Winterizing Your Home to Protect Against Rodents


Are you worried about winterizing your home to protect against rodents? If you are like a considerable majority of Americans, you most important investment is your home. Consequently, it is imperative that you take vital steps necessary to protect and enhance the market value of your residence. As part of this process, you need to make sure that your home is properly protected for all seasons. This includes wintertime. As part of the wintertime weatherization process you need to protect your home against rodents. As the weather starts to change and grow colder, rodents begin to seek shelter. Primary target for rodents are homes.

Types of Rodents to Combat The types of rodents you need to winterize your home against depends on the species of animals that live in your area. With that said, the most common types of rodents people across the U.S. need to winterize their homes against include:

  • Mice

  • Rats

  • Squirrels

  • Racoons

Of these, mice and rats typically present the most significant problems homeowners need to be wary about when it comes to protecting their homes as wintertime draws near.

Understanding Some Rodent Basics

There are a few basic facts you need to understand about rodents – particularly mice and rats – in advance of a presentation of essential steps you need to take to protect your home against these critters as winter draws closer. First of all, rodents are classified in part because of their teeth, specifically their incisors. Rodents have incisors that continue to grow throughout their lives. Because they grow, mice and rats need to gnaw on objects in order to keep their incisors in check. (They also gnaw to gain access to shelter and food.)

Rodents can cause significant damage to a residence, damage so considerable that it can negatively impact the market value of a home. This includes structural damage, which can mount up during the time a rodent infestation exists in a home.

You also need to appreciate that rodents are attracted to electrical wires and other objects associated with a home’s power system. Rodents are adept at chewing the protective coating off electrical wires. This results in live wires being exposed, a situation that can lead to sparking and even fire. There is an alarming statistic in this regard. Approximately 25% of all residential fires are caused because of damage done by rodents.

Rodent droppings, urine, and other waste have the potential for causing damage to the premises and physical structure of your home. A rodent infestation can grow to significant numbers if a very short period of time. Thus, a considerable amount of droppings, urine, and other waste can accumulate inside a residence. These substances can result in significant damage to the physical structure of a house.

In addition to physical damage causes by rodent droppings, urine, and other waste, these substances can carry germs capable of causing serious disease. For example, rodent droppings can carry a type of virus that can remain alive in these feces for an extended period of even after they dry out. More significantly, rodent droppings crumble with ease. This can result in droppings dust containing harmful and even deadly germs becoming airborne. If that occurs, people in your home can breathe the dust and germs and end up infected with a serious disease.

Steps to Winterize Your Home Against Mice and Rats The most important step you need to take to winterize your home against rodents, particularly mice and rats, is to plug any possible hole and cracks through which these rodents can enter. Keep in mind that a mouse can enter through a hole as small as a dime while a rat can get into a house via an opening as small as a quarter.

The best substance to block these potential rodent passageways is concrete or cement. Keep in mind that rodents potentially can gnaw or chew through substances that include:

  • Wood

  • Sheetrock

  • Brick

  • Plastic

  • And other materials used on or with the exterior of homes

In addition to blocking portals around the exterior of your home as part of your winterizing efforts to guard against rodent infestation, you need to eliminate clutter around the exterior of your home. In addition, if you will be enjoying your fireplace during the winter, stow your firewood away from your home. Place your firewood pile at least 20 feet from your home and keep it at least two feet off the ground.


On an ongoing basis, when protecting against a wintertime infestation of rodents, keep garbage cans in and outside your home tightly sealed. Similarly, keep food in appropriate containers. Ideal containers include those made out of tough plastic and even glass. Don’t leave food lying out and around. This includes pet food.

Make sure that any drips or puddles of water are eliminated. Rodents are attracted to food and water alike.

By employing these strategies in advance of the onset of winter, you will have created a strong line of defense against a rodent infestation. You will have taken important steps to protect the market value of your residence.

For more tips and up-to-date information contact me today and be sure to follow me on Facebook @Brad Winkelmann Real Estate Arlington VA, Orange Line Metro.

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