During the winter season, the weather gets colder and food for wild animals becomes harder to find. Rodents tend to find warm and dry places to live during the winter and this usually means someone’s home, garage, or shed. Once the rodents have set-up their new home they become even more difficult to get rid of. So, the best practice is to stay proactive to keep them from getting in at all. I learned the hard way one year and had to hire a professional to take care of my rodent problem. To make a long story short, rats found their way into my garage to munch of my dog’s food. I thought I was dealing with a single rat after I caught it in a trap. However, little did I know there were many more where that one came from and they kept multiplying. Since then, I’ve developed some tips that work for me to deal with the yearly rodent problem. Listed below are some tips I’ve used in the past to help you avoid a rodent problem this winter.
Store your food properly
If you’re like me, sometimes you get tired and leave the leftovers from dinner out in your kitchen overnight. Or, when loading the dishwasher you forget a plate or two and they sit out until the next time you do the dishes. Rats and mice gets as excited as someone who just won the lottery when they find something like this in your kitchen. Rodents can smell this food from long distances and will search for it until they find it. You should also make sure you clean up any pet food dishes before you go to bed because rodents will eat their leftovers as well. If you are storing food in your pantry, you should use air tight containers. Also, as I mentioned before, don’t make the same mistake I did and leave pet food open and exposed anywhere in your home, even your garage. Store your pets food in air tight containers so rodents can’t get to it.
Take care of your trash
Trash bins are another place rodents love to find. Sometimes in the winter I get lazy and don’t take the trash out as often as I should because it’s so cold outside. However, making sure you take the trash out often will keep the rodents from coming inside to find the delicious aroma of fresh garbage. It’s best to take the trash out every night before you go to bed because rodents usually go looking for food at night time when nobody is around to scare them off. If you can keep your trash in an air tight bin that would be ideal.
Don’t leave the door open
Rodents don’t need a very large opening to gain entry trough. I know it’s almost impossible to make sure your house is sealed from top to bottom. But, you should at least make sure that the walls around utility pipe openings and dryer vents are sealed off. You should also make sure that your attic and crawl space don’t have any holes that a rodent could use to gain access to your house. A cheap thing to close off the holes is steel wool.
Get rid of the rodents quickly
The traditional method to get rid of rodents is with highly toxic poison. However, poison isn’t the best thing to use if you have pets or small children in your home. Also, when a rat or mouse eats the poison they often crawl into your wall and die there which can eventually cause a awful smell and not to mention a gross mess to clean up. Sticky traps are good to keep rodents from getting away and then you can dispose of them outside. If you’re unable to control the rodent problem yourself you should contact a professional exterminator to take care of the problem for you.
You don’t have to let rodents take over your home this winter. Just keep the tips I mentioned in this article in mind and your home will be better protected. Also remember, if you already have a rodent problem and can’t control it yourself, contact a professional to help you. If you do end up having to call a professional, the sooner the better because it will be cheaper for them to handle a smaller problem rather than a large one.