Who doesn’t love the holidays? Spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and watching the joy on our loved ones’ faces are some of the best reasons to love the holidays. Unfortunately for us, rodents love the holidays as much as we do! Rodents like rats and mice can cause serious damage to our homes by chewing through wires, wood, and insulation, increasing the risk of fires tremendously. Their droppings can also cause significant health issues to you and your family. Here are 3 reasons rodents love the holidays, as well as some ways to prevent rodents this season.
The Weather Outside is Frightful
Rodents can’t tolerate the cold weather of winter so they will seek shelter inside our homes which provide them with the warmth they need to survive. Rodents can squeeze through openings as small as 1/4″. To keep them out, thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home for possible entry points and fill them. Use a caulking gun to seal smaller holes and mortar or plastic for larger holes. Make sure to check screens, weatherstripping, and door sweeps, as well. Rodents typically prefer darker environments and are often found in your basement or attic or behind large appliances like furnaces, heaters, washers, and dryers. Check these areas for signs of rodents during your inspection. They also love to hide in cardboard storage boxes. Switch to plastic storage bins rather than cardboard boxes.
A rodent’s food supply diminishes significantly during the winter months. This search for food is another reason they will make their way into your home. Rodents are attracted to the smell of food. During the holidays we often see an increase in cooking and baking, leading to more opportunity for crumbs and spills that will attract them and more trash for them to get into. Make sure to bag trash and take it out promptly. Use outdoor trash cans with sealing lids. Be sure to clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and clean up after cooking to help eliminate smells. Clean floors and rugs frequently. Put dirty dishes in a sink full of soapy water rather than stacking them in a dry sink. Don’t leave food out overnight, not even pet food. Store it in airtight containers.
Rodents also lose their source of water in the winter time. Freezing weather often leads to busted pipes and leaks, which provides ample hydration for rodents who make their way into your home. Make sure to check your pipes for leaks and breaks as rodents can access your home through these broken pipes. Fix any leaking faucets promptly. Make sure your pipes are properly insulated. Keep your interior doors open to allow the heat to move through the house freely and reach the pipes better. Keep your garage door closed to keep cold air off your walls. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to help keep moisture and cold air out of your home.
Rodents can be difficult to get rid of once they have taken up residence in your home. If you suspect you have a rodent problem during any season of the year, contact a licensed pest control company who can help identify points of entry, as well as eliminate the rodents and help with prevention techniques for the future.