Winter may bring shorter days and colder weather, but it also brings snow and the end of pest season–or so most might think.

Contrary to popular belief, you may be more likely to encounter pests in your home during the winter as most will attempt to hibernate from the cold using your furnace.

Rodents in Baltimore, particularly rats, present a challenge to homeowners during the winter as the cold, urban environment of the city makes it easy for rats to navigate from house to house.

Read this guide to survive this winter in Baltimore without encountering rats or any other pesky rodents.

Where Do Rats Go in the Winter?

Unlike other pests, rats do not hibernate during the winter and are actually at their most active. As the weather gets colder, rats will either seek shelter inside heated buildings or dig burrows into the ground.

If rats happen to find their way into your home, they will often seek refuge in warm but discrete areas, such as basements and attics. Since insulation serves as prime nesting material for rats, it’s also common to hear them scurrying around wall cavities inside your home.

Rats are also attracted to food scraps and greasy leftovers, which may result in them raiding your cupboards and cabinets occasionally.

How Do Rats Survive the Winter?

Rats are able to survive the harsh winter in Baltimore by stockpiling food and building nesting materials to wait out the cold weather. Crumbs, food scraps, and trash offer an unlimited food source for rats to fatten themselves up with, while insulation and paper scraps offer enough material to construct a nest.

Most Common Rats In Baltimore

There are not many rodent species that invade homes here in Baltimore. In fact, there are only two: the brown rat, otherwise known as the Norway rat, and the black rat, otherwise known as the roof rat.

Between these two rodents, the Norway rat is much more common. It invades low, chews through things, and bothers you at all hours of the night. Roof rats are a bit of an oddity in the way they can climb homes and look for entryways higher up.

Why Rats Are a Problem for Your Home

While rats are common intruders into Baltimore homes during the winter, they can still be very dangerous for homeowners.

To start, rats are known harbingers of disease, most famously spreading the plague throughout Europe centuries ago. Rats don’t need to contact you directly to spread disease, as they can spread harmful bacteria and illness by contaminating food inside your cabinets.

Rats can also cause lots of damage to homes, including electrical wiring, insulation, paper materials, and even your home plumbing. Since rodents need to constantly chew on food to survive,

How to Get Rats Out Of Your Home This Winter

Several solutions exist to eliminate rats in your Baltimore home this winter.

First, try some prevention tips, such as:

  • Eliminating clutter
  • Cleaning up food scraps
  • Washing dishes regularly
  • Sealing entry points

Next, apply some mouse traps with baits set inside of them that will kill rats individually or an infestation slowly over time.

However, when it comes to getting dangerous rats out of homes, there is only one safe solution. Enlist the help of professional rodent control. Here at Pest Czar, we have the tools and experience needed to get rats out of your Baltimore home quickly and efficiently. All you have to do is give us a call. We will send one of our highly trained pest technicians your way ASAP. The last thing we want is for rodents to ruin your winter.

FAQs: How Does Winter Impact Rats?

Do rats hibernate during the winter?

No. In fact, rats are typically more active during the winter and are more likely to make their presence known.

What attracts rats to urban areas?

Rats are drawn to urban areas primarily due to the abundance of food sources, warm shelter options, and the interconnected infrastructure that provides convenient pathways for them. Garbage discarded food, and accessible buildings all contribute to the appeal of urban environments for rats.

How can I identify rat droppings?

Rat droppings are typically small, dark pellets with pointed ends. They resemble grains of rice in shape and size. Finding such droppings in and around your living spaces, especially near food sources or nesting areas, is a strong indicator of rat activity.

Are all rats carriers of diseases?

While not all rats carry diseases, they are known vectors for various illnesses. Rats can transmit diseases through their droppings, urine, and bites. Common diseases associated with rats include leptospirosis, hantavirus, and salmonellosis. It’s crucial to take preventive measures to minimize health risks.