People frequently assume that pest problems end in the winter and don’t return until spring, but that’s very wrong. Certain pests are not only active in the winter but also actively seek out your home as a cozy refuge from winter weather.
Studies by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) indicate that rodents infest about 21 million American homes each winter and 24% of homeowners specifically reporting mice infestations during the winter.
Tips to Prevent Winter Pests:
- Seal cracks and holes that could allow entry
- Keep shrubs and tree branches trimmed
- Store firewood 20+ feet away from the home & 5 feet off the ground
- Check wires, insulation, walls, etc. for signs of gnawing or chewing
- Store boxes off the ground
The top four pests that invade Long Island homes in the winter are mice, raccoons, rats and squirrels. Unfortunately, they (or ticks that might infest them) can carry diseases such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, lassa fever, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, leptospirosis, lymphocytic chorio-meningitis (LCM), rat-bite fever, and more.
How to Prevent Mice Infestations this Winter
Mice can breed quickly, producing half a dozen babies every three weeks. Mouse infestations are sometimes detected through droppings, rub marks on walls, footprints, damaged or chewed goods, and – obviously – stumbling upon one. A strong urine smell can also indicate an especially large infestation.
Mice can worm their way through a hole as small as a dime. Sealing openings with steel wool, silicone-based caulk, etc. can prevent their entry.
Preventing Raccoon Infestations in Winter
Raccoons don’t truly hibernate, but they do store fat and sleep a lot during the winter. They will be occasionally active, and a building can be a far more attractive place to spend the winter than a nest outside.
When it comes to sealing your home against raccoons, know that they can get through an opening the size of a small softball. Don’t leave food and water outside for your pets. Raccoons love to eat pet food and always look for a water source. Keep trash tightly closed as well.
Stopping Rat Infestations in Winter
Since rats love bird seed your feeder can draw them and other types of rodents to your property. Even if you set up a feeder that rats and squirrels can’t get into, seed scattered by birds while they eat will hit the ground and attract vermin.
Proper food storage is also essential. Rats and mice and chew through cardboard and paper, making cartons and bags insecure. Instead store food in glass or metal containers as well as tightly sealed plastic if necessary.
How to Prevent Winter Squirrel Infestations
Like other rodents, squirrels will get into attics and crawl spaces in an effort to escape the cold as well as avoid predators. Make sure your gutters are clean of acorns, pine cones and nuts so squirrels aren’t attracted to your home.
Arrow Exterminating Can Protect Your Home This Winter
If you’re having a pest infestation problem this winter – whether that’s mice, raccoons, or other rodents in your attics or walls – call us at Arrow Exterminating. The sooner you contact us then the sooner we can help you live in a critter-free environment. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.