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Where Do Rats Go When It Gets Cold?
December 7, 2023

Where Do Rats Go When It Gets Cold?

When the cold weather arrives here in Hampton Roads, do you welcome it like a long-lost friend or do you dread the dark days, freezing temperatures, and wintry weather? Regardless of how you feel about winter, you don’t have to worry about staying warm. The same cannot be said of rats though. Like mice, these rodents don’t hibernate and need a place to stay that will provide for their needs. So where do rats go when it gets cold? In this article, we'll explain how rats survive the cold weather and what that means for homeowners in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and throughout Hampton Roads.  

rat looking for shelter from cold in hampton roads va

Where do rats go when it gets cold?

When the weather turns chilly, rats are driven to find warm and secure locations to escape the cold. Common hiding spots include burrows in the ground, dense vegetation, and the nooks and crannies of buildings. In urban areas like Hampton Roads where these rodents are a serious problem, rats are particularly drawn to homes and other man-made structures that offer food, water, and warmth.

Why are rats attracted to homes?

Rats are attracted to homes for several reasons, making residential areas especially appealing during colder months. Here are some factors that attract rats to homes in Hampton Roads:

  • Food sources
    Rats are opportunistic eaters and can thrive on a wide range of food items. Improperly stored food, crumbs, and open garbage bins can be an open invitation for rats looking to satisfy their hunger.
  • Warmth & shelter
    The warmth provided by homes during winter is a strong incentive for rats to seek refuge inside. Attics, basements, and wall voids provide an ideal environment for nesting and shelter.
  • Water availability
    Rats, like all living creatures, need water to survive. Leaky pipes, standing water, or improperly drained areas can attract rats in search of hydration.
  • Accessible entry points
    Rats are excellent climbers and can squeeze through surprisingly small openings. Gaps around doors, windows, vents, and pipes offer easy access points for these rodents.

How to prevent rats from infesting your home this winter

To ensure your home doesn’t become a haven for rats during the during the colder months, consider implementing the following rat prevention tips:

  • Seal entry points
    Conduct a thorough inspection of your home and seal any potential entry points. Use weather stripping around doors and windows, and patch up cracks or gaps in walls, foundations, and utility entrances.
  • Store food properly
    Store food in airtight containers, and promptly clean up crumbs and spills. Secure garbage bins with tight-fitting lids to minimize food sources for rats.
  • Eliminate standing water
    Address any water leaks, fix dripping faucets, and ensure proper drainage around your home. Removing water sources will discourage rats from sticking around.
  • Keep the house clean
    Keep your living spaces clutter-free and conduct regular cleaning to eliminate potential nesting sites. Seal off attics and basements to limit access to these areas.
  • Declutter the garage, attic & other storage areas
    Rats are drawn to cluttered spaces because it’s easy to hide among the boxes and other belongings that get regulated to storage areas and there’s plenty of options when it comes to nesting material. Rats will use cardboard, fabric, insulation, and other materials they can snatch to create nests. Another reason why rats like these spaces is because they tend to have less foot traffic and so there’s less risk of being detected or disturbed.

What should I do if I see a rat in my house?

First off, it’s entirely possible to have a single rat in your house but not likely. Generally speaking, where there’s one, there’s more. That said, it’s important to act right away if you see a rat scurrying about, hear noises in your walls or ceilings, or have noticed other signs of a rat infestation.

For rodent control in Hampton Roads, Getem is the smart choice!

Here at Getem Services, we offer comprehensive rodent control services in Hampton Roads that start with a very thorough rodent inspection to accurately identify the rodent (it could be mice), locate entry points, evaluate rodent damage, and determine conducive conditions. Based on our findings, we’ll develop a customized rodent control plan for your home that could include:

  • Interior rodent trapping in problem areas including the attic and crawl space
  • Exterior rodent bait stations
  • Follow-up services to make sure the rat problem has been solved

Our fully licensed exterminators will also provide rodent exclusion services, which simply means we’ll seal up cracks, gaps, and other openings rats may be using to get inside.

Searching for a home pest control plan that keeps insects and rodents out?

Since rats and specifically roof rats, are a serious problem problem in our region, many homeowners choose to sign up for Getem’s ongoing home pest control service. This year-round plan not only targets bugs, it includes quarterly pest treatments that target rodents as well!

Whether you’re looking for one-time rat control or ongoing protection from these destructive pests, Getem can is ready to help! Reach out today and let us help you keep rats out in the cold this winter.

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Been using Getem for a few years for termite control. Added quarterly service to make my house fit to use as an Airbnb. Kevin was awesome. Thank you!
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