As the warm summer days fade to the crispness of Autumn, we naturally start to prepare for the winter ahead. Rodents understand the changing seasons as well and start to look for a warm, safe place to spend the upcoming winter. Unfortunately, this often involves entering homes and places of business. Luckily, there are things that you can do right now to rodent-proof your house for winter. Here are 10 tips and tricks that will help you keep the rodents out this year.
Keep Your Home Clean: Crumbs and food that has not been stored properly will attract rats and mice. Store food in the refrigerator or an air-tight container. You should also try to sweep and vacuum regularly to get rid of those crumbs.
Take Care of Pet Food: Human food isn’t the only thing that attracts rodents. Your dog or cat’s food is just as appetizing to a hungry rat or mouse. Store your pet’s food in an air-tight container and don’t leave it out overnight.
Seal Entry Points: Rodents are known to be able to squeeze through extremely small spaces (as small as ¼ inch), so walk around the exterior of your home and fix all possible entry points. This may include: filling cracks and gaps where pipes or wires enter, repairing torn window screens, or adding a chimney cap.
Store Firewood Off the Ground: Wood piles provide excellent hiding spots for a large variety of pests, so try to keep the firewood at least 18 inches off the ground and as far away from the home as possible.
Tidy Up: Clutter also provides plenty of hiding spots, so take some time to tidy up and de-clutter your home. Remove old newspaper piles, straighten up storage areas, use plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes, etc.
Take Care of the Yard: As you are preparing your yard for winter, you can help deter rodents by trimming branches that touch your home, trimming thick vegetation, removing weeds, and clearing leaf litter.
Dispose of Garbage Properly: Garbage can be a major rodent magnet, so take out the garbage often, at least daily. You should also make sure your outside bins are away from your home and seal tightly.
Keep Your Garage Closed: The garage is yet another entry point for rodents and pests of all kinds. Make sure that you keep it closed as much as possible, especially at night when rodents are most active.
Move Bird Feeders: During the winter, you might think feeding the birds is helpful, but in many cases, it is rats and mice that are eating the grain and seeds that fall from the feeders. If you are having rodent problems, you might want to consider removing your feeders or moving them farther away from your home.
Add a Brush Strip: Exterior doors are major points of entry for household pests. If your doors do not form a tight seal, consider adding a brush strip to the bottom. This will help close any gaps and prevent entry.
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