Weather Driving Rodents Into North Texas Homes

The recent cold snap in North Texas is both a blessing and curse when it comes to keeping critters at bay. The freezing temperatures can kill off part of the insect population, while also driving rodents into homes.

Orkin lists DFW as 10th worst in the country when it comes to rodent issues. That's up four spots from last year.

"It's an ongoing battle. Sometimes it's a losing battle, sometimes it's a winning battle," said Kevin Kasky, of All American Pest Management.

Kasky has worked with rodents for more than 20 years and knows exactly what happens when Texas critters meet drastically dropping temperatures.

"It kind of panics them," he said.

Kasky said the rodents try to find a non-fluctuating temperature, which is exactly what they find in homes.

"The cold-hot-cold-hot is what drives them kind of crazy, and then they really seek shelter on the inside," he said.

No home in the country or the city is immune.

"They will find a way. Mice and rats are the easiest, because they will find an opening the size of your pinky, [or] a quarter," he said.

They can cause damage from merely cosmetic to possibly costly and dangerous.

"There have been incidents where rodent chewing [wires] has created a spark to be able to ignite a fire," Kasky said.

"They used to make wire casings out of petroleum. Now they make it out of soy or vegetable oil," Kasky added. "They smell that, and for them that's a food source and they want to chew."

Kasky suggests closing off any openings in your home where rodents can enter.

"Try to seal up any openings that you can — any places that it looks like they can get to," he said.

He uses a metal mesh-like material which is much like steel wool.

"You can stuff holes with it. It's metal base, and as soon as it hits their nose it will irritate them," he said.

That material is covered with foam or caulk.

You should also cut back shrubbery and trees to make it more difficult for rodents to leap onto roofs and gutters.

"I know we like to picture them as Mighty Mouse with their little capes and they can fly forever. Rats can [only] jump maybe three to four feet," Kasky said.

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