If you live in a region with cold winters, you can bet that mice and other rodents will look for a warm place to sleep, eat, and breed—and you don't want that place to be your home. If you have an infestation, it's often best to leave it to the professionals. However, once your professional pest control service resolves your mouse or rat problem, it's crucial that you take steps to keep the rodents out. Before the next winter arrives, check out these three tips to rodent-proof your home.
Remove Food Sources
First and foremost, rodents come inside during the winter because the cold weather makes it more difficult for them to find food sources. So, if your kitchen is a crumb buffet, you're essentially inviting mice to come into your nice warm home to feast and breed. Thoroughly clean your kitchen and anywhere else where food may be. If you have pets, avoid leaving their food bowls down. Keep all food and pet food in sealed containers, especially pantry food. Mice can chew through boxes of cereal, for example, so store cereal in hard plastic containers. Vacuum up crumbs and be sure to clean behind the stove and refrigerator.
Eliminate Points of Entry
Unfortunately, keeping your kitchen clean doesn't guarantee that you'll keep mice and rats out. Mice can survive weeks on the tiniest of crumbs. So, no matter how much you clean your kitchen, if mice can get into your home, they'll likely nest there. That's why one of the most crucial ways to keep rodents out is to eliminate their points of entry so that they don't get inside in the first place. This involves closely inspecting your home for cracks, gaps, and holes. Generally, mice can squeeze through any gap that is 1/4-inch or larger. So it's crucial to perform a thorough inspection, especially under sinks. When you find gaps, seal them with a strong material like cement, sheet metal, or steel wool with caulk around it.
Rodents love clutter. It gives them places to hide where they feel safe. Clutter, inside and outside your home, is like an open invitation during rodent season. Mice can nest in clutter and use it to have their babies and bring food to store for later. A pile of branches and wood right outside your door may seem harmless, but may serve as a nice nest for mice that will eventually find their way into your home. Take a good survey around your home both inside and out, and remove any clutter to discourage rodents from setting up shop.
For more information, contact local professionals like Environmental Pest Control.