7 cities that are about to be infested with mice

Humans are not the only ones spending more time indoors when winter arrives. Mice, cockroaches, and other household pests also seek shelter as the temperatures start to drop.

“People shouldn’t let their guard down against household pests just because it’s winter,” Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), said in a press release. “Extreme cold during the winter months can drive rodents indoors in search of food and shelter.” Watch out for these warning signs your home is about to be infested.

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Cities about to be infested with mice
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Cities about to be infested with mice
Chicago
Cleveland
Detroit
New York
Atlanta
Baltimore
Washington DC
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That said, residents of certain cities should be on particularly high alert for mouse infestations this winter, according to a new report by NPMA. Chilly fall seasons in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, and Atlanta—paired with snow and below-average temperatures in the winter months—may prompt mice to hole up inside residential buildings until spring. Baltimore also experienced a colder than normal autumn last year, so residents should prepare for an increase in rodents seeking shelter and food. NPMA predicts that frigid winter temperatures in Washington, D.C. may drive more pests than usual indoors, too.

Not only are mice in your home a nuisance, but they can also be hazardous to you and your family’s health. Rodents can spread salmonella and other viruses to humans as well as trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, according to experts. That’s why “it’s critical to get them controlled and out of the house for a healthier home environment,” Mannes said. Don’t miss more things mice don’t want you to know.

RELATED: Keep mice away 

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How to keep mice away
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How to keep mice away

Eliminate all entry points

Did you know that mice can be master contortionists? These suckers can actually fit inside holes that are less than an inch wide. There are even YouTube videos that prove this theory. Mice can squeeze their way into tiny holes, especially if there’s food enticing them. It’s one of these 11 things mice don’t want you to know.

The first thing to do is go through your entire kitchen and find any entry points that could possibly have enticed the mouse to your kitchen. Look for holes next to (or even inside) your cabinets, by all of your shelves, behind or under the stove (or even the refrigerator), and much more.

Seal all of your food

No wonder the little mouse liked my kitchen—there’s food there! I admit that I’m not the best at properly sealing all of my food—especially dried goods such as crackers or pasta­—and I could have done a much better job at keeping these things sealed tight.

After this incident, I decided to grab some seal-tight containers and jars to store all of my food. With sealed containers, there won’t be anything available to snack on, so there would be no reason for the mouse to be attracted to my food. Check out these 10 true stories of crazy things mice have done in homes.

Keep the kitchen swept and tidy

Mice can be sustained on very small amounts of food a day. They only need about three to five grams of food a day, so yeah, your crumbs are the perfect snack for these little guys. They may not seem like a big deal on the floor, but trust me: It’s enough for the little mice to come swooping.

It may seem obnoxious, but one of the best ways to keep mice out is to keep the kitchen tidy—not just once a week, but every day. After cooking that meal, give your kitchen floors a quick sweep and those counters (and stovetops) a good wipe. Don’t miss these other 10 chemical-free ways to get rid of pests.

Eliminate “nesting” places

Of course the mouse liked my oven mitt—it was a cozy and warm little home for the critter! My oven mitts were hanging in a spot close to my kitchen counters for easy access—which, of course, meant the opening for the mitt was out in the open and perfect for a nesting little mouse.

After realizing this, I evaluated all of the “nesting” places inside of my kitchen that would seem cozy for a rodent. This also can help eliminate places where mice can poop … which, yes, can host a variety of poisoning diseases, according to the CDC.

Try using peppermint

Again, this is a part of the surprising little hack to avoid mice that I discovered a few months back. Some people have reported that peppermint plants or essential oils are a great way to keep mice outThe rodents repel at the smell of it. Although I don’t have personal experience with this theory, I went out to buy a candle with mint as a prominent scent. Burning this after cooking a meal not only makes my clean kitchen smell fresh but will also keep that mouse’s little rodent friends away (I hope). Next, find out about 13 more things that could be attracting pests in your home.

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Even if your city didn’t make the list, it can never hurt to take precautions against rodents and other household pests this winter. NPMA recommends storing food in airtight containers, cleaning floors and countertops regularly, and sealing any cracks, gaps, or other areas where rodents could enter your home. If you believe your home could be infested with mice, call a pest control professional immediately. You can also fight off infestations with these chemical-free ways to get rid of household pests.

The post 7 Cities That Are About to Be Infested with Mice appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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Top 25 Cities With the Cleanest Air
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