Those hailing from the Seattle & Greater Puget Sound region are all too familiar with the present threat of rats & mice to their homes or businesses. While most rodents do hibernate in the winter, these pests don’t drop off the radar when the cold sets in. In fact, rats and mice can become more of a threat in fall and winter, as your insulated spaces look more and more attractive as protection from the harsh elements.
Understanding how rat and mouse behavior changes between seasons is key in staying on top of mice and rat control for your space. We at Cascade Pest Control are dedicated to keeping you informed and in charge of the regular treatments necessary to maintain the health and safety of you and those you care about.
Winter Habits for Rats & Mice
It’s important to understand mouse and rat behaviors in winter in order to most effectively prevent them. While they don’t formally hibernate, they are typically less active and tend to try and stock up on food & find a place to burrow or nest for longer periods of time. Furthermore, they’re nocturnal, so your activity schedules won’t necessarily line up, making it even more challenging to identify an infestation.
Your home has a multitude of ideal nesting locations, from attics to crawlspaces, and anything from pantry foods to wood & insulation can be food sources for them. Especially with the harsher exterior conditions, mice and rats may be more motivated to find a way into your space to set up shop. Here are some signs to look out for in identifying a rodent infestation:
- Musty smells or decay–this might be an indicator that a rodent nest is nearby.
- Rodent droppings and filth–these can be found near food sources or in dark, dry areas ideal for nesting.
- Signs of chewing, scratches, or other damage–look out for these where food is stored as well as around possible entrance points into your home.
- Scampering sounds at night–if you’re hearing movement at abnormal times in the walls or ceilings, don’t ignore it. This could be a sign that mice or rats are out & about.
Rat Control & Mice Control
Being able to identify signs of an infestation is important, but there are ways you can avoid an infestation in the first place. Cascade recommends a consistent, proactive approach to rodent and rat control. Here are some strategies you can do yourself:
- Keep your space clean–avoid leaving out food debris or garbage inside for very long. These are easy targets for mice and rats.
- Properly secure pantry foods–to ensure nothing gets contaminated, keep any dry goods well-sealed and in fortified bins, as opposed to plastic bags or the original packaging. These softer items are very easy for rodents to chew through.
- Seal any easy entry points–unsecured window frames, roofing tiles, drainpipes, or vent covers are weak points that can allow rodents easy access to your space.
- Regularly check less-frequented corners of crawlspaces, attics, and basements–this will ensure that you catch the signs of an infestation as early as possible.
- Invest in regular rodent or rat control services–these services are the most effective way to inspect for, treat, and prevent your space from any unwanted visitors.