How to Protect Your Florida Home Against Rodents this Winter
December 16, 2019
Florida may be an oasis of warmth for snowbirds across the country, but cold weather can strike in the middle of winter. That cold often drives many of us indoors to wait out the next sunny day, but we’re not the only ones who turn to our Florida homes and businesses during the occasional cold snap. Rodents, especially mice, rats, and squirrels, can find their way into your home in search of warmth and food. If you’re not careful to protect against them, they can pose a much bigger problem than anticipated.
Florida may be an oasis of warmth for snowbirds across the country, but cold weather can strike in the middle of winter. That cold often drives many of us indoors to wait out the next sunny day, but we’re not the only ones who turn to our Florida homes and businesses during the occasional cold snap. Rodents, especially mice, rats, and squirrels, can find their way into your home in search of warmth and food. If you’re not careful to protect against them, they can pose a much bigger problem than anticipated. Rodents carry many diseases, which can be transmitted to humans through food and surface contamination. If that weren’t bad enough, their incessant need to chew can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Make sure each room in your house is rodent-proofed this winter by following these room-by-room tips.
1. Focus on “Rodent-Proofing” the Outside of Your Florida Home First
Your first line of defense against wintering rodents begins outside your Florida home or business. Making the perimeter an unwelcoming environment to rodents will make it less likely they find an easy path into your residence. Before the coldest weather hits, walk around the outside of your home or business and seal any cracks or holes you see, especially those at ground level. Pay special attention to doors, windows, and the bottom of your garage door. Keep an eye out for any plants that are too close to your residence, too. Trees, bushes, and other shrubs can be easy paths for rodents to enter your home; trim those so they don’t touch or come close to the structure of your home or business.
2. Protect Your Kitchen from Rodents
As humans have continued to invade rodents’ natural habitats, rodents have come to depend on humans and their homes as a convenient source of food. The kitchen is likely the first place you’ll notice signs of a rodent infestation. Your first step in protecting the kitchen from rodents is to seal your food in air-tight containers, which might mean a trip or two to an organizational store. Store containers at least 18 inches off the floor.
Why air-tight containers? Rodents can easily chew through plastic bags and paper boxes. Using plastic and metal containers not only keeps your groceries fresh, but it also deters rodents from smelling the food in the first place. Without smelling an available source of food, rodents will be less likely to stick around your residence.
Empty your garbage can frequently and close it tight after you use it, as this is a prime rodent attraction in kitchens across Florida. Make a habit to clean your kitchen floors and countertops daily, too. Dropped food, even as small as crumbs, are easy pickings for rodents to make a meal out of after you’ve made dinner and went to bed for the evening.
3. Rodent-Proof Your Home Office or Bedroom
Rodents will likely use your home office or bedroom as a cozy shelter for them during the chillier months in Florida. While they might not find any food available for them, these rooms make a great environment for rodents to hunker down. Your first step in rodent-proofing your home office or bedroom is to clean up as much clutter as possible and to keep the clutter you do have off the floor. As a rule, the more clutter you have, the more hiding spaces rodents have to find shelter.
In the office, you might need to reevaluate your storage system for important documents, keepsakes, or photos. Rodents can sometimes make their homes with these items in boxes that are easily chewed through, so consider using a metal filing cabinet or plastic storage boxes to keep rodents from nesting with scrapbooks and tax documents. In fact, using a fireproof safe for the most important documents in your home is always a great suggestion.
4. Make the Rest of Your House Inhospitable for Rodents
Rodents can show up anywhere in your house, from your attic to your mudroom, as long as they’re in close proximity to food. If you’ve already filled any holes or cracks outside of your Florida home or business, you’ll want to take inventory of any you see inside your home, too. The CDC has a comprehensive checklist to follow and might help you seal up some indoor spaces that rodents might be able to squeeze through.
If you have pets, keep their food sealed in airtight containers or tubs, and don’t leave it in the bag or box it came in. You’ll also want to put away any leftover food at the end of the day so nocturnal rodents, such as mice and rats, don’t snack on your pets’ meal. Vacuuming weekly can also help cut down on the number of crumbs rodents might scout out and might dissuade them from a long-term stay at your abode.
5. Call Nozzle Nolen to Wave Goodbye to Unwanted Rodent Visitors
If you already have a year-round pest control program in place, prevention techniques are ideal for continuing to protect your Florida home or business from rodents this winter. Start by focusing your efforts outdoors, filling any gaps or holes in the exterior of your structure, and removing any plants that touch or are too close to your structure. Then move indoors to fill any additional cracks or crevices, and clean up the clutter in your kitchen, home office, bedroom, and beyond to give rodents fewer places to nest. Clean up any food on a daily basis, and consider storing as much food (both for humans and for pets) as possible in plastic or metal containers or tubs.
If you don’t already have your pest control squared away for the season, a year-round pest control service can help protect your home against a variety of pests through every season. Our residential pest control platinum package provides protection from mice, rats, and other rodents. It’s eco-friendly and helps prevent other pest invasions, too.
Ready to protect your Florida home or business from the threat of wintering rodents? Call Nozzle Nolen today for a free quote!
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