mouse in trees

What Winter Pests Should I Be Aware Of? 

December 23, 2020

The calendar is flying by and autumn has quickly turned to winter. The drop in temperature and the change in weather has been a signal for many pests to hunker down for the next few months, until the warmth of spring emerges in April or May. Many species begin hibernating while others seek out warm structures where they can overwinter. Either way, there are some things that every homeowner be on the lookout for in and around their homes to make sure that their property does not become a haven for pests this winter. 

Most Common Winter pests 

Before we discuss how to prevent and exclude pests from your home or property this winter, let’s take a little closer look at what the most common pests or wildlife might be hanging around your area. 

Three of the most common pests that could be looking for a way into your home include: rats, mice, and raccoons. All three of these critters are fairly clever in their means of entry and can hide out for weeks and even months without being detected. 


Field and House Mice

Mice are interesting species in that they can get into a hole about the size of a dime or even the size of a typical pencil tip. This fact can make prevention measures fairly difficult especially if your home has a foundation with multiple cracks, openings, or fissures. Even holes in utility pipes, air conditioning vents, or windows can make for an easy entry point. 

From the basement to the attic, inspectors should look for small openings that are a type of welcome sign to mice looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Bonus points that the space is close to a food and water source. 

Norway Rats 

Rats, like their rodent cousins, can easily find openings in a home about a quarter of an inch or larger. While rats do tend to be significantly bigger, they like the same type of spaces as mice. They look for quiet, dark spaces in basements, attics, or crawl spaces. They like to find places that give them quick access to water or moisture of some type. 

Prevention against rats means taking similar steps as with mice. Seal up holes in the foundation and the exterior of the home, keep garbage covered, and pet food inside. Conduct regular inspections of places such as your attic, basement, garage, firewood stack, and crawl spaces under decks or the home. 


By far the smartest of the three pests we are discussing today is the raccoon. They can outsmart locks, traps, and covers to trash cans. These pesky wildlife are looking for food, water, and a warm place to spend the winter. Be sure to keep your garbage covered with a heavy rock as well as a locking mechanism. This may not even be enough to keep them off your property. In addition, check that your chimney cap is secure and there are no open access points for a creature of this size to get into your home’s structure. 

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