Do Rats hibernate during the Winter?

You might think that pest control work quietens down during the winter, because quite a few nuisance animals and insects go into hibernation.

But lots of household pests, including rats and mice, remain active all year round. The longer and colder winter nights make your home, garden and workplace more attractive to these rodents, who are always looking for food, and for somewhere warm and dry to nest.

Wasps and other insect pests might become almost invisible during the winter months, but they’re simply dormant and will be back next spring. Colder weather gives you a chance to deal with holes and gaps where they may have nested this year, helping prevent their return.

Pest control during the winter months

Taking action to prevent rats and other pests is as important during the winter as at any other time of year. The most basic precautions include not leaving any food outdoors overnight, and keeping food preparation and storage areas clean and tidy.

Leftover pet food or food spillages, indoors or out, are hugely attractive to rats and mice looking for something to eat.

Another simple pest control task is to tidy up your garden or other outdoor area. Piles of wood or dry leaves can quickly become comfortable homes for rodents. Compost bins are particularly popular, especially if you put food scraps into them.

Outbuildings, such as sheds and children’s playhouses, can also become places of safety for rats and mice. Here they can live undisturbed for weeks at a time, protected from the extremes of the British winter climate. Make it part of your winter routine to check these buildings, and to fill any obvious cracks or gaps through which rodents could get in.

Indoor pests thrive during the winter

Fleas, moths and bedbugs are common indoor pests that don’t pay much attention to what the weather’s doing outside. Whatever the time of year, they continue breeding and spreading themselves around your home or workplace.

The cooler temperatures slow down their reproduction, but our centrally-heated buildings protect them from the cold. Because they live off us and our pets, fleas and bedbugs have more opportunity to spread during the winter, as we spend more time indoors.

Cockroaches, the scourge of many kitchens, also continue to be active during the winter months. In the event that they find themselves short of food, they can, like many pests, survive for a long time on virtually nothing.

Many people think that because pests are not seen so often during the winter, they are less of a problem. Some even believe that rats and mice do hibernate. But experienced pest controllers know that winter is as busy a time of year as any, and that it’s also a good time to act to prevent more serious pest issues from occurring in the spring.