You probably associate rat and mice infestations with fall and winter. It makes sense; rodents primarily try to get into homes to keep out of the cold. They don’t have any reason to try to get into your house during the summer. …Right?
Unfortunately, you can’t dismiss the possibility that you have a rodent infestation this summer. Rats and mice have plenty of reasons to want to infiltrate your home all year. Here’s what you should know about what rodents get up to this summer, and how to keep them from bothering you.
Why would mice come inside during the summer?
Rodents want what everything else does during a scorching summer day: a place to stay out of the heat. Just like they sneak in during the winter to stay warm, they’ll sneak in during the summer to stay cool. Rodents tend to move around more during the summer time than they do during other seasons. They need to relocate from their warm, winter nests into places where they’ll be more comfortable in the heat. It’s also easier for them to sneak in grown-out summer foliage.
If you find mice inside your home this summer, then it’s possible they’ve been there all year. Mice often build semi-permanent nests in warm parts of a home in winter. Then, when those warm places get too balmy, they’ll start moving around the home to find new digs. Lots of mice relocate from attics to basements starting in early summer. They might even take up residence in cool vent systems or other shady, secluded spots.
How do mice get inside during the summer?
Mice and rats tend to explore a fair bit more during summer than they do during other seasons. While they’re sneaking around in the underbrush, they tend to find ways to creep into homes. Rodents are already naturally drawn toward structures because of their smell and the cover they provide. As they work their way along the perimeter, they might feel a slight draft or smell an interesting scent. They’ll go to check it out and the rest is history.
Rats and mice only need a dime-sized opening to squeeze their way into a home. They commonly find these openings around window sills or frames, especially on the ground level. They’re also very prone to finding gaps between utility lines and the siding of the home. Even cracks and gaps around the foundation or in the baseboard could provide access points. Rats and mice might even chew or push through compromised material to enter a building, if given the opportunity.
Why are mice a problem during summer?
Once they get in, mice and rats basically get up to the same shenanigans they do the rest of the year. Rodents will eat anything they can get their paws on, and they’re particularly fond of stored grains. They’ll try to find their way into your pantry to eat bread, pasta, cereals, and any other grains they can find. Chances are, they’ll leave behind their waste as a “thank you”, too.
Even if they can’t get at your food, they’ll happily chew on anything else. Rodents’ teeth never stop growing, which means they never stop teething. They’ll munch on cardboard, fabric, and even (dangerously) electrical wiring. Perhaps worst of all, rodents reproduce pretty much all year given the chance. They’ll build rather gross nests out of torn up paper and find secluded places to have their babies. Then, of course, those babies will grow up and terrorize your home for a whole new generation.
How can I keep mice out this summer?
Keeping rats and mice out of your home in summer means following the same procedures you would the rest of the year. First, look for obvious places where rodents could squeeze their way into your home. Replace torn up or worn out weatherstripping around doors and windows. Caulk any gaps and cracks you see in thresholds like door frames and window sills. Make sure window screens aren’t torn up and replace them if they are.
After you’ve dealt with the obvious, it’s time to walk the perimeter. Trim down or remove any brush that gives rodents the opportunity to hide near your home. Try to keep a five-foot barrier between your home and vegetation. Trim the grass short and mow your yard consistently. Then, look for gaps around utility lines. Find where everything connects to the building and seal openings around the entrance. Finally, look for cracks and gaps in the foundation and baseboard, both inside and out.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop watching for rodent infestations just because it’s summer. Rats and mice are tricky pests, and they never take a day off. Luckily, however, the same smart pest exclusion you use the rest of the year will serve you just as well now. Follow the tips here, and you can have a rat-free summer.
In case you do end up with a summer rodent infestation, remember that you need not face it alone. You can call on Varment Guard any time to help you with your rodent problem, or any other pest problem for that matter. We’ll make sure your summer doesn’t lose its cool–literally or figuratively.BACK TO BLOG