Winter can be a prime time for pests like mice and rats to start making an appearance. As temperatures drop and weather worsens, they’re looking for food and an opportunity to get out of the cold. However, they can be unwelcome guests in your home as they may carry different diseases and can also eat through wiring, insulation, and boxed or bagged goods. The good news is that there are steps you can take to deter rodents and protect your home and belongings:
1. Don’t feed wild animals.
It can be tempting to leave food out for deer, birds, or squirrels, but they are often capable of fending for themselves and finding their own food. Leaving food out just attracts them to the neighborhood and encourages them to keep coming back looking for more. It can also bring more mice and other rodents around.
2. Keep garbage tightly sealed.
Along with not feeding wild animals, ensure that your trashcans are either stored securely in your garage, or, if left outside, they are tightly sealed to prevent pests from getting in. Don’t leave food sitting around in pets’ bowls for long periods of time either, and make sure dry food is stored in an air-tight container.
3. Seal any holes or gaps.
Check around the perimeter of your home – especially where pipes, wires, or vents connect – to ensure there are no gaps where animals can get in. Look for broken seals around windows or doors as well and get them repaired. Remember that mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, so you’ll want to look carefully to patch things up. You can plug holes with steel wool and caulk which is harder for mice to chew through.
4. Trim shrubs and remove debris.
Low-hanging bushes and piles of wood or yard waste can make great homes for mice and other critters. Stack firewood at least 20 feet away from the side of your house, and move debris to the end of the yard so it is out of the way. Clean up under your bushes and trim stray branches so it is a less appealing environment to make a nest or hide out.
5. Clean up.
Try your best to keep your home free from crumbs and clutter. Rodents like small, undisturbed spaces. Sweep up any messes, keep your pantry organized and food stored securely, and close any holes around sinks and appliances where pests may creep in.
Being proactive can help deter mice and other unwanted critters from your home. If you do notice there is a problem, contact a professional pest control provider to help you get things under control. Work together with your neighbors to keep wild life at bay and protect your homes. If you spot any mice or potential problems in community facilities, make sure you notify the HOA immediately so they can get the issue resolved. Partnering with an HOA management company like Kuester can support your association in addressing problems in a timely manner.