Cold winters might have you believing that rats can’t survive, but you would be mistaken. They certainly don’t look plump enough to survive, and they don’t hibernate. They can’t fatten themselves up and they have tiny stomachs that metabolize food very quickly. They don’t even have the option to alter their habits to save energy to wait for spring to arrive. As the temperatures drop and food becomes scarce, rats need to find a way to continue the same lifestyle they enjoy in the warmer months. Still, year after year pest professionals get calls during the winter about rats and when spring arrives, rats and their offspring and going strong. Just how do they do it?

Do Rats Like Cold Weather? How Do Rodents Survive Winter?

1. Rat Stockpiling. Just because rats can’t fatten themselves up doesn’t mean they don’t prepare for the cold months ahead. Starting in the fall, rats will get more aggressive in their quest for food. Instead of just eating when they want, they will start looking for extra food. They don’t store food, but they look for other places they can get food. Rats always have options because they’ll eat just about anything they can find, and garbage gives them a constant supply of food. Oftentimes rats will take food they find back to an area where they can get to it later. These stockpiles will be maintained throughout the winter.
2. Rats Burrow. Stockpiling will ensure they have enough food through the winter, but they need to stay warm too. Rats are excellent at digging to create burrows. The holes to these burrows can be found near your home, along fences and HVAC units. These burrows have one entrance and exit. Rats will burrow into open ground and through snow, but only if they absolutely must. Rats prefer your home over burrows for shelter. If they have any way to get in, they most definitely will.
3. Rats Nest. So, rats like to stockpile and burrow, but nesting combines both of these habits. Rats will drag whatever they find to an area and bunch it together to form a nest. They want to be safe and warm making location very important. Warm, dark places where they won’t be bothered can make their nests hard to find. They also prefer areas with moisture. To prevent rats from nesting you need to remove stuff they need. Take care of moisture issues and keep your home organized.
4. Intelligence; Rats are Smart. Rats are extremely clever. This gives them the edge they need to make it through the winter. Rats get into home in ways you wouldn’t even think about. They will burrow under floorboards, chew though electrical cables and even squeeze under doors. Rats have evolved to get through times of trouble and they’ve done it well. Rats can squeeze through holes the size of a quarter. This means you really do need to sweat the small stuff and look for all those little openings they can use to get into your home.

Rat Control & More in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan NYC & Greater New York

Rats will take any steps they can to get out of the cold, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. If you do happen to end up with an infestation-don’t panic! Contact Always Ready Pest Control to get them out and keep them out for good!