How to Avoid a Rodent Infestation this Christmas

Christmas is finally here: a season best spent with friends and family around a warm open fire, sharing, giving, and indulging in a mince pie or two. With preparations well underway for the Christmas celebrations, how many of us are also preparing for unwanted guests who may slip in through the cracks or down pipes in our homes and business properties this winter?

Despite common misconceptions, rodents are often driven indoors during bouts of cold weather, seeking shelter, food, and water when resources are scarce. With the added temptation of Christmas leftovers and disrupted refuse collections over the festive period, homes and businesses are an even bigger appealing to rodents during this time of year.

With two and a half weeks to go until the big day, we’ve compiled a guide to help you identify potential entry points and to successfully proof your property against a rodent infestation this Christmas. 

The curse of the Christmas leftovers

According to Guardian figures in 2012, households across the UK throw out the equivalent of 2m turkeys, 5m Christmas puddings and 74m mince pies every year. To give these figures some context, the UK bin nearly twice as many of the 40m mince pies that Marks & Spencer sells every year.

With infrequent or disrupted refuse collection too, overflowing bins and streets lined with rubbish bags is a common sight across the country, often a source of attraction for a hungry rodent.

Discard any food waste responsibly this year: keep it indoors within rubbish bins or containers, or stored safely in your garage or shed until collection day. If storing rubbish outside is your only option, take the time to find a secure, sealed container for it - plastic bags may appear strong, but rats are able to penetrate most plastic bags with ease.

Rodent-proofing your home or business property this winter

Whether you’ve experienced rodent problems in the past or you’re simply looking to safeguard your property, there are a number of ways in which you can identify potential entry points and proof your home against rodents.

Our pest control experts recommend firstly checking your property from the rafters to the foundations, filling in any cracks or holes, securing loose tiles or floorboards, boarding up openings around pipes or beneath doors, and covering any vents or grills left uncovered. Unused fireplaces should also be capped to make sure that Santa is the only one clambering down your chimney this Christmas.

As well as exclusion, sanitation efforts will be required in the quest to keep the rats at bay. Dispose of all rubbish carefully, keep food stored away in sealed containers, clear away pet food and clean pet bowls at night, and ensure that any storage areas throughout your property or outbuildings are free of clutter.

Don’t forget to keep your garden and the area surrounding your property well-maintained too. Cut back overgrown vegetation, remove clutter and debris, and store away any unused equipment or materials to keep hiding places to a minimum.

Despite your best efforts, you may find an errant rodent or two will manage to gain entry. In these cases, fast, effective control is needed before they have the opportunity to breed in your property. Take a look at our range of powerful rat and mouse products, including our popular Electronic rat trapsQuick set snap traps, and Rodenticide grains and blocks.