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Take 'holiday rat lap' around house to keep critters out during cold spell

"You have to think like a rat."
Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 18:24:01-05

It’s time to do the “holiday rat lap.”

No, it’s not a dance. It’s what exterminators say homeowners should do to prevent rats and mice from getting into your house during the Christmas season.

Colder temperatures, plus trash and debris from the holidays, make this a prime time for rats to try to invade your home.

Pastor Bryan Jennings, from Liberty Church in St. Pete, knows this all too well. He was battling rats in his air ducts – they got in through the crawl space under his older house – on Christmas Eve.

“The odor when the AC came on was amazing” says Pastor Jennings. “Not even dead rat smell, but live-rat-in-my-home smell.”

So he called on Steve Winger, an exterminator from Natural Born Killers, who suggested the “holiday rat lap.”

“You have to think like a rat,” says Winger, “and most of the times the inspections are done on your hands and knees.”

Older houses with crawl spaces are prime targets. Holes near back decks, porches and AC units should be sealed with galvanized steel netting and expanding foam.”

Remember: “A rat can go through a quarter of a dollar hole….Rats can get through a thumb-size hole, and mice can get through a pinky-sized hole.”

One more thing: Winger added that tree branches touching your roof are basically rat highways onto your house. So let’s keep those trees trimmed.