Check for any leftover food
Even the cleanest homeowners with the most sparkling kitchen surfaces can inadvertently miss small crumbs of food that can attract pests during the autumn and winter months. For example, if you don’t have a built-in oven and fridge, you are almost guaranteed to find little pieces of food trapped behind them (think breadcrumbs, curry sauce or biscuit crumbs).
Crumbs are a rodents’ feast
To pests like mice and rats, this food can become their daily diet, and as they begin to settle into your home, they start venturing into the rest of your kitchen in search of food.
Don’t leave any leftover cake lying around – put it in the fridge!
Be careful not to leave any food lying around, especially at night, when rodents are actively in search of food. Refrigerate any leftover food and try to remove any lingering food smells (i.e. spicy curry) with an odour eliminator.
Consider a humane mouse/rat trap
If you are suffering from a mouse infestation, it will be generally much easier to remove the pests using a humane trap. There are various reusable devices available on numerous websites and retail outlets, many of which will be designed to lure the rodents into a compartment for food before cleverly trapping them inside, without causing them any physical pain.
When you catch the rodents, don’t let them find you again
When you catch mice or rats, remove them as soon as possible and ‘relocate’ them at least two miles from your home to ensure they don’t return. The further your relocate them, the better, although try to avoid releasing them near any buildings.
Seal any cracks and gaps – no matter how many
Key to the evolutionary survival of rodents is their ability to pass through incredibly small gaps and holes in homes in search of food. If you have the budget, consider refurbishing your kitchen or insulating any cracks (or recently created mouse holes!). Seal openings to dryer vents, utilities, bins, toilet bowls and any other items that may attract pests or provide an entry route.
Installing door sweeps beneath all exterior doors can help prevent rodents, spiders or insects from entering your interior. To ensure that mice and rats can’t enter, check for any gaps that are a quarter of an inch wide or larger.
Don’t underestimate the abilities of rodents
Many people still can’t believe how these rodents are able to pass through such confined spaces, hence why so many leave these spaces open to allow mice and rats to run wild in their homes.
Finally, turn off heating at night, if possible
Besides food, pests also invade homes to find warmth, especially during unusually chilly nights in September and October. By keeping your kitchen and living areas cooler at night, you are less likely to attract unwanted guests. Unfortunately, you may not be able to do this if you have flatmates living below you who leave their heating on all night. However, hopefully, if you have followed the other tips in this article, you are already on your way to eliminating pests from your home for the entire winter.
Tony Bond is the Founder for one of the leading pest control firms in Essex – Essex Pest Control.