Humans are not the only ones spending more time indoors when winter arrives. Mice, cockroaches, and other household pests also seek shelter as the temperatures start to drop.
“People shouldn’t let their guard down against household pests just because it’s winter,” Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), said in a press release. “Extreme cold during the winter months can drive rodents indoors in search of food and shelter.” Watch out for these warning signs your home is about to be infested.
That said, residents of certain cities should be on particularly high alert for mouse infestations this winter, according to a new report by NPMA. Chilly fall seasons in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, and Atlanta—paired with snow and below-average temperatures in the winter months—may prompt mice to hole up inside residential buildings until spring. Baltimore also experienced a colder than normal autumn last year, so residents should prepare for an increase in rodents seeking shelter and food. NPMA predicts that frigid winter temperatures in Washington, D.C. may drive more pests than usual indoors, too.
Not only are mice in your home a nuisance, but they can also be hazardous to you and your family’s health. Rodents can spread salmonella and other viruses to humans as well as trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, according to experts. That’s why “it’s critical to get them controlled and out of the house for a healthier home environment,” Mannes said. Don’t miss more things mice don’t want you to know.
Even if your city didn’t make the list, it can never hurt to take precautions against rodents and other household pests this winter. NPMA recommends storing food in airtight containers, cleaning floors and countertops regularly, and sealing any cracks, gaps, or other areas where rodents could enter your home. If you believe your home could be infested with mice, call a pest control professional immediately. You can also fight off infestations with these chemical-free ways to get rid of household pests.