Are Rats Common in the Winter?

One of the most dreaded pests and rodents someone can find in their home or business is a rat. No one wants this disease carrying and damage causing critter inside their Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan home or business at any point in the year. With winter officially staring this week, you may be wondering, “Are rats common in the winter”? Let’s review.

Are Rats Common in the Winter?

We will keep this answer simple. Yes, rats are a common winter pests and rodents in Ohio and Michigan. In fact, in the winter, some of the most frequent calls we get, are for rodents, such as mice and rats.

Rats do not hibernate and often seek indoors to survive the colder months of the year. When the weather outside becomes frightful, rats may decide to call your home or business, “home”. Rats prefer nesting in a warm building, with protection, and abundant food and nesting materials. With the heat of your home or business, rats will remain very active over the winter, once inside.

What is the Most Common Type of Rat Found in Ohio and Michigan?

The most common type of rat in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan is the Norway rat. The Norway rat, sometimes referred to as the brown rat, prefers to live almost anywhere that humans are. According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, Norway rats are foragers and are able to survive on a huge range of foods. They are not picky eaters and eat just about anything they can find.

Like other Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan pests and rodents, the Norway rat can find its way into your home or business. A Norway rat will enter buildings in search of food and shelter. This rodent will enter through gaps and crevices as small as ½ inch. They often take advantage of foundation cracks, holes from utility and plumbing lines, crawlspace doors, drains, vents, and gaps under doorways.

Norway rats can cause many health issues and may be carriers of various diseases that can transfer to humans through rat urine and feces. A Norway rat may also carry fleas that can pass on other serious diseases. These critters also can cause major structural damage. These rats gnaw through wires, furniture and other belongings, contaminate food, and can cause destruction to home and building foundations with their burrows and nests.

How Can you Prevent Rats this Winter?

Since we now know that rats are common in the winter, you are likely wondering how you can make sure they stay out of your home or business. There are things you can do, such as:

  • Store food in containers with lids
  • Keep your garbage cans closed and emptied regularly
  • Check windows and doors to ensure they close tightly with no gaps
  • Dryer vents should have screen covers
  • Ensure pet food is off the ground and in sealed containers
  • Remove pet feces from your yard and property
  • Seal holes where power lines and water enter your home or business
  • Fix plumbing leaks and any other water sources near your home that can create standing water

The best way to keep rats and other pests and rodents out of your home or business is to contact Delving Pest Control. We are skilled at removing rodents like mice, or rats. Delving Pest Control offers free consultations and inspections to remediate your rodent issues.