When Should I Be Worried About Rodents Around My New York Home?

house mouse eating scraps

Rodents can get into your New York home any time of the year but there is a particular time of year when infestations are more likely. Today, we're going to take a look at the conditions that can invite rodents into your home and some signs you may find around and inside your home to let you know you have a rodent problem.

Mice and rats are plentiful in New York and they don't need an invitation to come into your yard. While there are some attractants, such as open trash cans and pet food in dishes outside, that can lure rodent in, they're going to come into your yard no matter what. When they do, they're going to explore your foundation perimeter, particularly in locations with lots of landscaping or external structures they can hide under. This brings them close to basement doors and windows or doors and windows on the first floor of your home. If they feel heat coming out of your home and they spent the day running around in the freezing cold, they are going to want to get into where that heat is. This is a strong motivator. And, as you can probably imagine, the end of fall and throughout winter is when this usually happens, making winter the time of year when infestations are most likely to occur.

If you're reading this and there is an 8-foot layer of snow in your yard, you may be wondering how on earth any rodent could possibly be exploring your yard or foundation wall right now. Well, there are two things you should know about rodents. First of all, rodents don't hibernate. They can be active all year long. If they get hungry, they can be seen venturing out on cold, snowy days in search of a dumpster meal. Second, all of that snow is like an insulation blanket. It keeps the freezing cold from getting deep into the ground. This makes a snow-covered burrow the perfect place for a rodent to be if it doesn't have a toasty man-made structure to live in. That means rodents can still be a problem for home and business owners throughout the winter. Usually, they're already inside before the deep cold starts, but people just don't know it.

Fall Rodent Detection

If rodents got into your New York home in the fall, you may not know it. Rodents often establish themselves near food sources and make very little noise at night as they feed. If you have a rodent living in a wall void near your kitchen, it will come out and nibble on bread crumbs under your toaster, food particles on your kitchen floor, and food left on your dishes before they'll chew a hole into your food packages simply because it is easier to do this. That means you may not have Cheerios piled on your shelf next to the box to let you know you have a rodent problem. It also means that those rodents won't have to scrape and bump in your walls to go from your attic, past your bedroom, to downstairs areas, making noises that will alert you to their presence. Signs you may detect are:

  • Tiny rodent droppings in the backs of your cabinets and drawers or the smell of urine in these areas. Rodents leave their feces and urine everywhere they go.
  • Your cats sitting for long periods attentively watching a point underneath your kitchen cabinets. Cats have good hearing. While you may miss the tiny sounds mice or rats make, your cats won't.
  • Footprints appearing in powder, dust, or other particles on your shelves. When mice or rats explore, they may leave tracks.
  • Holes in window or door frames, doors sweeps or weather stripping. Though those mice and rats might be keeping a low profile in your home, the hole they created to get into your home may be obvious.

When mice get in, they can contaminate food, dishes and food-prep surfaces, spread ticks and fleas, damage your belongings, and damage your home. It is never a good idea to let rodents live with you. If you're seeing signs of rodent activity, reach out to Thomas Pest Services. We provide industry-leading pest control in Schenectady and the Greater Albany area, which includes monitoring and control for mice and rats. We'll help you get those rodents out and keep them out.

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