Rodents are one of the biggest household pests any time of the year, but their impact can get to be more of a problem during the cold winter months. Not all species of rodent act quite the same way in winter, and each one will have their own set of issues if they are moving into your home or yard.
Mice in Winter
Mice are the biggest problem inside the house, and they can (and will) take up residence absolutely anywhere. Basement, attic, inside walls, under floorboards and even in the backs of unused cabinets. Small and agile, they fit through the tiniest gaps to move about freely in the house. You can usually see this in the form of endless droppings that show up everywhere mice go. In fact, that kind of fecal contamination can be the worst part of a mouse infestation.
Because they live exclusively in the house, they are going to be searching for food as well as just nesting. That means a lot of damage to unprotected food as well as wood, paper, and fabrics.
Unlike mice, squirrels generally nest inside the house while still foraging around for food outdoors. That means a different type of impact on your home. They are not likely going to be a problem in the kitchen, chewing through cereal boxes or anything like that, because they won’t be searching for food. Your biggest problem is the nesting. Squirrels are bigger than mice and though they can’t squeeze into tight spots, they will do a lot more chewing and tearing at materials, such as wood framing and walls. Wiring can also be at risk, though they don’t particularly target it.
Voles are a little bit different than mice or squirrels, and they aren’t usually responsible for a lot of damage inside the house. Their impact is mostly outside. Voles are very active pests in the winter and spend a lot of time tunneling around under the snow in search of food. Unfortunately, their tunnels aren’t always just through the snow. When the snow melts, you can find a whole network of torn-up grass, and chewed holes where the voles spent the winter. With a large population of voles, they can actually kill large portions of your yard turf over the winter.
To avoid any of these problems in the winter, you can make an effort to seal up any holes that may give access to your house, and also place a few natural repellent packs to drive out the pests. They can be used inside or out, so they’re a good solution for mice, squirrels and even voles.