Most of us spend the winter months cozy in our homes, curled up on the couch with the heater or fire keeping us toasty warm. However, you may not be the only beings taking refuge in your house on cold winter nights. Rodents are smart and know the best place to spend the winter is inside  our homes too! Venables Pest Management, who specializes in rodent control in Thurston and Lewis counties, explains how to keep rodents out of your house in winter. Need help? Call them today to schedule an appointment for a free rodent evaluation now through the end of February at 360.456.4999.

During the month of February 2024, call Venables Pest Management for a free rodent control evaluation. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Pest Management Begins With a Home Inspection

Rodents in the home pose many risks, including health and safety. They burrow into your insulation; chew through wires that may cause a short or even a fire; chew through pipes that create plumbing leaks; and no one should be breathing in rodent feces through their ducts! These are just a few of the reasons we need to keep the non-pet rodents out of our homes.

“A great place to start is by doing a thorough inspection,” shares Brent Lotz, pest management professional for Venables Pest Management. “Identify areas where rodents may gain access to your house and take action to seal up these potential entry points.”

Below are areas that should be inspected thoroughly to ensure rodents cannot enter your home. These are places that homeowners often forget about, especially in the winter months.

Venables Pest Management technician looking at a house's vent
Venables Pest Management technicians will check all areas of your home where rodents and other animals may enter and will help come up with a plan to address any damages. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Entryways and Exterior Access Doors

Check the weather stripping. “If light is showing through or there are noticeable signs of wear, this needs to be repaired,” explains Lotz. Rodents can squeeze through surprisingly tiny gaps. “Doors may also provide access from the bottom, so you should make sure they fit properly and have no gaps.” If there are gaps, adding a door sweep or base plate can help.

Garage Door

“These are often the most overlooked access points for rodents,” says Lotz. “We often find gaps along the bottom weather stripping and vinyl side strips. Rodents slip past these gaps to access the garage space then find the warmest location to nest in such as next to the furnace, in an open wall void, in insulated areas, etc..” Once in your garage, it doesn’t take long for a rodent to get access to your house.

a garage door with a holes in its seal
Even small holes like these in this garage door seal is enough to let in rodents and other pests. Venables Pest Management can help you find these trouble spots and get them taken care of so you can be pest-free. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Foundation Vent Screens and Attic Vent Screens

Screens are easily damaged through the year and therefore need to be checked often. Make sure there are no holes in the screen itself and that they are still sealed around the edges. “Pay close attention to locations near pipes, as these are very common,” Lotz notes.

Crawl Space Access

“The crawl space access can be an open freeway for rodents,” shares Lotz. And it’s something a lot of homeowners forget about.” You want to make sure the lid fits correctly, with no gaps underneath. Again, rodents can squeeze through tiny spaces! Finally, make sure your crawl space access has a vertical access panel that fits securely over the crawl space entry.


Another thing you may not think about is the plants and foliage around your home. However, this is another area you want to check to ensure it’s not welcoming to rodents. “If you have plants and trees around your home that touch or hang over it, you need to cut them back so they are at least 18 inches from the home,” says Lotz. “This will not only prevent rodents from easily accessing the structure and reduce hiding areas but will also protect your home from excess moisture levels. Additionally, better clearance around the perimeter of the house allows for more thorough inspections and treatments by your pest control inspector.”

the underside of a house's eve
Let the professionals at Venables Pest Management climb on ladders and crawl under your house to find places rodents may be entering your home. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Let the Professionals at Venables Pest Management Do the Work

Does this all sound like a lot of work? It is! Inspecting your home can be a big chore, including going places you don’t want to, such as your crawl space and attic. “Most homeowners are more than capable of performing these inspections around their houses, but if you would prefer to spend your time elsewhere – say by that fire sipping a peppermint mocha – we are currently offering a free rodent evaluation from now through February,” says Lotz. For more information, visit the Venables Pest Management website.

And one last tip, just like trying to keep the neighborhood feral cat population down, rodent control works best if everyone in your area is also doing their part. So, share this article with your neighbors and then call Venables Pest Management at 360.456.4999. Whether you inspected your home and found some concerns, or want them to do the work, they can give you peace of mind so that the only rodent in your home is Mickey Mouse.


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