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How to outsmart mice and rats this fall and winter

Although the temperature can vary across the Western U.S., rodents can still be a problem in the fall and winter for homeowners. As the seasons change, mice and rats may be forced into new areas to look for food, and sometimes warmth. Extreme droughts in the area can drive rodents closer to structures to find water if their natural resources have dried up. This change in their lifestyle and habitat could bring them closer to and sometimes inside your home, leaving you searching for rodent prevention tips. 

To keep mice and rats out of your home, you need to outsmart them. We’ve put together some helpful rodent prevention tips below to keep mice and rats from entering your home. Don’t want to worry about rodents in your home? Contact us for the best rodent control services.


To help you stay prepared this season, check out our Rodent Prevention Tips Sheet to learn more
about how these pests might enter your home and the simple steps you can take to stop them.

Rodent prevention tips

The best way to keep rodents out of your home is to — you guessed it— prevent them from coming in. Rodents cause problems to your home that you may not immediately associate with mice and rats. These destructive pests can gnaw or chew on electrical wiring, and build nests near these areas, posing potential risks for electrical shorts and house fires. They also pose huge contamination risks to food and food preparation surfaces. 

Here are a few places in your home that you can clean up and fix to prevent rodents from invading your house this fall and winter! 

Autumn rodent hot spots


  1. Yard and garden 
    1. Keep branches trimmed away from your house. (FACT: Roof rats are expert climbers and will use these branches to gain access to your roof and attic.)
    2. Keep firewood away from your home. 
    3. Clean up any fruits or nuts that may have fallen in the yard, not just the leaves.
  2. Garbage bins 
    1. Keep garbage and recycling cans sealed and shut and at a distance from your house.
    2. Do not leave trash bags out in the open.
  3. Chimney 
    1. Consider installing a chimney cap to keep unwanted pests out.


  1. Garage 
    1. Store items in plastic containers and off the floor.
    2. Cover air vents with galvanized mesh.
    3. Ensure your garage doors seal flush to the ground.
  2. Attic 
    1. Replace damaged shingles.
    2. Seal cracks and crevices along rooflines.
    3. Keep tidy and clutter-free. 
    4. Store items in plastic boxes.
  3. Windows 
    1. Replace worn weather strips.
    2. Repair any damaged screens.
  4. Kitchen 
    1. Store food in airtight containers.
    2. Regularly empty trash.
    3. Don’t leave dishes in the sink.
    4. Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
    5. Store pet food in airtight containers and do not leave food bowls out overnight.
  5. Laundry/Utility Room
    1. Seal gaps and holes around pipes. (FACT: Rats can fit through a quarter-sized hole and mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime!)
    2. Inspect water lines and water heaters regularly for leaks.

As you are inspecting your home, keep in mind that food isn’t the only thing that attracts mice and rats! Many items in your home could make great nesting material for rodents. They’ll look for things like paper, fabrics, and other materials they can gnaw on to make softer materials for their nests.

Rat with corn bag

Prevent rodents with rodent exclusion

At Western Exterminator, we offer rodent exclusion services to keep your family safe and healthy by keeping rodents out. Exclusion involves sealing any cracks, gaps, holes, and/or crevices in your home to stop rodents from entering and infesting your property. Your Technician will search for all the different openings in your home that rodents might use to gain entrance and seal them up! Our exclusion services keep rodents outside where they belong.

If you are a Western PestFree365+ customer, your Technician will evaluate your home at your fall or winter service visit. This check includes a detailed review of common rodent entry points and risk areas in your home. If your Technician identifies a potential problem or rodent entry point, they will provide you with recommendations for correcting the issue and offer to assist with any needed exclusion services.

Western gets rid of rodents

Rodents are nasty pests that you don’t want to have in your home. They can cause immense damage, resulting in costly repairs that no homeowner wants to deal with. Besides property damage, rodents can also be a severe risk to your health as they are vectors of many diseases

This fall, take a few minutes to review our Rodent Prevention Tips Sheet and assess your home’s security against rodents. If you think your home might be an open door to rodents, give Western a call today at 800-937-8398 or contact us online. One of our Western Technicians will work with you to protect your home and family before cooler temperatures settle in for the season.

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