As the temperature drops in the next few weeks, we won't be the only ones heading indoors. Little critters, like mice, will also be looking for a warm place to spend the winter. You can take a few steps to make sure they don't take up residence in your home.

More than just an annoyance, rodents can cause serious damage to your home. They can chew and burrow through drywall, wood, plastic, and wiring. 

"The best way to avoid damage from these pests is to keep them from getting inside in the first place," said Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Broker Andrea Kazantzis.

Eliminate Entry Points

Rodents don't come right in through the front door. They find cracks and crevices in your home. A hole the size of a dime is big enough for a mouse, and a quarter-sized hole leaves plenty of room for a rat to squeeze in.

Before the winter weather hits, you'll want to survey your property and seal exterior entry points - including doorways, window frames, eaves, the area around your pipes and vents, and even the damper in your chimney.

Also, be sure to cut back any trees or shrubs that may serve as ladders for the critters.

Eliminate Food and Water Source

In addition to a warm place, food and water sources can attract unwanted house guests.

Make sure food is stored in air-tight containers, that includes pet food. Make sure trash is also in a sealed container. 

To eliminate a potential water source, check for leaks, including your outdoor spigot.

Signs of Infestation

You don't have to see a rodent to know you have a problem or not. Signs may include:

  • Mouse droppings
  • Banging or scurrying sounds in your walls
  • Damage, including loose wiring, insulation, or holes in the walls

If you think you have a rodent problem, there are DIY options. However, you may want to get the problem assessed by a professional exterminator to get a handle on the scope of the issue.