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Hampshire Bird & Pest Solutions Discuss Rats in Winter

Author: Hampshire Bird & Pest Solutions

With colder weather hitting our shores, not only does it bring the need for heating. It also starts the hibernation process for a number of animals. Unfortunately, rats, mice and other rodents do not typically hibernate during the winter months. Rats enjoy living in the wild but also in domestic environments. Like us, rats require food, but also insulation and shelter from nature's elements.

Where are Rats Hiding?

Our homes, sheds and outbuildings are an obvious choice for rats and other rodents. They can often be found in garages and sheds if there's insulation of some form to help them keep warm. The proximity to your home also encourages them to stay as you will no doubt have food inside and around your home.

Vehicles that are left isolated and for the most part unused will also provide an attractive home for rodents. The engine compartments and ventilation systems are concealed and provide sufficient protection from the elements. They use the ventilation system to make their way into the vehicle, then proceed to shred paper, upholstery and interior fabrics to build a suitable nesting area.

Rats and mice are also commonly found in roof spaces, given that they are mostly made up of insulation and therefore provide a good nesting place. The problems that follow generally include damage to structure and roof, whilst also chewing wiring. Whilst this creates damage, the chewing of wiring creates a fire risk and can be expensive to repair all damage.

Signs of Rodents

  1. Cloying ‘acetamide’ smell characteristic of house mice; other mice leave little odour.
  2. Gnawing – rodents need to gnaw continuously to keep their incisors short.
  3. Tooth marks – larger ones are made by rats, who can gnaw through soft metals, such as lead and aluminium.
  4. Droppings – a rat’s are 12mm long and often tapered at one end; a mouse’s are roughly half the size and thinner.
  5. Greasy fur marks – rats and house mice leave dirty black smears along well-travelled routes, particularly ‘loop smears’ where they squeeze under roof joints.

(Discover Wildlife, 2012)

Prevention

Preventing rodents from entering your home is always the best way of reducing risk of pest rodents, ensure all gaps and holes in your property are sealed and fixed. Ensure any outbuilding or garages are secured and free of any small holes. Try not to leave any food around your property, and make sure your waste is in locked bins and containers. If you suspect you may have a problem or would like Hampshire Bird & Pest Solutions to come and inspect your property for any signs of pests, get in touch using the form below.

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