Mild Winters Lead To Booming Mice Populations
For those living in older or inadequately-insulated homes, each year’s onset of winter can often bring with it the return of mice and other rodents. As temperatures continue to drop outside, these pests come scurrying to the warmth of homes and office buildings alike in search of food and warmth. It’s enough to leave many business owners wishing for longer summers, and to push off the cold as long as possible - but in reality, these warmer winters may only be making the rodent problem worse.
Warm Nights Bring More Mice
Warm weather has been shown to directly influence the rate at which rodents reproduce - meaning the more those balmy days stretch, the more mice will be out and looking for places to hide. And since winters have indeed been getting warmer each year in much of the country, we’ve seen a boom in mice populations - and it’s time for home and business owners to start paying attention.
The reasons for this population increase are multifaceted. On those late warm days, more people will be enjoying the warm weather outside, which affects rodent populations because more discarded food is available - meaning more energy for raising a litter and searching for a winter hiding spot. This extra available food may also reduce the efficacy of some bait and baiting techniques used by pest experts, further bolstering the rodent population.
Keep Your Winters Free from Mice
Warmer weather late into the winter may mean more mice competing for the same hiding places, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep your house or office mouse-free all winter long. All it takes is a little preparation - and it’s critical to make sure they can’t get inside in the first place.
The five areas most important for keeping out mice in winter are:
Doors & Windows
Mice are small, quick, and crafty - meaning if they see a chance to run inside through an open door unnoticed, they will. Make your building’s entry points are well sealed, and work with your tenants to make sure none are left invitingly open when critters are scurrying about.
Attics & Crawlspaces
These rarely-visited spaces make the perfect hiding place and home base for a mouse spending the winter in your walls. Make sure to keep these spaces well-insulated, which helps keep heat in rather than letting it escape and entice pests outside looking for a warm hiding spot. Also, check for droppings, which can be a sign that you have some unwelcome visitors.
Cafeterias and Lunchrooms
Winter time is a when most people are stuck eating their lunches indoors - much of it made from food stuff kept in the office pantry or refrigerator. Whether it’s a leftover cake from the holidays or warm snacks to keep the crew cozy, pantries can look a lot like an all-you-can-eat buffetto a hungry mouse. Keep these storage areas well sealed, and keep all enticing food safely stored out of the reach of pests.
Although not as warm as the inside of your house, garages still afford mice a reliable degree of protection from the wind, rain, snow, and cold of winter. With easy access from large garage doors on a regular basis, it isn’t hard for one or even several mice to slip inside - and get one step closer to actually making it into the house.
Pipes, Ducts, and Cables
Few things are more in more demand than warmth on a cold winter’s day - and for a mouse stuck outside, there aren’t many better ways inside than along warm piping chases or heating system lines. These can offer mice easy access from building to building, as well as a hard-to-reach hiding place away that may elude some building owners’ notice.
Don’t Share Your Space With Unwanted Guests
Winter is the best time of year to curl up, get comfortable, and focus on goals for the new year - not a time to be dealing with mice. Luckily, with just a little planning, you can keep your house and/or business free and clear through the winter and well into the warmer months ahead.
Are you struggling with mice in your home or business this winter, or worried about being prepared for next year? JP Pest Services can provide a thorough inspection, to determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances.
Have an issue with rodents in your home? JP Pest Services can help: