How Rats Get Into Homes in Fall
There are many differences between humans and animals, but there are some similarities as well. We all have basic needs, food and water being the perfect example.
Another similarity is that when summer turns to fall and the weather begins to change, humans, as well as most animals, begin to prepare for winter. For us that might mean pulling out the long pants and sweaters that have been packed away since spring. We might put an extra blanket on our bed and make sure we have enough heating fuel to last us through winter. We might pull out the comfort food recipes and start making those soups and stews we haven’t eaten in a while.
For animals, winter preparation is a matter of survival. They don’t already have a warm home at their disposal, so their main priority is finding shelter. However, they also need to make sure that the place they find to spend their winter also provides food and water, otherwise, it will do them no good in the long run.
Rats are one of the animals that look for lodging in the fall in order to survive the winter. If you’re not careful, they could discover that your home is the perfect place to stay. Oftentimes homeowners create the perfect environment for a rat ‘break-in’ without even realizing it.
Rats Need Food
If you store garbage outside before taking it away, rats will know that your home provides food. Similarly, if you leave pet food outdoors or have bird feeders, they’ll know they’ve found a food source.
Be sure to keep garbage in containers with secure, tightly fitting lids. Don’t leave your pet’s food outside and consider removing bird feeders, especially in autumn. If you have a compost pile, keep it far from your house.
Rats Need Water
If there is a lot of moisture outside your home, this will signal to rats that they’ll have water accessible to them if they choose to make your house their home.
Make sure to clear your gutters of debris so the gutters can do their jobs. Fix areas of your lawn that allow for standing water. Remove bird baths and water dishes for pets.
Rats Need Shelter
A rat will want to get into your home in order to stay warm through the winter. If you have places around the exterior of your house that are easy access points for rats, they’ll find them.
Rats can fit through a space the size of a quarter, so you’ll need to seal all gaps, cracks, and holes around your foundation, siding, windows, and doors.
Trim trees back from your house so that roof rats can’t easily access your roof. Even if you do this, be sure to cap your chimney, cover vents, and seal other openings such as mail slots and pet doors.
Once inside, rats will make themselves at home in your attic, basement, wall voids, and crawl spaces. They’ll find abundant food supplies in your kitchen, especially if you’re not vigilant about keeping food put away and cleaning up crumbs, spills, and dirty dishes.
If you notice any signs of rats, such as droppings, nests, or scratching noises inside the walls, call the professionals. A rat infestation is a serious issue that can lead to dangerous property damage, the transmission of serious illnesses, and the potential invasion of other pests brought in on the rats.
Schendel Pest Services can help you take the preventative measures necessary to make sure your home is as unfriendly as possible to rats, as well as remove any rats that are currently invading your space. Our year-round services offer 365-day protection from rats and other household pests. Contact us for a free estimate.