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Oh rats! This cooler weather brings rodents indoors

All it takes is a quarter-sized hole for you to have an unwanted guest

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YULEE, Fla. – With the temperatures cooling down, this season tends to bring out rodents seeking shelter from the cold. But sometimes that search for shelter can lead them right into your home.

As it turns out, even if you’re careful, you can wind up with unwanted roommates, like rats. According to pest control experts, there are a lot of ways rats can find their way inside, including trees in your yard.

“Even trees touching the structure makes it easier for the rodents to access your home,” said Kyle Smith with Nader’s Pest Raiders, who took News4Jax through a home receiving treatment for rats.

If there are trees nearby, rats can climb onto your roof and get inside, Smith said. All it takes for a rat to make an entrance is a hole the size of a quarter. From there, they can chew through your duct work.

That was the case with Friday’s tour. Smith said some acorns found in the home’s attic were proof that rats had taken up residence inside. At that point, he said, it’s easy for them to access the living area.

“There are different wall voids, so they can actually come down a wall void, exhaust hoods, they can just chew right through the drywall,” he said.

The key, Smith noted, is avoiding leaving things lying around that can attract rodents. That includes trash in your garage, grass seed, or even pieces of dog food.

“One of these little pieces of dog food is a meal for them and if it’s left unattended, they are more active at night and they will grab and store this,” he said.

Similarly, the kitchen can seem like an open invitation to rats. It’s a source of both food and water, and it too can be a magnet for unwanted house guests.

“Obviously, it’s popular with us, it’s where we come to eat and drink,” said Smith. “It’s the same with them. They are going to be where the food is at.”

According to Nader’s, the key to keeping rats out is to seal off any holes or cracks they could use to find their way inside. But once they’re inside, you may need to bring in an expert and some traps.

About the Author:

Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.