Homeowners should carry out a pre-winter checkup to make sure pests have no opportunities to make your home, their home, this winter.

Pest management company, Orkin says as the temperatures drop rodents, raccoons and other pests will be looking for a warm place to stay.

Christopher Day, Service Manager with Orkin said BC Hydro has been offering draft proofing tips and following through on those will help keep rodents out of your house too.

“Because they are sensitive to temperature changes, so when they feel warm air, they’re like, hey, that’s somewhere I can survive. Rats will chew at a hole to make it larger.”

Day said mice can get through a hole the size of a dime and rats through a hole the size of a quarter so holes and gaps should be filled with caulking.

Check any vents or chimney stacks to make sure squirrels, raccoons and birds can’t get in.

He said it’s a good idea to keep your gutters clear because ants like to live in the decaying leaves.

Day said some people, who are overwhelmed with rodents use bait stations to control the onslaught of critters.

He said he understands concerns about a poisoned mouse or rat being eaten by an animal further up the food chain.

“If an owl, or another bird of prey is feasting on rats or mice regularly they can get enough of that toxicity, it does build up in their body – one feeding, two feedings, no it’s (death) not going to happen. We worry about our family pet, who may be ratters, the chances of getting secondary poisoning from an animal that has ingested the poison is quite low, but if it’s continuous, it can happen.”