Do mice get worse in winter

Mice during winter: Do they get worse & how to keep them away

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

As winter sets in, you might find yourself facing rats or mice scurrying behind your walls or under your floors and probably wondering how you can fortify your home against them.

While the solution isn’t always straightforward, understanding the why and how behind mice invasions during winter can equip you with the knowledge to keep them at bay. Discover the strategic steps you can take to discourage these pests from turning your home into their winter retreat. This advice is equally crucial for mouse control for rental properties, ensuring tenants live in a safe and rodent-free environment.

What happens to mice during the winter?

mice in a winter s

You might wonder if mice hibernate like some other animals, or if they’ve got strategies to beat the cold. Well, let’s clear up the confusion about how these critters cope when it’s chilly outside. You’ll soon understand why your warm home becomes a target for these furry invaders during winter.

Do mice hibernate?

Contrary to popular belief, mice do not hibernate; instead, they actively seek warm shelters to survive the cold winter months. During the winter season, these critters search for cozy spaces inside homes to escape the cold weather. They’re not spending the entire winter sleeping but are busy setting up shop, gathering materials for a nest, and potentially causing a mice infestation.

To ensure you have a cozy and rodent-free winter, look for signs of rodents like droppings or gnawed items. These clues indicate that mice are finding shelter indoors, seeking warmth, and nesting. If you spot these signs, it’s time to take action. Remove nesting materials, seal entry points, and consider the best mouse traps to keep these uninvited guests out of your home during the winter months.

How do mice survive the winter?

You might not see them, but as the cold sets in, mice are busy making nests and burrowing to stay warm. They’ll climb and sneak into your home, searching for the warmth and food they need to survive the winter months. Unfortunately, these uninvited guests often carry parasites and diseases with them, posing a risk to your household.


As winter approaches, mice seek out warm, secluded spots to build their nests and survive the colder months. They often choose homes for warmth and decent shelter, leading to rodent infestations. The house mouse particularly likes its nest in insulation, which offers extra warmth and access to food. To avoid a mouse or a rat infestation, seal entry points, remove nesting materials, and maintain a clean environment.


To protect your home from unwanted winter guests, it’s crucial to identify and seal potential entry points where mice might burrow to escape the cold.

Inspect & seal:

  • Foundation Cracks: Block to prevent a huge mice infestation.
  • Baseboards & Frames: Narrow openings invite mouse and rat activity.
  • Porch & Deck Gaps: A prime opportunity for mice.

This proactive rodent control ensures peace of mind during the entire winter season.


While sealing ground-level entry points is crucial, don’t overlook the fact that mice are also adept climbers seeking warmth in attics and vents during winter. In colder months, when food sources like pet food dwindle, a field mouse might scale walls to access your pantry. Keep food packaging secure and clean up mouse or rat droppings promptly to deter these climbers. Remember, rodent season means extra vigilance with all food items.

Sneak inside your home

During winter, mice often infiltrate homes through the smallest of openings in a desperate quest for warmth and food. To protect your home from these pests:

Seal off tiny holes and gaps:

  • Use caulk or steel wool
  • Check walls, floors, foundations

Store food securely:

  • Including pet food
  • Prevents attraction

Effective home pest control:

  • Avert major damage
  • Crucial in cooler weather

The consequences of winter mouse and rat infestations

You might not see them, but the consequences of a winter mouse infestation can wreak havoc in your home. They’re not just a nuisance; mice can cause significant property damage and pose serious health risks. Let’s explore how these uninvited guests can affect your living space and well-being.

The extent of property damage

As the temperature drops, these pests look for warmth and can find their way into your home. They’re not just a nuisance; they’re destructive, especially towards building insulation during winter months.

Types of damage:

  • Support Beams: Mice gnaw on wood, compromising the integrity of your home’s structure.
  • Personal Belongings: Storage boxes and contents, including clothes and books, can be destroyed.
  • Electrical Systems: Chewing on wires can lead to short circuits and fire hazards.

The risks don’t stop at property damage. Mice can contaminate your food and spread germs, posing serious health risks and potentially triggering asthma. Don’t underestimate the extent of damage and health risks mice can cause during winter.

Health risks from mice

Beyond the physical damage to your property, infestations can pose serious health risks to you and your family, from spreading diseases to exacerbating allergies. Mice are notorious for contaminating food sources with their urine, droppings, and saliva, which can lead to a host of illnesses. You might experience symptoms like fever, abdominal cramps, or even more severe conditions if exposed to these contaminants.

The presence of mice can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks, due to the allergens found in their dander and waste. To protect your health, it’s crucial to enlist professional pest control services and take proactive steps to mouse-proof your home. Sealing entry points and maintaining cleanliness are key to preventing these unwelcome visitors and safeguarding your family’s well-being.

How can you keep mice out in the winter?

As winter sets in, you might be wondering how to prevent mice from seeking shelter in your cozy home. It’s essential to focus on making your space less inviting to these critters by addressing key preventive measures. Let’s look at how sealing up entry points, maintaining cleanliness, managing your outdoor space, and decluttering can create a mouse-free environment during the chilly months.

Eliminate entry points

To effectively keep mice at bay during winter, start by meticulously sealing any openings larger than a quarter inch that could serve as gateways into your home. Here’s how to identify and eliminate these pesky entry points:

Inspect and seal:

  • Loose siding: Check for warping or gaps.
  • Windows & doors: Apply weather stripping where needed.
  • Foundation cracks: Use caulk or cement to fill in any fissures.

Don’t overlook areas that are out of sight, such as where utility pipes and cables enter. Mice are adept climbers and can squeeze through incredibly small spaces. By taking these preventive measures, you’ll make it much harder for these unwelcome guests to find a way into your cozy home.

Keep your kitchen clean

After sealing potential entry points, focus on maintaining a spotless kitchen, as this is crucial in deterring mice during the colder months. Mice are attracted to any available food source, so it’s essential to remove food debris from floors, counters, and sink traps promptly. Don’t leave dirty dishes out, and wipe down surfaces after meal prep to eliminate crumbs and spills.

Store dried goods in sealed containers to make them inaccessible to these pesky rodents. Also, don’t overlook your pets’ food; keep it in airtight containers as well. By being vigilant about cleanliness and proper food storage, you’re cutting off the supply line that could otherwise sustain mice, keeping your home rodent-free this winter.

Do some landscaping

Moving beyond the kitchen, your home’s defense against mice extends to your yard; proper landscaping can significantly reduce the risk of these rodents finding their way indoors during winter. Your action plan should include:

Trimming trees and shrubs:

  • Keep branches away from your home’s exterior
  • Eliminate potential bridge points for mice

Maintaining a tidy garden:

  • Clear out debris and leaf piles
  • Store firewood at a distance from your house

Securing potential access points:

  • Regularly inspect the attic and eaves
  • Seal any cracks or holes immediately

Staying vigilant in these areas not only enhances the beauty of your outdoor space but also fortifies your home against unwanted winter guests.

Remove clutter

Eliminating clutter around your home, such as disorganized piles of wood, bricks, or stones, is a crucial step in deterring mice from seeking refuge during the winter months. You’ve got to be proactive; start by cleaning and organizing these areas where mice might hunker down to escape the cold. They’re looking for shelter, and a messy space is an open invitation.

Make it a point to keep any potential shelters, especially those near the foundation of your house, as tidy as possible. If you store firewood, for instance, stack it neatly and maintain a good distance from your home’s perimeter. This way, you’re not inadvertently setting up a cozy winter den for these unwelcome guests.


As winter sets in, mice seek warmth in your home, potentially causing significant damage. To keep them at bay, seal entry points, store food securely, and maintain cleanliness. Remember, prevention is key. Stay vigilant and call a pest control specialist quickly at the first sign of these rodents to ensure your home remains rodent-free throughout the chilly season. Stay cozy and mouse-free this winter!

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Frequently asked questions

Are there any environmental factors in winter that can make mouse repellents less effective?

Cold temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of some mouse repellents, as you might find them less volatile and therefore less likely to deter rodents seeking shelter in your home during winter.

Is there any correlation between winter weather patterns, like heavy snowfall, and mouse activity levels inside homes?

You might notice more mice in your home during heavy snowfall as they seek shelter and warmth, which can correlate with increased indoor activity levels in winter. Keep your space sealed to deter them.

Can mice cause damage to vehicles parked in garages during the winter, and what preventative measures can be taken?

Yes, mice can indeed damage your parked vehicle by chewing wires. To prevent this, regularly clean your garage and consider using repellents or traps to keep these pesky rodents at bay.