Winter Pest Control Tips in Illinois
It’s cold outside. During freezing temperatures insects and rodents want to be outside just about as
much as we do. Their goal becomes finding warmth and shelter anyway they can. Unlike insects, mice
and other rodents are not capable of going dormant for the winter. Mice actively work on building
warm nests year round. Oftentimes they will find refuge inside of an old rodent burrow, behind
insulation in your walls, or worse. Rodents such as mice might even decide to move in with you.
It is just this time of year that we see a huge spike in mouse calls; homeowners and business owners alike
who call panicked that “an entire family of mice came out of nowhere” and that they are now living
amongst them. Not just living- eating, urinating, defecating, possibly spreading diseases and leaving
their mark on your possessions, and even affecting the air that you breathe.
If you currently have mice, please call a professional. You may be inclined try over the counter baits and
traps, but much of the offerings are ineffective and may leave you chasing your tail. If you are inclined
to take preventive measures before such a problem arises, here are some helpful tips for you.
• To prevent rodents from roosting in the eaves or attic, repair and patch any holes or other
• Clean out gutters and overhangs, where rodents can also build their nests.
• Store yard waste like leaves and other debris away from the house prior to disposal. These
materials are popular nesting materials.
• Outside, much and firewood hold are popular hiding places for rodents. Store these at least
two feet from exterior walls.
• Keep pet food, birdseed, and grass seed in a sealed metal container. Mice can gnaw through
plastic and eat seeds.
• Common entry points are around pipes, where small cracks are frequently just large enough
for a mouse to squeeze through. Block holes with steel wool, and seal it in with something like
expanding insulation foam when possible.
• In the house, eradicate clutter that can hide mice and rat nests and provide material for the
• Periodically check the corners of your garage, basement, pump room, furnace room, and any
other storage areas. It is in these areas that you will often find feces that will indicate whether
or not you have a problem.
If you do not currently have a mouse problem (or don’t know that you have one) preventive pest control
in the wintertime may be looked at by some homeowners as a nuisance. Sometimes it’s just easier to
justify paying for a service after you already have a problem. Remediation services are almost always
more expensive after a problem has occurred or become serious in nature. In the case of sump pump
backup systems, burglar alarms, and renters insurance a lot of people only invest in such systems after
they have dealt with some kind of loss or catastrophe. However more and more people are realizing
that preventive measures are cheaper than actually fixing serious problems after they have occurred.
The same is true in pest management. It is much easier to catch a mouse problem in the early going
if you have regular maintenance going on at your home. Do not let a mouse problem spiral out of
control. Call your pest professional and have them take a look at your home. Oftentimes they will find
something before you do, and you will be glad they did.