When it gets colder, not only do we humans scurry into the house to warm up, but also our rodent friends.
When the temperatures drop and the nights fall, our warm and dry homes are the perfect retreat for rats and mice seeking shelter for the winter.
Wales Online reports how it is at this time of year when our little four-legged cuddle friends move into the houses in search of food and warmth.
READ MORE: Birmingham’s rat hotspots are mapped – and it’s not for the faint of heart
They are uninvited house guests because their droppings spread germs and they also chew on cables and insulation materials.
And once they get to your home, they can multiply quickly. Earlier this year it was reported that just two rats can quickly grow into a family of 50 rats in just six months, while mice can produce large numbers of offspring in a short period of time.
But what’s the best way to stop rodent infestation in your home? Swissinno, a Switzerland-based pest control company, has the following tips:
Seal your home
Small intruders – such as rats, mice, bats, snails and beetles – enter our houses through cracks or holes in the masonry.
One of the best ways to keep them out is to find these access routes and use a special seal to block their routes.
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Drive away mice with ultrasound
A more animal-friendly measure is the use of a plug-in or battery-operated device that works with ultrasound and lets noise-sensitive animals leave the room or even the house.
The most old-fashioned way to get rid of mice and one of the most effective.
Old style traps are cruel and can also lead to false triggers, but new style traps are friendlier and more effective.
With the right bait (like peanut butter), these traps simply trap the creatures in a container to release them from the house.
The situation is slightly different in rats. Pest control expert Rentokil says rats, unlike mice, need access to water on a daily basis.
But the pests are “known to eat pretty much anything,” so it’s important to prevent them from sneaking around in your food waste.
Rentokil’s top-tops for rat prevention (which in many cases may apply to mice) include storing food in containers with tight-fitting lids; Tidy up the house and garden to reduce hiding places; and clean up pet food and birdseed leftovers and store pet food in sturdy bins.
Experts also recommend filling holes or small openings with stainless steel wire wool and caulking or concrete, repairing roof damage, and sealing gaps.
Keep the toilet lid closed
To make your home rat-proof, experts also recommend reinforcing your entrances, exterior walls, roofs, and drains.
Rats have been known to find several ways to enter a house – even swimming damaged sewers and bypassing U-bends in toilets – so get into the habit of keeping the toilet seat lids closed.