roof, where rodents may nest under eaves or in gutters.
PestWorld.org offers more information in its “Keys to Winter Pest-Proofing” article, which includes tips on reducing the likelihood that rodents, roaches and other kinds of pests will cause problems in winter.
Call on the pros to get rid of rodents
It’s fairly common knowledge that rats and mice rapidly reproduce, but the reality is still something of a shock: A pair of brown rats can have as many as 2,000 descendants in just a year! You also probably know that rodents can carry several diseases that can harm humans and pets. That means that once you’ve spied even one rat or mouse in your house, the best course of action is to call a rodent control professional for service as soon as you can. Here’s why:
DIY rodent treatments or repellents will not completely eradicate a rodent infestation.
Professional pest control technicians can identify the specific species of rodent you have, which is important when developing the most effective treatment plan.
Professionals have a range of treatment methods at their disposal, both chemical and non-chemical, and they know which methods are right for your particular rodent problem.
Save with Turner’s comprehensive recurring pest control service
If you have an existing infestation, the rodent extermination pros at Turner Pest Control can provide a one-time treatment.
If you don’t have an infestation, however, now is the time to get recurring pest control service that includes rodent control. Our comprehensive residential pest control plans have low monthly fees, and you’ll avoid the costlier problems of getting rid of infestations.