Protecting Your Home From Rodents This Winter

It’s winter and the critters living outside are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Your home offers everything that mice, chipmunks, and squirrels are looking for, warmth, water and food. Last winter I had a chipmunk find a small opening at the base of my outdoor hot tub. Between the chipmunk and the mice, they had a great time staying warm… and destroying insulation and wiring.

Rodents can be cute in cartoons and movies, but it’s not so cute when they find their way into your home. Your house, especially your kitchen provides all that a mouse could possibly ask for.

These critters are a threat to you r home as they can carry disease, cause structural damage to your home, and contaminate food. Wiring that has been gnawed on by mice have been known to start fires in homes. They spread disease through their urine, feces and bites. Ticks and fleas can also be brought into your home and can carry infections to humans after feeding on rodents.

Rodent proofing your home can be fairly easy. Rats can fit through a hole roughly the size of a quarter, and a mouse can get through a hole smaller than a dime. Your first line of defense is to block all access and keep them from getting into your home in the first place.

  • Replace any damaged or missing weather stripping and seal cracks at exterior doors.

  • Place ¼ inch screen over all external openings and vents.

  • Seal any gaps at your foundation.

  • Trim back branches and shrubs that come into contact with or hang over your home.

  • Keep all ground vegetation trimmed back at least 12 inches from your home.

  • Keep the interior of your home and garage clean.

  • All food and garbage should be stored in sealed containers

  • Do not leave pet food or dirty dishes sitting around over night.

If you have done everything you can and still have rodents in your home, it is important to contact a professional. Mice can colonize under concrete and porches, in your attic and other hard to reach places. A professional exterminator will have the tools and techniques to rid you of these unwanted pests.