Winter is coming and with the drop in temperature comes an increase in the pests looking to find a nice warm place like your toasty home to use as shelter during the colder months. This is the time when mice and rats actively come looking for any crack or crevice they can squeeze into in order to make their way out of the cold and into your home. They aren’t just coming for the warmth, though. This is also when rodents are looking for any free food they can scavenge so they can have a steady diet to get them through the winter. Warmth and food are the two main driving forces behind rodents looking to infest your home this winter.

What surprises most people, according to Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management official with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is how little space rodents need to find a suitable entrance into your home. Mice only need a quarter of an inch crack or crevice to squeeze through and rats need only half an inch. If you look around the outside of your home, you won’t have to go far to find these kinds of tiny holes that provide the perfect entrance for rodents. This can make it tricky for those trying to take preventative measures against a rodent invasion. You’d be surprised just how many tiny openings of this size you might find around the exterior of your house.

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to preventing rodents from entering your home this winter is sanitation. Making sure your home is clean and free of any food and garbage materials that might attract unwanted guests. The other key to keeping your home rodent free this winter is to do a detailed inspection of your house looking for any small crevices or openings that a mouse or rat could use to get inside. You need to look everywhere from your attic to the basement. Sealing up these cracks can be a bit of a challenge and take some work to get done. You need to use either mesh wiring to cover vents and any holes in window or door screens, and caulk or some other type of sealant for cracks and crevices in the walls and foundation. On the plus side, sealing up all of these holes not only prevents rodent infestation, but also keeps out any cold drafts, helping keep your home warm, and lowering your need to use central heating and increase your electricity bill. In both situations, it helps to save you money in the end. Dealing with rodent infestations is not cheap. Better to take care of the issue now rather than wait till their taking over your house and spreading god-knows how many diseases.

What do you do to prevent rodent infestations in the winter and have you ever had to deal with one?