Rat infestations will increase this month in Mississippi, experts say. Here’s why.

The rats are coming.

Yes, you heard that right.

Rat infestations will increase this month, experts say. But why?
Rat infestations will increase this month, experts say. But why?

According to experts, rat infestations are expected to increase later this month and plague Mississippi homes. But why?

“As temperatures continue to drop, we’re seeing increases in service calls as rats continue looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter,” said Zachary Smith, owner of The Pest Dude.

The second half of January is typically the coldest time of year for much of the Magnolia State and as we bundle up and stay cozy inside, rodents search for a warm place to stay as well.

Most commonly, rats will seek shelter in garages, attics or basements, but they can be found inside walls, too.

They can wreak havoc on a home, damage property and cause unwanted stress on businesses.

So, how can we spot them?

You’ll want to search for evidence of a nest.

“Homeowners should look out for nests, droppings and gnaw marks. The animals will also shred attic insulation, cardboard and other soft materials to make their nests,” Smith said.

Getting rid of the rodents is the tricky part, as Smith discourages the use of traps and baits because rats take note of new items in their surroundings and will ignore these types of traps.

Instead, Smith encourages Mississippians to use repellents, hazing or just your average call to pest control to handle the pesky creatures.

Here are more tips to prevent an infestations and protect your home this month:

1. Seal entry points to your home.

2. Trim all trees at least 3 feet away from the roof line.

3. Check your vents.

4. Clean up debris piles.

5. Get rid of any food sources, whether it’s fruit, nuts or accessible garbage.

6. Introduce natural predators.

7. Try repellents / hazing.

Pest control on the Coast: