If you’ve been trying to keep warm inside as much as possible, chances are the rodents around your house are trying to do the same thing.
Every winter pest control companies see a spike in customers dealing with mice and insects making themselves comfortable inside homes.
How do you know if you have a new furry roommate? Check your cabinets and baseboards for chew marks.
“Their front teeth never stop growing so they’re constantly gnawing on things like wood or wires to keep their teeth short and sharp,” pest professional Pieter Rebentisch with Gemtek Pest Control said.
Also, keep an eye out for mouse droppings. Check in the cabinets under your bathroom and kitchen sinks for what looks like tiny dark grains of rice.
Mice scale the outside of your home, hoping to find a small opening.
“ Mice can fit through a hole the size of your pinky, they can squeeze through very small tight spots," Rebentisch said.
If they can get under your home, they just hop on the pipeline express, follow the plumbing, and voila! They're nice and warm in the comfort of your home.
"A home is basically a great place for shelter- so to be warm, make a nest, reproduce, and then usually in our house we've got a lot of food!" Rebentisch said.
And boy can they reproduce! Rebentisch says mice are only pregnant for six weeks and can have between five and ten babies at a time. Six weeks later, those babies can have babies.
"It's very quick that you start with a single mouse, and with a period of about three to four months, you can end up with about 40 of them," Rebentisch said.
They also carry dozens of diseases including the Hantavirus which can be deadly. As soon as you see signs of mice, take action.
Experts say if you have pets or small children steer clear of snap traps. Instead use a bait box.
The small box has a tiny hole only a mouse can fit in, it eats the bait inside which makes it extremely thirsty.
“They’ll leave the home looking for their water source, and it will take care of them peacefully outside of your home," Rebentisch said.
If you use a bait box make sure you pick up your pet's water bowls, especially at night when mice are most active, otherwise they’ll just get their water there.
Want to avoid pests all together? Experts say the best way is to use preventative measures around your home year-round and use copper mesh to seal off any openings around pipes.