As the months grow colder, the potential for rodents to invade your home is a likely possibility. But you might ask, “Don’t mice and other rodents hibernate?” 

The answer goes against much of what we remember growing up.

But we’re here to help, providing useful information on these sneaky scurriers so you can better plan for the winter ahead. When it comes to mice prevention, we have the tips and tools you need to prevent winter rodents from entering your home.

While mice are the most common rodent we think of when we think of pests invading our homes, there are many others that seek refuge from the cold weather. Outside of mice, you might also encounter:

  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Chipmunks

The biggest reason to prevent these invasions before they ever happen is that things can quickly get out of control. Mice are very small and can easily squeeze through tight spaces and find themselves in a variety of places in your home. Not only that, but they are very destructive and are often times associated with the cause of house fires.

Mice aren’t the only ones; as you can see from this list, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks also seek refuge from the cold and are equally as destructive – even if they can’t fit through as small of openings as mice can. 

Quick Facts to Know About Mice and Rodents This Winter

With that said, you might be thinking back to your school days, remembering how many animals hibernate in the winter. And while some do, most small rodents actually remain quite active during the cold months. Their bodies aren’t equipped to hibernate, so they spend the cold months seeking out comfort, shelter and essentials to survive. 

Do mice like the cold? Not necessarily, but they have to do what they need to, to survive. And that oftentimes means finding their way into dark, damp basements and rarely-used attics. 

Here are a few fun facts about rodents in the winter to help dispel any myths you might be holding onto. 

Do Mice Hibernate in the Winter?

It should come as no surprise with what we’ve been alluding to, but regardless of whether it’s outside or inside a house, mice do not hibernate during the cold seasons. They spend the winter foraging for food or seeking shelter.

Where do Mice go in the Winter?

If Mice don’t hibernate, where do they go? Hopefully, they remain outside in their burrows, but sadly, that can’t always be the case. There are mice that seek shelter from the cold and look for food inside homes. 

If they make their way indoors, they tend to nest in wall voids, attics, or crawl spaces. 

Do Mice or Rats Like the Cold?

Rats and mice are a lot like us in that they prefer cozy temperatures. But unlike us, they can’t throw on a hat and some gloves to brave the harsh winters. Instead, they pack up their homes (metaphorically, of course) and look to warmer pastures – like your insulated garage or basement. When it gets cooler than 65 degrees Fahrenheit outside, rats and mice begin searching for warm shelter to wait out the winter. 

Do Rats Hibernate? 

The simple answer is no. Just like mice and other rodents like squirrels, they don’t’ hibernate come winter. Instead, their foraging for food can bring them indoors. That’s why rat prevention is just as essential during colder months. While rats and mice aren’t generally seen together, the colder months cause them both to act very similarly.

Do Rodents Hibernate in General?

There is an assortment of rodents that love to hunker down for the winter months, but that doesn’t mean all of them do. Rats and mice, for one, don’t hibernate in the colder months. You may have heard or read somewhere that squirrels hibernate in the winter, but not all species of squirrels do. In fact, the common tree squirrel we see on a daily basis is one of the species that does not hibernate in the winter.

While chipmunks do hibernate in the winter months, they are a common rodent that is seen around that can be attracted to making its burrows inside your garage or yard if it’s in the vicinity during the late fall season. So keep an eye out if you see these rodents around your property as the seasons begin to cool. 

How to Prevent Rodent Infestation 

With those quick facts in mind, how do you prevent these unwelcome guests from entering your home this season? Let’s take a quick look at some preventative measures you can take and answer a few questions to know if your property is at risk.

If you’re worried that your home is at risk for mice, rats, and other rodents from entering, then take a look around the outside of your home and inspect the exterior for easy access points these small rodents can fit into. 

Seal Any Unwanted Gaps and Access Points

You don’t want rodents in your home, right? Well, the best thing you can do is to block their way in. Look around your house and see if there are any cracks, holes, or gaps that they can squeeze through. Check the outside walls, especially near the foundation, windows, doors, pipes, vents, and roof. Do you see anything that looks suspicious? Maybe some bricks are missing or there’s a hole gnawed through? If so, you need to fix those as soon as possible. 

One thing to keep in mind is that rodents are very good at getting into small spaces. Mice can fit through openings as small as a quarter of an inch wide. Rats can chew their way through if the hole is just a bit too small. So don’t underestimate them. A good tip is to use steel wool to fill in any gaps you find. Rodents hate steel wool because it has sharp edges that hurt their teeth. They will avoid it at all costs.

Keep Your Home Clean – And Yes, That Means Outside, Too

You know how rodents are always looking for a cozy place to stay in the winter? Well, they might be eyeing your house if you have things that attract them outside. For example, do you have any fruit trees or a garden in your yard? If you do, then you might have some unwanted visitors like squirrels or rats. 

They love to munch on fruits and veggies, and they might decide to move in with you when it gets cold. So what can you do to keep them away? Well, you can start by cleaning up your yard. Get rid of any fruits or vegetables that are left on the trees or in the garden – this also includes making sure your yard isn’t covered in food waste that can attract these critters. 

Another thing you can do is to make sure your food is stored properly inside your house. Rodents and other pests have a good sense of smell, and they will try to get into your kitchen if they smell something yummy. 

So don’t leave any food out in the open or in easy-to-open containers. Use airtight containers and keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Throw away your garbage regularly and don’t let it pile up. And if you have pets, don’t leave their food out overnight or in the garage. That’s like an invitation for rodents to come and feast.

By following these tips, you can make your house less appealing for rodents and more secure for yourself. You don’t want to share your home with these critters, do you?

Prevent Winter Rodent Woes with a Professional

If you need help removing and preventing rodents from entering your home in the Carolinas this winter, Terminix is the company you can trust. Providing pest control services for decades in the area, we have a team of trained technicians who can handle rodent issues from mice to squirrels and any furry fiend in between. 

The next time you see a furry four-legged creature scurrying around or hear out-of-place squeaks in your home, give us a call, and we’ll help identify and remedy the problem.

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