Winter Rodent Behavior
Rodents may not be the most complicated of creatures, but understanding their behavior is the first step in dealing with them effectively. How they act when the cold weather of winter sets in is important if you want to keep them out of your house.
They Hoard Food
Rodents are bad enough when it comes to scavenging for food in your house and it only gets worse in the winter. They are driven to hoard food so you have to be extra careful to make sure there isn’t anything available or accessible in your house for them to steal. Nothing should be left open, and even light packaging can be risky. Mice are more likely than ever to start chewing on paper bags or even flimsy plastic if they smell the food inside.
If you are thinking that your house is protected by the snow, think again. Many rodents are happy to tunnel around through the snow, particularly voles and moles. That thick blanket of snow is not going to keep any rodents out. In fact, they can be more active than usual because they can move around outside in the yard without being seen by their typical predators.
In the summer months, they may just pilfer food from around your home but in the winter they are going to start looking for nesting materials too. What this means to you is that you need to watch out for mouse damage in fabrics, stuffing and papers. That stack of old towels in the back corner of the basement is going to be a lot more tempting to mice during the winter than in the summer.
They’ll Move In
Even mice that normally live outside, and perhaps only visit your house occasionally for food can become tempted by the shelter and warmth indoors. Basically, this is the biggest problem with rodents in the winter. Make an effort in the fall to prevent this, by shoring up your defences. Patch up holes, clean up debris and have some good rodent repellent on hand. Remember, once they move in during the winter, they will probably stay for good even when the weather warms up.
They Like the Dark
Well, this is true no matter what time of year it is, but it becomes a more important fact during the shorter days of winter. Rooms that normally have light coming in through the windows will darken up much sooner when night falls at dinner time. Don’t encourage rodent movements by letting your rooms get dark so early. Have a few extra lights burning, perhaps on a timer, in some of the lesser-used parts of the house.