With temperatures hovering just above freezing this last week for East Hartford, Winsor Connecticut and Longmeadow, and Agawam Massachusetts, your warm home may be more inviting than usual. Here’s why rodents move indoors.

Protection from the Elements

The most obvious reason you might have uninvited guests is the difference in temperature from the wilderness. House mice will seek refuge in an attic or basement that is both warm and dry while also being a lower-traffic area.

“Rodents seek to protect themselves from winter’s chill by invading your home,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States every winter and are considerable health and property nuisance. Rodents can enter homes through almost any opening. Once inside, rodents can cause severe damage as they can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood, and even electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk of a fire.”

Rodents Move Indoors for Food

Outdoors, mice prefer to eat grains and seeds, but they will also eat insects, nuts, and fruits. Indoors, mice will consume almost any human food but prefer grain-based products. They will even settle for your pets’ food! Your pantry is a reliable, frequently restocked gold mine for mice and rats. You may even be fortunate enough to be a hibernation hovel for a squirrel. Here are some tips for protecting your pantry and kitchen:

  • Make sure your food is properly stored in sturdy plastic or glass containers with secure, tight-fitting lids.
  • At the grocery store, inspect packaging and expiration dates before putting anything in your cart. At home, make sure you’re not using expired goods.
  • Don’t let spills sit out on the floor or the counter, and regularly dispose of garbage.
  • Decorations such as dried flowers, potpourri and Indian corn should be stored in airtight containers and unpacked outdoors, just in case!

Repopulating in Your Home

Female house mice can give birth when they are only two months old. They are able to have up to a dozen babies every three weeks. They typically live only five months in the wild, but with the protection from your home, they can live much longer. That means over a hundred offspring in your home in just one year! That makes sense why they’re so prone to taking refuge in your home during the tougher, colder months.

Remove Their Access to Remove Your Headache

At Graduate, we strongly believe in—and practice—prevention first. We use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to stop infestations before they start. This might mean using bait stations outside your home or identifying problematic entry points. We also adjust our strategy from mice to rats to larger critters depending on the issue.

Want to see how we tackle chilly pests? Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!