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Cold Weather Driving Pests Indoors

ice sickles on branches

Charlie Church, owner of Getem Services, reports that the cold weather of December and January has already created a record number of complaints about rodents. Homeowners and business owners are seeing more rats than ever because of the rise of Roof Rats in the area. Rats infest homes and businesses in greater numbers when the weather gets colder.

“My technicians are telling me that in the past they might find one rat when they do a residential service call,” Mr. Church said. “Now, every time, they’re finding multiple rats: three, four, as many as ten. We recently exterminated four rats in one night in a customer’s home.”

Church explained further how Roof Rats can be more bothersome for homeowners and businesses.

“Roof Rats are like squirrels. They can climb wires, they can climb the side of your house, they can climb trees, and they can live outside,” Church explained. “They’re not as dependent on us, but once they get in your home or business, they’re in. They see a heat signature in a building, so if you have a hole the size of your thumb, and it’s letting heat escape, they can see that from a long way away. …and the cold weather drives them inside.”
Once rats get inside your home, they want everything that we want. After all, rats are mammals, just like humans.

“There are three things that they have to have: food, water and harborage,” said Church. “Inside your house, crawl space or attic is a harborage, food is everywhere around your house, and there’s water in and around your house.”

That’s what makes homes and businesses so attractive to rats when the weather gets cold. Roof Rats are becoming more dominant and running Norway Rats off if there’s a fight over territory.

Dennis Ross of Residex (a supplier of Rodenticides) is also seeing more phone calls at this time of year. Residex supplies companies like Getem with the products they need to fight the pests and keep them out of people’s homes.

“We’re definitely seeing more business this year than we have any year in the past,” Ross said.

More cold weather is on the way this week and that means more rats causing problems for the residents of Hampton Roads. Getem is experienced at handling pest control problems. Charlie Church is a Director and a Past President of the Pest Control Management Association of Virginia.

Charlie Church is the third generation owner of Getem Services, Inc., a company that has served Hampton Roads since 1922.