You’re about to spend more time inside during winter, preparing food and increasing the heat to keep your household warm. As a result, you may want to take precautions so these measures don’t attract unwanted holiday houseguests. We’ll guide you through common hiding places for winter pests so you can root out problems before you have an infestation on your property.

Here’s a look at how to avoid unwanted guests like mice, squirrels and rats.

Where Do Pests Usually Live?

You can find pests in dark, quiet corners of your home. Their nesting place will likely be near wherever they arrived. Bugs and rodents can get inside your house through various means. Most commonly, this means openings around pipes or doors, the garage, and other exterior features.

How do you know if you’re harboring a secret guest? Keep tabs on the following, as these locations are where winter pests hide most often:

1. Kitchen Cabinets and Cupboards

Both mice and rats like to hide under cabinets and cupboards. They enjoy having quick access to your food supplies, which might be kept loose and give off inviting smells. They also go after dry, warm places, and your kitchen will be kept well-heated throughout the winter season.

As a result, your pantry is a top spot for mice and rats. This is probably your number one priority to tidy up and protect as the weather gets colder.

2. Spaces Behind Appliances

A common hiding space is behind appliances. These are places you probably don’t check often — nobody enjoys pulling out their fridge, after all.

However, if you’re doing an inspection, you might find evidence of mice and rats behind your refrigerator and microwave. Keep an eye out for anything unusual and be prepared to take the actions recommended later in the article if you notice droppings or hear sounds.

3. Attics and Chimneys

You could have squirrels or bats in your attic or chimney. These creatures are usually running or flying around roofs. Therefore, it’s easy for them to enter through openings at the top of your house and find themselves at home in your insulated, isolated spaces.

Bats, in particular, may start to take refuge in corners of your home if they get loose from their initial hiding place. It’s not recommended that homeowners tackle these pest problems on their own, as bats pose unique health risks. Therefore, make sure you contact a professional if you notice bats or squirrels hiding in your crawl spaces.

4. Garages

Your garage has more exposure to the outdoors than other areas in your home. As a result, you may encounter anything from rats to birds living in your garage. That’s especially true when your garage appears dirty or disorganized, as pests usually take respite in untidy areas where they can hide and nest.

Since garages have so much exposure, it’s important to practice regular upkeep in these areas. Sealing goods in storage bins

5. Areas Under Sinks

A leak under your sink can draw in some pests. Cockroaches instinctively seek moist spaces. You might also see mice or rats under your sink because they look for dark areas, too. If you have problems with rats find out on this article about how bleach can help you in the battle against these pests

How to Tell When Pests Are Present

You might not realize you have pests until you find evidence. These identifiers can include:

  • Damaged packaged food
  • Marks on doors and windows
  • Brown or black droppings
  • Nesting materials
  • Footprints

You could listen at night to see whether you hear any squeaks or scuffles in the walls, too. If you notice any related signs, you likely have a pest problem. You can take various steps to eradicate and prevent pests in your home.

Ways to Remove Winter Pests From Your Home

There are several ways to remove pests from your home. The methods you choose will depend on which animals have found their way into your house. Be sure to do a little research to help you decide what steps will work best.

1. Set Traps and Bait

You can try setting traps near spaces where pests might be living. Choices like bait boxes are available to help you eradicate pests without killing them. In any case, it’s essential to pick an option safe enough for any children or animals in your home.

2. Remove Food and Clean Messes

Your pest problem might be the result of food and messes. It’s no secret that dirty spaces in homes attract pests. They also love having a source of food. Removing open food packages from your counters should discourage insects and rodents from sticking around. Keeping everything clean is a smart idea, too.

3. Hire an Exterminator

It’s also smart to know when to call a professional. A pest problem can quickly get out of control. Therefore, you should consider hiring a pest control specialist to take a look when things seem too much to handle.

Tips for Keeping Pests at Bay

How can you ensure pests don’t return to your house? You can do three main things.

  • Inspect your house for openings: If you seal any cracks and crevices, pests won’t be able to find their way in. You should also secure spaces like chimneys and windows with screens to ensure nothing enters.
  • Keep loose food products in airtight containers: Items like cereal, oats and other grain products are favorites of mice and rats. Put those things in secure spaces to ensure they’re out of reach.
  • Ensure your home’s exterior is tidy: You should clean your gutters often. It’s also smart to put your trash in a secure, covered container.

In general, you want to limit pests from getting into your home in the first place. By keeping your space inaccessible and clean, you’ll be able to maintain a pest-free home this winter.

Check Common Hiding Places for Winter Pests This Season

Winter is a typical time for pest infestations because rats, mice and other creatures are looking for a warm place to take shelter. Taking action ahead of time will help you keep them at bay. Use this information to help you enjoy a pest-free home this winter.

Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, a home improvement publisher with advice on gardening, decor and DIY projects.