As the temperature dips this time of year, rodents are looking for a way to warm up in your home’s nooks and crannies. That is the bad news. The good news? You can keep these unwanted invaders out with a few simple housekeeping practices.
1. Seal any points of entry - It is important to seal off any place that makes it possible for rodents to gain entry to your home. Mice and rats are extremely adept at squeezing through small gaps. A good rule of thumb to follow is to close off any opening larger than ¼-inch. Check your window screens for any tears and repair them. Seal any cracks in walls or the foundation with wire mesh. Examine spots where pipes enter your home and if there are gaps, fill them with mesh and caulk. Finally, if you have a chimney, add a cap. Rodents are excellent climbers.
2. Elevate or Cover your Firewood – If you burn firewood to keep your home nice and warm, you likely have a stockpile of lumber. Unfortunately, firewood is a favorite hideout for mice and rats. To remove rodent-friendly conditions, elevate your logs at least 18 inches off the ground and store it away from the house. Covering it tightly with a tarp also offers some degree of protection.
3. Fall Landscaping – There are a few easy yard chores you should take when the colder weather arrives. Trim any branches that hang close to your house as they could provide rats with easy access to your roof or attic. Tidy up any overgrown vegetation and remove weeds and leaf piles to ensure rodents have fewer hiding places.
4. Add a Brush Strip – Installing a sweep or brush strip to your exterior doors is a great way to prevent rodents from getting inside. By blocking off the small gaps at the base, which are especially common with older doors, mice will have fewer ways to get inside. Choose one with an adhesive strip rather than screws for easy installation. This chore will also save you money this winter by keeping the heat inside.
These easy to perform steps will go a long way in protecting your home from the animals wanting to make it theirs this winter.