Winter months in South Africa can bring about a significant increase in rodent infestations in homes and businesses. The cold temperatures force pesky rodents to seek shelter and access to food, which makes your property an appealing mouse habitat. Rodents, such as house mice and rats, have a strong sense of smell and can detect potential food sources from miles away. Here are some effective steps to stop rodent infestations in winter.
12 Steps to Getting Rid of Rodents in South Africa in Winter
Step 1: Secure Exterior Doors and Windows
One of the most common access points for mice and other pests is through exterior doors and windows. Ensure that these entry points are well-secured by installing door sweeps, weather stripping, and window screens.
Step 2: Store Pet Food Properly
Pet food is a significant attractant for mice and rats, especially during winter when hungry rodents are looking for a steady food supply. You can store your pet’s food in airtight containers to keep the rats and mice away. Also try to avoid leaving the food out overnight.
Cat food is another common attractant for rodents, so it’s essential to store it properly. Avoid leaving cat food out overnight and store it in airtight containers. Place cat food dishes in areas that are difficult for rodents to reach, such as high shelves or enclosed spaces.
Step 3: Eliminate Potential Food Sources
Rodents will always be on the hunt for food, and it’s essential to remove any potential food sources. Seal food waste in trash bags and store them in tightly sealed trash cans. Keep food containers clean and store them in high places to avoid attracting mice and rats.
Step 4: Clear Debris and Piles of Leaves
Piles of leaves and debris around your property can provide a hiding spot and breeding ground for rodents. Clear these areas regularly to discourage rodents from taking up residence.
Step 5: Address Any Sources of Water
Rodents need a source of water to survive, and even a small leak can provide enough moisture for them. Fix any leaks and keep your property dry to avoid attracting pests.
Step 6: Address Pest Infestations
If you already have a pest infestation, it’s essential to address it promptly. Common pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches can carry diseases and cause damage to your property. Look for signs such as mouse droppings, rat droppings, and dead mice, and contact a professional pest control service to address the issue. You can get a FREE Quote from us for rodent extermination & other pest control services today!
Step 7: Seal Access Points
Rodents can squeeze through even the tiniest of gaps and holes, so it’s essential to seal any potential entry points. Use caulk to seal gaps around air vents, pipes, and utility lines. Avoid using cardboard boxes as storage containers, as mice can chew through them easily.
Step 8: Use Bait Stations
Bait stations are a relatively effective deterrent against rodent infestations. They are small, plastic boxes that contain bait, which attracts rodents and poisons them. Place bait stations in areas where you’ve seen signs of rodent activity, such as mouse droppings or gnawed wires.
Step 9: Keep Your Property Clean
A clean property is less likely to attract rodents, so it’s essential to keep it clean and tidy. Regularly sweep and vacuum floors, wipe down surfaces, and dispose of trash properly.
Step 10: Check for Warm Spots
During the colder months, rodents seek out warm spots to take shelter from the cold. Check areas such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces for signs of rodent activity. These areas are often appealing to rodents as they provide shelter and insulation from the cold.
They also like to chew through soft materials left unattended in garages and storage spaces to find fluff and down for their nests. Mouse activity can often become evident because of the chew marks and holes you find in folded materials, upholstery, mattresses, blankets, towels, boxes, and more.
Step 11: Use a Strong Smell Deterrent
Rodents have a keen sense of smell, and certain scents can act as a deterrent to keep them away from your property. Peppermint oil, for example, is a strong smell that rodents dislike. Place a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in areas where rodents are likely to enter.
Step 12: Educate Yourself on Common Rodent Pests
It’s essential to educate yourself on the common rodent pests in your area to identify signs of infestation and take appropriate action. Some of the most common rodents in South Africa include house mice, roof rats, and Norway rats. Knowing what to look for can help you detect an infestation early and prevent it from spreading.
If you have no more space for rodents on your property, the time to take action is now! These simple steps can make a big difference!
Worried Your Rodent Problem Has Gone Too Far Already?
If you’re struggling with these unwanted invaders, call Mostert Specialized Pest Control Experts today for effective rodent control. We go beyond mere rodent extermination and can provide further preventive steps to avoid reinfestation, such as ensuring the rodent habitats are destroyed and sealed from access.