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Tips and Tricks Pests

How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice

Picture of Kristen Wosk
By Kristen Wosk on December, 7 2021
mouse feasting on left overs on kitchen sink

The winter holiday season is filled with visitors coming in and out of your home, bringing food, gifts, and cheer. The last thing you want during this cozy season is for an uninvited pest guest to make itself at home, in your home. 

Rodent activities increase dramatically in the winter months due to a variety of reasons and can bring about a range of unpleasant structural and health issues. Learn all about what brings rats and mice into your property during the winter, plus all of the different, most effective ways of getting rid of them once they’ve entered.


Why Rats and Mice Come in During Winter:

It’s cold outside. Most people hardly like to spend time outside in the winter unless bundled up in coats. It’s the same for rodents. The warmth and comfort of your home are perfectly inviting for a population of mice or rats, especially during the winter season. Your home provides protection for these animals, as well as a cozy space for them to nest. There’s warmth, insulation, and even food sources all prepared for these rodents to live happily during the winter.  Rather than brave the cold and struggle to hunt for food all on their own, it’s far safer—and far more comfortable—to enter your home during the colder months of the year.


What Attracts Rats and Mice To Enter:

It’s easy to see why rats and mice would want to enter your home during the winter. But what specifically attracts these pests to your house and how can you dissuade them from coming? To start, let’s carefully identify what appeals most to rodents about your home. 


The two most essential things that might draw rats and mice to your house are food sources and warmth.


Once the temperatures drop, rodents—and rats especially—need to consume twice the amount of food. And they certainly won’t be able to find that amount of food outside during the wintertime. However, they can find it easily in a home, especially if garbage isn’t taken out promptly or if food scraps are left lying around.

A warm place to nest, feed, and burrow is also a must for rodents. So, in order to get what they want, a rodent will slip through entry holes, chew through structures, and even climb trees, just to find a way into your home. 

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How To Get Rid of Rats and Mice:

Rest assured—there are plenty of different methods of removing rodents from your property that are both safe and effective. One of the best pest control methods—for rodents, as well as all other pests—is preventative measures of pest control. That means sealing entry holes, cleaning up your kitchen, removing pet waste from the yard, and taking care of any other physical deterrents.

Once the rodents have moved in, there are still many forms of pest control you can use. 


  • Natural Methods: Crushed pepper, peppermint oil, cloves, and other natural substances can help deter rodents from lingering in your home. These substances will irritate rodents and make your home feel uncomfortable to them, driving them away. This method can be effective, but often not enough to completely remove the pest population. 

  • Eliminate Food Sources: Food is one of the major driving factors that draw rodents to your home. If you can carefully remove their access to food sources around your home, chances are they won’t want to extend their stay. Clean up spills, remove the garbage, and tightly seal up containers. 

  • Baits and Traps: Setting out physical traps to capture pests can help effectively solve pest issues and also keep animals and family members safe from the chemicals used in pesticides.  Setting a rat trap might seem complicated at first, but if you’re interested in attempting your own DIY solutions before calling a professional, it is by no means an impossible task. Check out this step-by-step instructional that easily breaks down how to set up rat traps in your home, all on your own. 

Determining what bait to use on the rat trap is another part of the process that requires some careful thought. After all, if you’re going to attract a rodent to the trap, you’ll need to place some food that will genuinely tempt the pests. If you’re not sure what food might entice a rat or mice most, no worries—it’s clearly explained in this short video


For small rodent infestations, DIY solutions can be a great place to start. However, it is always best to contact a professional pest control specialist if the infestation issue keeps lingering. 


If you’re looking for a little help in tackling a rodent infestation this holiday season, contact us at AIPM for immediate consolation and effective results. 

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