Eight Steps to Make Your Home Rodent-Proof This Winter
1) Know Your Rodents
Here are a few of the most common rodents in the Carolinas and Virginia:
- Gray squirrels: In most parts of North Carolina, the gray squirrel is the most prevalent rodent. It's common to see them in your yard. They are not a problem in your yard, but in your home, they can cause trouble.
- Roof rats: Often known as black rats, these are a pest that you should avoid allowing into your home at all costs. Roof rats are excellent climbers and will use your gutters as a means of reaching and entering your home through the roof.
- Norway rats: Sometimes known as common brown rats, Norway rats are more aggressive than their black rat cousins, despite not being as proficient climbers. They also congregate near inhabited areas in search of food and refuge. They are known to carry diseases, so they are considered a major pest.
- Voles: Voles are grassland mice that build huge tunnel networks. They are also known as field mice or meadow mice. A single female vole can give birth to over 100 young per year, allowing colonies to swiftly outgrow its control.
Some common wildlife that would are commonly mistaken as rodents include:
Knowing what type of pests with which you’re dealing will help you rodent-proof your property.
2) Know Why Rodents Like Your Home
Your home and property may be appealing to rodents for a number of reasons:
- If you leave trash receptacles inside your garage.
- If you have tall grass or shrubbery in which to hide.
- If you keep firewood near your home.
- If you have pest infestations.
- If you have clutter.
If you know what attracts rodents to your home, you can make the changes necessary to make it less appealing.
3) Seal the Entry Points Rodents Use
Rodents don’t need an open invitation to enter your home. Even small cracks, open vents, and the tiniest holes are enough for rats, mice, and squirrels to get inside your house. It is vital to inspect your home for potential entry points and have them sealed.
In addition to eliminating entry points for rodents, closing your crawl spaces can save you money by making your home more energy-efficient. Encapsulating your crawl spaces can save you up to 18% on annual heating and cooling expenditures! Enclosing your crawl space also protects your family by improving indoor air quality, which means fewer allergies and better breathing for everyone.
4) Hide Your Pet Food from Rodents
Believe it or not, rodents enjoy pet food as much or more than your pets. If you don’t store it in a sealed container or leave it in the garage, you are sending out an invitation to rodents to enter your home and stay awhile.
Make sure your pet food is inaccessible to anyone or anything but you.
5) Seal Your Trash Cans
Rodents love trash. If you have trash bags loosely left in your garage or can lids that do not seal, your home could be susceptible to attracting mice and rats. Use heavy lids on your indoor trash cans, and make sure your outdoor receptacles close tightly.
6) Keep Your Floors and Pantries Clean
Winter is a time when families spend more time indoors than usual. That means it is typically more challenging for people to keep their floors and pantries clean and free of crumbs and open food containers. Unfortunately, this is one of the main attractors for rodents.
If you find your house more cluttered in winter, you may also find that rodents are using that clutter to hide and wait for the crumbs and food to hit the floor.
To rodent-proof your house during the cold months, keep floor crumbs to a minimum, vacuum and sweep floors often, seal food in pantries, and try to reduce clutter.
7) Eliminate Pest Infestations
Pest infestations are often a sign you are going to have rodents in your home. Rodents are attracted to many of the same things pests like and enter your home through many of the same passages.
You may not be immediately aware of an infestation, but in this article, here are six signs you’re about to experience an invasion of pests.
8) Make Sure You Have a Humane Wildlife Removal Service
Sometimes, you may find rodents have entered your home despite your best efforts to be rodent-proof during winter. In that case, you need a quality wildlife removal team that you can trust to relocate rodents humanely.
To safely relocate wildlife, we work with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission to make sure these animals are given the best chance at being able to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild.
That means you can count on our experienced team to get rid of your rodents quickly and humanely. If you need help removing and relocating rodents from your property, contact Rid-A-Bug today.