Oh, the weather outside is frightful! With the temperatures dropping, and the chilly winds beginning to blow in, winter is officially here! It’s getting darker earlier and you’re in rush to get out of the cold and into your home.
Everyone is ready to begin the rituals of winter hibernation- drinking hot cocoa, getting cozy under a warm blanket or near a fireplace, and settling in with a good book (or binge-watching Netflix!) Sounds amazing, right? But the truth is, you’re not the only one escaping the outside winter chill by seeking the warmth and shelter of home.
Rodents, like rats, hate the cold just as much as you do. They are wild creatures, but do not stand up well to the harsh weather conditions that December, January and February bring. These crafty rodents are on the prowl to find warm and dry shelter for the frigid winter months. And they have plenty of tactics for how they’ll expose any weaknesses in your homes’ defenses to gain entry.
You’re busy decorating inside and out, cooking, and getting your home for guests- but a rat is a truly unwanted guest. Undoubtedly, a rat scuttling across the living room floor would be the quickest way to wreak havoc and utterly destroy a holiday party!
This winter put rat control at the top of your priority list. With proactive measures and vigilance, you can control the situation. Follow these steps to keep home safe and keep rats out!
Top 6 Tips for Winter Rat Control
1) Securely store food
Are you enjoying the smell of Christmas cookies filling your kitchen? That aroma is just as appealing to rats as it is to you! Rats especially love grain products and are known to raid pantries. If a rat comes into contact with any of your food or baking supplies it will become contaminated with bacteria. Rodents carry harmful diseases and pose a serious threat to your health if they gain access to your kitchen.
To safeguard your kitchen space keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly. Rats can gnaw through plastic baggies and cardboard boxes. Go for sturdy Tupperware or Pyrex containers!
2) Remove Clutter
Have you shopped til you dropped this holiday season? Are the Amazon boxes piling up? Is the wrapping paper everywhere? How’s your storage organization? Rats absolutely love to make nests in cardboard boxes. They can easily gnaw their way in and hunker down, staying anonymous in all the surrounding clutter and mess.
This rat prevention step is easy! Simply stay on top of your organization and don’t give rats an opportunity to find a spot that’s out of eyesight. Rats have nasty habits and love to gnaw and shred any material they can. Seriously consider in investing in large plastic sealed storage containers, rather than cardboard boxes. This will protect any valuable or sentimental items you may have tucked away in storage.
3) Move the woodpile
This tip may sound simple, but it is very important! Now that it’s cold out, you’re probably using that fireplace every night! Whether it’s for the functional purpose of heating your home, or just for the pleasant and cozy aesthetic, a fire in the hearth just feels right during winter.
So where do you keep the wood? Where, it’s convenient- against the house, near a door? Oops! This is a big no-no. These are a favorite warm, moist hiding place for rats because they provide shelter, and often water has collected there. The closer the woodpile is to your home, the more likely you are to experience a rat control problem.
To be safe, you should store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and several feet off the ground. Sure, it’s a hike out to the yard to get it, but at least you aren’t giving sneaky rats an opportunity to get close and weasel their way in.
4) Fortify the outside of your home
If leaves, debris, or even snow has collected around the perimeter of your home it’ll be hard to get a good look the foundation. Clearing all debris and carefully inspecting the exterior of your house for cracks and holes is probably the most effective and critical proactive rat control measure you can take this winter.
Look carefully at areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Closely inspect vents, registers, and gutters. Even try to spot any weaknesses or obvious damage that may leave your roof vulnerable. Not sure exactly what you’re looking at? Get in touch with your local rat control experts and let the pros do a thorough inspection inside and out.
Once any potential cracks or crevices have been located, (a rat can enter through a crack just 1/2 an inch wide!), it is critical that they are sealed properly. The Green Rat Control team uses a unique and effective rodent proofing system to fill and cover any crack and holes with metal that rats will not be able to chew through.
With professional help, you can rest easier knowing that rat control is attainable your home is rat proof.
5) Home maintenance
Keeping up with Small home maintenance tasks goes a long way when it comes to rat control. Add replacing loose mortar and weather stripping around basement foundation and windows to your to-do list. As well as installing gutters or diverts to channel water away from your home, and installing screens over chimney vents and openings.
These are simple and inexpensive home maintenance measures that any homeowner can do. You don’t have to be a handyman! Reinforcing and sealing windows will not only keep rats out, but it will also keep warm air in, saving you energy and money.
Channeling water away from your home with effective gutters will ensure that you don’t collect standing water inside your home, eliminating potential water sources for rats and lowering the potential for mold. Installing screens is just another basic way to control rats and keep them out! Only Santa should be coming down that chimney this winter!
6) Check wiring
Electrical wiring is an important part of well functioning and safe home. Damaged wiring is not only an inconvenience that can cause power shortages and the like, but can seriously dangerous and is a leading cause of house fires.
Start outside and check any wiring you may have on the exterior of your home for cable or Christmas lights. Inspect wires signs of gnaw marks. We know rats love to nest in kitchens, near a food source, so next, move into the kitchen where many of your main appliances are, and check all the wiring for any damage or visible fraying.
This critical step will help you catch any signs of tampering with your wiring and keep your family and your home safe!
There’s no place like home for the holidays. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and safety by putting in the time and effort into these proactive steps for rat control early.
This winter, be confident that your home is only be used as a warm safe haven for you and your family. Keep rats and the dangers they pose outside by practicing effective winter rat control methods. For full protection, team up with your local experts at Green Rat Control to get fast and friendly inspections and rat-proofing measures done on your home by skilled professionals.
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