As you adjust the thermostat for cooler fall temperatures, remember that unwanted pests like rats and mice will be looking for a warm place to nest. Pest proofing your home now can help prevent these rodents from settling in for the winter.
Just like you use a coat to stay warm, rodents use specific techniques to help maintain their body temperature in cooler weather — such as seeking shelter inside your home. Fall evenings as mild as those in the mid-50s can send rodents indoors to search for warmth.
Looking for places to nest, rodents may seek out ways to get inside your home. Rats can squeeze through quarter-sized holes and mice can enter dime-sized holes. Since rodents can enlarge any size hole by gnawing, seal all gaps as wide as a pencil with weather-resistant caulking or sealant.
Rodents also can carry and spread a variety of diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents can spread viruses or bacteria through their urine or droppings that can cause diseases such as hantavirus, which causes flu-like symptoms, and LCMV, which causes inflammation of the brain. The fleas and mites rodents carry also can transmit harmful diseases.
“Unfortunately, most homeowners take a reactive approach to pest control and do not think about pest prevention,” says Orkin, Inc. Technical Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “We recommend proactively preventing rodent infestations by reducing entry points before the cooler temperatures arrive.”
To help stop rodents from entering and nesting in your home this winter, Harrison recommends taking the following preventive steps this fall:
- Install weatherstripping at the bottom and sides of exterior doors.
- Seal all cracks and crevices to keep out rodents — and insects.
- Store firewood on a raised platform away from the house.
- Pick up and store pet food overnight.
- Take out garbage and vacuum frequently.
- Regularly inspect the exterior and interior of homes for droppings, nests and burrows.
Prevention is key when it comes to rodent control. Once mice and rats are inside your home, they can be difficult to locate and remove. If you suspect rodent activity, partner with a licensed pest control professional to help inspect your home and develop a treatment plan.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our website at www.orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).