With Halloween on the horizon along with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other holidays close on its heels, the 2021 holiday season is upon us! While the holidays typically include time with loved ones, good food, and fun, they’re often harbingers of less pleasant things: rodents.
From rats nesting in your Christmas tree to mice scrounging for crumbs of the delicious feast you’ve been preparing all day, rodents are some of the Northwest’s most unwelcome guests. In addition, they can transmit several diseases, including rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis, and more through their bites and waste.
As we recognize Rodent Awareness Week this season, there’s no better time to learn how to keep rats and mice from taking a bite out of your holiday spirit. Discover how to prevent mice and rats from getting into your home with PURCOR’s top four tips.
Types of Rodents in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho
Whether you own a home or business in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, there’s a wide variety of rodents ready to raid your property. As if the diseases they spread weren’t enough to cause alarm, they can also cause serious damage by gnawing on walls and insulation, as well as defecating and urinating everywhere. As temperatures drop and their food resources become scarce, keep an eye out for the following types of rodents in the Northwest:
Additionally, keep in mind the following best practices for preventing rodents in your house:
1. Safeguard Your Garage
One of the largest problem areas for mice and rats? The garage. Your garage tends to be quieter than rooms inside your home, making it an ideal spot for rodents ready to nest and raise young—especially if they find boxes of holiday decor to climb into.
When it comes to rats and mice, being proactive is key. If you have cracks, holes, or poorly sealed entrances around your property, you can trust that rodents will find them. These gnawing pests can easily contort their bodies to squeeze and squeak their ways through incredibly tiny spaces. That’s why your first step should be finding a garage door rodent guard.
Not sure which rodent guard is right for you to prevent mice and rats in your garage? Contact your local pest control professionals for guidance. While your pest control company advises you on how to seal your garage, ask them about other common rodent entryways, such as between floors and walls, around window screens, and beneath doors.
How can I prevent rats and mice from finding food?
If you store birdseed, pet food, and similar supplies in your garage, it may be time to store them in a more secure location inside your home, such as interior closets with well-sealed doors.
Alternatively, you can keep food supplies inside a storage container made out of hard metal like steel. Rats in particular can chew through several types of materials, including aluminum, concrete, brick, wood, and more. They can even gnaw through non-metal trash cans.
Can I rat-proof my trash cans?
Though the best way to safeguard your garage and trash from rodents is regular pest control services, you can take steps to stop them from pilfering. Wash out food containers before you throw them away, repair any damage to your trash cans, and consider investing in hard metal cans with heavy lids.
Will rats and mice eat my holiday decorations?
While rats and mice might not eat your twinkling lights or decorative reindeer, they can certainly still gnaw on decor to keep their long, ever-growing teeth filed down. If you store decorations in your garage, be sure they’re in airtight containers that rodents can’t chew their way into.
2. Keep Your Kitchen Spotless
The last thing anyone wants to find while baking cookies or roasting a turkey is a mouse or rat in the kitchen. With an unpleasant appearance and a host of health and safety hazards, it’s critical to stop rodents from invading your kitchen for the holidays.
Your first step in preventing a mouse or rat infestation in your kitchen is to properly store your food. The CDC recommends keeping food in airtight containers made of thick glass, metal, or plastic to ensure rodents can’t nibble on them. Cereal boxes, flour packaging, and other soft plastic and paper containers are easy targets for rats, mice, and other pantry pests like beetles.
In between holiday baking and cooking sprees, immediately clean and sanitize your workstations. If you leave dirty dishes in the sink or crumbs, flour, and other food particles on the countertops, you’re practically ringing the dinner bell for hungry rodents.
How can I tell if I have a mouse or rat in my kitchen?
Even if you haven’t spied a rodent in your cooking space yet, there are several signs you should look out for, including:
- Gnawed bags or boxes
- Scratching noises in the walls
- An unpleasant smell
If you suspect you’ve got rodents in your kitchen but can’t find any indications, give PURCOR a call. We’ll visit your Northwest home and conduct an inspection for these unwelcome invaders.
3. Examine Your Holiday Storage for Extra “Ornaments”
Whether they’ve been in the garage, attic, or basement since last December, your holiday decorations should be thoroughly inspected for rodents or their nests. The dark, tightly-packed boxes are perfect for hiding in and chewing on belongings.
If you see scratches, gnawing marks, or stains from urine on or around your holiday storage boxes, there’s a strong chance you have rats or mice nearby. Although you can open the boxes and check for rodents, it’s safer to leave the inspection to pest professionals with experience and protective equipment.
Do mice and rats like Christmas trees?
Unless it’s in pest-proof storage, your artificial Christmas tree is at risk of rodents getting into it. From its dense branches to its chewable plastic pieces, a Christmas tree is an ideal spot for rodents to hide. If you suspect your tree has signs of rats or mice, it might be best to find a replacement for it.
For live Christmas trees, check in between the branches periodically during the holiday season for any signs of nesting or gnawed limbs. You should also get a guard for the tree’s water bowl to ensure rodents can’t drink from it.
4. Choose a Quality Pest Control Provider
The holiday season can be an exciting but overwhelming time of the year. Don’t let rats or mice make it more stressful for you and your family. Sealing your garage or cleaning up the kitchen may help lower your chances of an infestation—but it takes pest control specialists to truly handle rodents in the Northwest.
If you’re ready to trust a pest control service capable of rat- and mouse-proofing your property in Washington, Idaho, or Oregon, choose PURCOR. As the Northwest’s premier pest control provider, we’ll tackle present or potential rodent problems with innovative technology and customized pest management solutions.
Keep Rodents Out of Your Holiday Season with PURCOR
Celebrate with your friends and family in the Northwest without rodents crashing the party. At PURCOR, our mission will always be safeguarding you, your loved ones, and your property from rats and mice, no matter the season. Ready to enjoy the holidays without unwelcome, nibbling visitors? Contact us to request a quote today!