Tips from Toby: Guarding your home from unwanted visitors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Did you know that mice can get into your home through a hole as small as a dime? Mice and many gross critters are trying to get into your home right now. 

The cold weather means mice and other rodents are looking for three things: warmth, food and something to chew on. It's time to do a quick checkup and close those entry ways so you don't have any surprise holiday visitors.

Robert McElwain with American Pest Management knows where to find the pests.

"It's not uncommon for mice to just wander in, and through that wandering process they continue to forage for food. And they are just going to keep looking until they find it and that's typically how they wind up in a kitchen, a pantry, a garage, a basement, anything along those lines."

Mice and rats don't discriminate. They don't care how nice or clean your home is and they are diligent. Once they are in your home the rodents can cause some serious problems.

"Rodents in general, mice included want to gnaw and chew all the time. Their teeth continue to grow, not to mention they are always scavenging for food. So your biggest hazard is that fire can occur especially in attics. If they're chewing through wiring or anything along those lines that's a major hazard. Beyond that it becomes rodent droppings and urine."

Bait stations can be placed around your home or in the garage. The mice dine on these rotisserie looking blocks and the simple answer is you won't have any live mice running around any longer. For about $100 to $150 you can add peace of mind and keep the systems monitored. These stations are also locked so it won't be a danger to pets or children. The only visitor you want sneaking into your home over the holidays wears a red suit and is jolly. Keep the others out now with these simple steps! 

Most of these are very easy DIY projects, but if you start to have a major problem, call a professional immediately.

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