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What do rats do in the winter, and how to keep them away from your home

Your complete guide

Rats can be a serious threat to health and are much more prevalent during the winter. Luckily, Town and Country Pests can help.

Nothing inspires dread more than the tell-tale signs of rats in winter – but Town and Country Pests are here to help!

Why do rats come inside in the winter?

Winter is well and truly on its way – and us humans aren’t the only ones who are feeling the cold! Rats, along with mice and other rodents, can be found in a wide range of environments – and crucially, they do not hibernate during the winter months. As a result, they will be looking for somewhere warm where they can take shelter from the elements and keep themselves safe from any predators. All too often, that can end up being somebody’s home. After all, food and warmth are in good supply!

How to keep rats out

With rats much more likely to enter your property right now, what are the steps you should take to keep them out? Here are our top tips!

  • Bird food can attract rats, so be sure to keep any feeders well above ground level and clean up any food debris that falls to the ground. You can also buy rat-proof feeders!
  • Keep your garden clean and tidy to remove any potential nesting areas for the rats.
  • Keep your food stored in airtight containers. This includes any pet food, so don’t forget about that!
  • Keep any bins sealed and away from your home.
  • If you have a compost bin or heap, try to avoid putting food in it.
  • Block up any holes. Rats can squeeze into the tiniest gaps, so even if it looks small don’t take a chance!

Signs of rats

No matter how hard you try, there is no way to ensure that rats will never find their way into your property. They are especially resourceful in the winter, and you shouldn’t feel as if you haven’t done enough if you do find signs of rats despite all your best efforts. Sometimes there might be a hole that you didn’t even know was there, or rats may have found their way into your home just before you took all those measures. The signs of rats are as follows:

  • Droppings – rat droppings are cylindrical and around half an inch to an inch long.
  • The smell of urine or urine stains.
  • Signs of gnawing.
  • A rat’s nest – these are like bird’s nests, but disorganised and on the ground. They can be made of natural or synthetic materials and are often found in lofts.
  • Scratching noises – rats are nocturnal creatures, so you are much more likely to hear them at night this sound will often come from cavities, which rats use to move around your house.
    If you do notice any of the above in your home, then it’s important that you get in touch with us right away.

We’re here to help

We’ve been a firm favourite with homeowners in Essex for a number of years now as we consistently provide pest control services that are tailored to suit each customer and their property. If you want to find out more about us and how we could help you, please get in touch with a member of our team today.