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Do you know how to spot rodents? Here's how to keep them out of your home this winter

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If you've worried about rodents trying to move into your home during the winter in search of some place warm to snuggle up, you're not off base.

Contrary to common belief, mice and rats do not hibernate. In fact, people may see even more rodent activity during the winter months.

Mice may be small, but they are still disease-carrying pests, just like their rat cousins, and they can cause extensive and expensive damage to your home.

They can quickly take over a space, too, possibly causing an infestation, as mice can have five to 10 litters of baby mice each year.

Why colder months are a concern

During the milder months, mice enjoy living outdoors. They're somewhat migratory during that time, when fruit, seeds, nuts, grains and other preferred foods are plentiful outdoors.

As temperatures start to drop, however, they build nests in dark, hidden areas inside homes, garages and other structures.

Keeping rodents out

There are a couple things you can do to combat a rodent infestation, including:

1. Find and close off all entry points leading into your home. Use materials such as caulk, steel wool or wire mesh, as mice can chew through plastic, wood and rubber.

2. Check the weather stripping on windows and doors. Make sure everything works properly and has a good seal.

Signs of mice in your home

If you're worried you could have an infestation, know some of the telltale signs that indicate there could be mice living or feeding nearby:

  • Mouse droppings
  • Gnaw marks
  • Smears along baseboards
  • Squeaking, scratching or scurrying noises
  • Sightings

If you want to be proactive in fighting off rodents, or you may be concerned you already have a problem, contact ABC Home and Commercial Services, which specializes in rodent removal and prevention.