The cooler temperatures that arrive with fall remind you that it is time to start prepping your house for winter. While you look forward to snuggling in the warmth of your house during those winter storms, it is important to keep in mind that rodents will also be looking for a cozy shelter, too.
Once a mouse invades, it is only a matter of time before they set up their nest. Since a litter of five or six mice can reproduce in just a month, a small rodent problem quickly escalates into a major infestation that places your family at risk for diseases such as the Hantavirus.
The good news is that you can do a lot right now to prevent your house from becoming overrun with winter rodents. As you begin to work on your fall maintenance plans, include these mice prevention strategies on your agenda.
Trim Tree Branches Back from the Roof
Rodents easily scamper up trees and often use the branches to avoid predators as they go from one place to another. If the tree branches near your house are too close to the roof, then mice can easily gain access to potential entry points such as an unprotected chimney or an open vent.
It is also important to keep tree branches from rubbing against your roof where they could loosen the flashing and shingles since mice can then chew through the wood to make an entry point. Always trim the branches back at least three feet from the furthest edge of your roof to deter wild animals from using them like a bridge.
Avoid Creating Outdoor Nesting Sites
Many homeowners inadvertently create nesting sites for mice as they begin to stack firewood in preparation for the winter. Always store your firewood as far away from your house as possible, and consider putting it indoors such as in a shed if it is possible.
You also want to quickly rake up any leaves that fall to the ground during the changing of the seasons, and never leave large piles of debris sitting near the exterior walls of your home. This is because mice use leaves and other debris as hiding places or for materials to build their nests.
Remove Food and Water Sources
During the spring and summer months, it is common to leave food and water out for the birds. However, mice see birdseed and dog food as potential ways to survive the winter. Always store pet food indoors, and clean up birdbaths and feeders before winter arrives.
Repair Potential Entry Points
Mice have small skeletons that are suited for fitting into small spaces. For this reason, it is essential to carefully examine the exterior of your house for small holes that could be used by mice as a way to get inside. If you do find a hole, repair it according to the best practices for the location and materials that are used.
For instance, you may need to replace siding if it has come loose and exposed the wooden materials that are underneath a panel. Alternatively, you may need to have a space sealed between the floor and a door.
Inspect for Signs of a Current Infestation
It is always best to begin the cold season with a professional pest inspection to make sure that mice do not already inhabit your home. This is also the ideal time to consult with a professional technician to identify any other problem spots regarding pest control that you might have missed during your general fall maintenance.
Start the season off right by contacting Patton Pest Control Co for a professional inspection that keeps your home free from rodents this winter.