5 Reasons Why You Need Winter Pest Control [2021 Update]

Spiders are common winter pests in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

It’s a common misconception that with the cold weather rolling in, pests will pack up and leave until next year. The truth is in the colder months, crawling insects and other pests that don’t go dormant in the winter can make their way into our homes and draw in mice and other rodents, looking for warmth. Additionally, winter in Wisconsin brings its own set of insects and other pests to stay on the lookout for. The team at Batzner Pest Control is here to share all you need to know about winter pest control.

What Pests Are Common in the Winter?

Pests are common in Wisconsin year-round. In the winter, home and business owners must frequently deal with the following pests:

  1. Mice and rats. Mice and rats require only a tiny opening or crack to gain entry into your home. They can enter through your attic and gnaw on the wires, wood beams, electrical wires and insulation.
  2. Wood destroying insects. Carpenter ants and termites destroy the home from the inside out, so you really never see the damage until it is too late. If you find carpenter ants indoors during the winter, it is an indication that they are nesting inside walls, floors, or decaying wood.
  3. Sealing your home. The early winter is the best time for Batzner’s pest control team to seal up all openings before mice seek shelter in your home or business. They will check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  4. Dormant insects. Many insects will hide in the attic or basement in late fall and early winter to escape the frigid winter temperatures. Spiders, cluster flies, Asian lady bugs, and boxelder bugs will remain dormant until spring. Then as the weather warms, they can easily find their way into your living spaces.
  5. Spider webs and nests. Removing webs, nests and egg cases may help prevent pests from reemerging in your home when the weather becomes warmer. Some creatures are hardwired to return to certain places, but if you get rid of all the reasons for them to return, you increase the probability that you’ll finally be saying a permanent “goodbye” to them.

How to Prevent Winter Pests in Wisconsin

Before the wintertime, it’s important to learn how to guard your home against pest problems. Some of the best winter-proofing tips for homeowners include the following.

  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in woodpiles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
  • Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

How Does Batzner Prevent Winter Pest Problems?

Winter pest control service in Wisconsin by Batzner Pest Control

Our fall and winter pest control services are targeted at your home’s interior. One of the first things that our team looks for is anything that has changed since their last visit. It’s extremely common for Batzner specialists to find new openings that didn’t exist at their most recent visit. They’ll also check out any rodent protection equipment that they’ve put in place.

Batzner’s residential services are tailored to the homeowner’s individual needs, and in winter, our trained service experts focus primarily on the interior of the house, searching for any openings where pests could enter. Our winter pest control specialists. will notify the homeowner if any such openings are located, and seal those openings to ensure pests remain outside. In the meantime, spider webs will also be knocked down and cleaned out in the home’s interior. Your pest control expert will also target your home’s basement for a preventative pesticide treatment for crawling insects.

Annual Winter Pest Control Services

Don’t mistake winter as a time to lay off on the pest control services—it allows you preparation time for the warm seasons ahead! Batzner is your trusted pest control expert. Contact the residential pest control pros at Batzner today to learn how we can prevent pests this winter and all year long.

Is the Pandemic Causing More Rodent Infestations?

Rodents infest Wisconsin homes during the pandemic - Batzner Pest Control

Here in Wisconsin, we are accustomed to rodent infestations in the fall. However, they are surging in number this year due to the pandemic. When restaurants and bars were put on restrictions, rodents were suddenly deprived of one of their top sources of food. This forced them to look elsewhere and to compete for the little resources available. Unfortunately, this has led to a direct increase in infestations. Rodents aren’t just a nuisance—they can be very dangerous if they infest your property. For this reason alone, it’s crucial to learn how to prevent them. This Rodent Awareness Week, the team at Batzner Pest Control is focusing on providing our customers with rodent infestation prevention tips.

Here’s How to Prevent Rodents in 2020

The best form of rodent control is prevention! Try out the following tips to make your property less attractive to rats and mice this season:

  • Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  • Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  • Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  • Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  • Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Are Rodents Tied to COVID-19?

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While their presence may be more prevalent than ever, you thankfully do not need to worry about rodents transmitting COVID-19 to you or your family.

That said, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home. With rodents more aggressive in the current moment, they will not hesitate to make themselves at home in your home this winter.

Rodent Awareness Week 2020

With the pandemic, rodent problems have exacerbated. This makes it more important than ever to ensure your home and family are protected against rodents. The team at Batzner is ready to help. Our rodent exterminators will work with you to ensure your property is safe from rodents all year long.

Protect Your Home From Fall Rodents

Fall rodents can get inside through properties in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Rodents are one of the most dreaded pest problems. They are especially troublesome in the fall when the weather changes. Before wintertime, rodents come inside to escape cooling temperatures and to seek out shelter and food. Rodents are dangerous not only because they are destructive, but because they can spread germs and disease as well. At Batzner Pest Control, we know how important it is to keep your family safe from rodents. We also know you want to feel comfortable in your home and enjoy the fall season without worrying about rats or mice! Keep reading to learn how to protect your home from rodents this fall and all year long.

How do Rats and Mice Get Inside?

Rodents aren’t exactly subtle, and it can be easy to tell when you have a rat or mouse problem in your property. But where do rodents take shelter? Rats and mice will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance. Mice can scale walls, squeeze through tiny openings, jump, and build nests in just about any room you can imagine. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. This is why it’s so important to protect your property from rats and mice.

Tips to Prevent Rodents in Your Home

To avoid the frustration of rats and mice in your home, it’s important to learn how to keep them out in the first place. Our top tips for keeping rodents out are as follows:

  1. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  2. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  3. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  4. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.

Fall Rodents in Wisconsin

The last thing you want to deal with in the fall season is a rat or mouse problem in your property. Rodents can be a pain to deal with: not only do they spread germs and bacteria, but they also will chew wires in your home and make a mess while nesting. As soon as you suspect the signs of rodents inside, call the team at Batzner. Our rodent exterminators can help control current infestations and prevent future ones from happening.

Are Rodents Able to Spread Coronavirus?

Rats do not spread COVID-19 - Batzner Pest Control in Wisconsin

Rodents are infamous for their ability to directly or indirectly transmit some of the world’s most dangerous diseases. SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, is not one of them. The team at Batzner knows that new information is being released daily about this pandemic. As always, we remain committed to ensuring our customers are aware of any pest-related dangers. We have seen a lot of questions surrounding the role of rats and other animals with transmission.

While rats and mice have been linked to other coronaviruses and other dangerous diseases, there is no evidence to currently suggest they are transmitting or spreading COVID-19.

Rodents & Coronaviruses

Including the virus causing the current pandemic (SARS-CoV-2), the three most recently discovered human coronaviruses have all proven to pose a serious threat to human life and health. These three viruses have all been genetically traced to a bat origin that crossed over first to other animals before eventually to human beings.

Rodents are capable of carrying several coronaviruses, but they have yet to be linked to any direct transmissions of COVID-19. According to a study, the rodents found to carry coronaviruses were kept in poor conditions on farms, markets, and restaurants in Vietnam alongside other animals. These unique circumstances make the risk of rats transmitting coronavirus to humans extremely unlikely.

Other Dangers of Rodents in a Pandemic

Although we know that rats aren’t directly transmitting SARS-CoV-2 at the moment, there are still a couple things to be aware of. The two other reasons why it’s important to prevent and control rodent problems during the pandemic and all year long are:

  1. Rats and mice can spread other diseases, including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and plague. They also can indirectly transmit diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and fleas. Some of these include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, and others.
  2. Due to the nature of the lockdowns and restaurant closures, there have been a number of reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources. This activity in itself increases the risk of infestations and rodent-related problems.

Year-Round Rodent Prevention

In the midst of a pandemic or not, rodent prevention is crucial to protecting your family not only from the potential disease they spread, but also the damage they can cause. In recent months, rats and mice alike have been forced to drastic measures to seek out new food sources. While it’s good to know that rodents won’t transmit COVID-19 to your family, they still pose several other dangerous health risks. Whether you need help preventing or controlling rats, the rodent control team at Batzner is committed to keeping rats and mice away from you and your home.

The Dangers of Rodent Infestations

One of the many dangers of rodents is when rats chew through electrical wires. The rodent exterminators at Batzner Pest Control can protect you from rodents in New Berlin WI!

Everyone knows that a rodent infestation can be gross, but they can be dangerous, too! As a nuisance pest, rodents will rummage through your food and chew on wires, but they can pose a bigger threat. Rats and mice are infamous for causing a lot of damage, and their droppings are infamous for transmitting a number of dangerous diseases. It’s important to stay informed about the dangers of rodents. Keep reading for expert info from the rodent exterminators at Batzner Pest Control.

Disease from Rats & Mice Droppings

Around the world, there are a number of serious illnesses and health risks associated with the presence of rodents. These can be spread directly to humans through contact with droppings, saliva, and bites. Mice diseases can also be transmitted indirectly through ticks, fleas, and mites. The most dangerous illnesses tied back to mice include:

  1. Hantavirus
    1. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  2. Salmonella
    1. When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  3. Rat-bite fever
    1. Also known as Streptobacillus, rat-bite fever is caused by a bite or scratch from an infected rat. It is also caught by handling infected animals and ingesting food or drink contaminated with the rat’s faeces or urine.

Types of Rodent Damage

In addition to rummaging through your pantry and eating food in your garbage, rats and mice can cause serious damage inside your homes. Rats have a set of incisors that continue to grow, encouraging them to chew on things constantly. Electrical wires are one of the main targets, which can be especially dangerous if chewed-through wires cause short circuiting and fires. Rats have also been known to cut through extremely tough materials like steel, concrete, and wood, which can cause severe structural damage to your home.

When to Use a Rodent Exterminator

If you’ve spotted a rat or mouse in your home, it’s time to call the rodent exterminators at Batzner Pest Control. Without the help of an exterminator, rodents can continue to wreak havoc in your home or business. Based on the many dangers of rodents, it’s extremely important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Reach out to our rats and mice exterminators today for more information on the dangers of rodent infestations as well as how to prevent them.

How to Set a Mousetrap Properly

Mousetrap in New Berlin WI home - Batzner Pest Control provides expert tips on how to set a mousetrap properly

Mice infestations can be downright frustrating. These rodents leave a mess everywhere they go with their gnawing and nesting habits—not to mention the foul odors and droppings! Seeing even one mouse is often a bad sign there are more nearby, especially with their rapid rate of reproduction. Mousetraps are a good way to effectively catch mice in your property, but not everyone knows how to set a mousetrap properly. Keep reading for expert tips from Batzner!

Which Type of Mousetrap is Best?

When it comes to picking the best mousetrap, it can be overwhelming. There are several types, including electronic, catch-and-release, and glue traps. All of these traps have their pros and cons. For the most part, the most common and popular type of mousetrap is the spring-loaded mousetrap.

This classic design has been used for centuries to catch mice, and is easier to set up than you may think! Spring-loaded mousetraps are placed in areas of suspected rodent activity with bait. As soon as the spring mechanism is triggered, the metal bar will snap and effectively catch the mouse.

Top Tips for Mousetraps That Work

There are several ways you can learn how to set a mousetrap properly:

  1. Use mousetrap bait effectively
    1. Contrary to modern belief, some mice like cheese, and some don’t.
    2. You only need to use a small amount of bait that cannot be reached unless mice step on the trap. If they can swipe it without standing on the trap, they will!
  2. Start with unloaded mousetraps
    1. Although it seems odd, it’s smart to start with baited, unloaded traps.
    2. Mice are extremely skeptical of new things, especially human things!
    3. Set traps out with bait (without loading them) for a couple of nights. This will trick mice into a false sense of security.
  3. Set more than one trap
    1. By setting multiple traps two to three feet apart each, you have a better chance at catching as many mice as possible at once.
  4. Set mousetraps strategically
    1. Mice travel along walls, under furniture, and other places that offer cover.
    2. Place mousetraps along walls and behind furniture, with the bait placed nearest to the wall.
  5. Check the mousetraps on a regular basis
    1. Rodent problems won’t go away overnight. It takes diligence to make sure traps are working, set, and not going to waste.
    2. Mice can, in some instances, grab bait without setting off the trap. They can also set the trap off without getting caught!

Need Help With Mice Extermination?

Even when you learn how to set a mousetrap properly, sometimes mousetraps simply won’t work to control a serious rodent infestation. If this is the case, professional mice exterminators may be your best bet. We have more than 70 years of experience getting rid of mice in homes and businesses throughout the state of Wisconsin. We will thoroughly inspect your property for sources of the infestation and customize a rodent control plan fit to your unique needs. To learn more, give us a call today!

8 Steps to a Rodent-Free Winter

Winter window in New Berlin and Oshkosh WI - Batzner Pest Control provides rodent control checklist to prevent infestations.

Pest problems are a fact of life throughout the year, even in the winter! While a lot of animals hibernate during Wisconsin winters, many pests remain active throughout the cold months. In fact, rodent infestations are at some of their highest numbers this time of year. This is because rats and mice will squeeze their way into your home to escape the freezing temperatures outside. The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to safeguard your home, limiting their chances of getting indoors! Read on to learn Batzner’s top tips for rodent-proofing your home this winter.

Does Cold Weather Kill Mice and Rats?

Many people assume that during the winter, pest problems go away. What about rats and mice? These rodents are active throughout the colder months of the year and are more compelled than ever to invade homes to escape the harsh weather outside. Once inside, they will nest and spread. In addition to their destructive gnawing and tunneling, rat droppings are capable of spreading disease. Because rodent infestations are so common in the winter, it’s essential to protect your home from them with regular rodent control.

Rodent Control in the Winter

Rodent Control Checklist for your Oshkosh or New Berlin WI home this winter - Batzner Pest ControlMice are infamous for squeezing through tiny spaces—even holes the size of a dime. For this reason, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect your home for openings that may welcome rodents indoors in the winter.

There are eight spots in particular around your property that are vulnerable to rodent intrusions. By routinely checking these areas and making repairs as necessary, you can effectively lessen the risk of rodents getting indoors.


These eight locations include:

  • Roof
  • Vents
  • Screens
  • Vegetation
  • Gutters
  • Outside
  • Garage
  • Foundation

Wisconsin Winter Rodent Control

If you discover areas of your home needing repair, or more specifically, areas showing definite rodent activity, the experts at Batzner Pest Control are here to help. We specialize in preventing pest problems before they begin, which is why we can help rodent-proof your home for the winter. To learn more about protecting your home from rats and mice, give our team a call today!

Rodent Awareness Week Brings Focus to Rodent Prevention

Rodent Awareness Week at Batzner Pest Control - Rodent control services by Batzner Pest Control serving Southeastern Wisconsin

Rodent infestations become a major problem in Wisconsin in fall and winter.

What makes rodent infestations so dangerous?

Rodents pose a number of health risks to you and your family. The spread of food-borne illnesses like Salmonella is probably the most alarming, as rodents contaminate surfaces throughout the house and will look to get into your kitchen cabinets and food prep areas. Their skin, saliva, and urine can also aggravate allergy symptoms.

In addition to spreading disease, bacteria, and allergens, rodents can cause electrical fires by gnawing through your home’s wiring. All of the problems associated with rodent infestations are amplified by how quickly they reproduce. A few mice in your attic can turn into a full-blown infestation in a very short period of time – each female mouse can give birth to between six and eight offspring every three weeks!

What should homeowners look out for?

Because of the potential dangers and the speed at which they can occur, homeowners need to be extremely vigilant when preparing their homes for the fall and winter. Here are some tips from the NPMA on how to rodent-proof your home this year:

  • Use weather strips on doorways and windows
  • Replace broken windows
  • Caulk around utility/service pipes
  • Repair openings in the building’s foundation
  • Screen all vents
  • Seal additional small cracks with copper mesh (steel wool will rust and deteriorate over time).
  • Around the house exterior, rake away any weeds or shrubbery as they provide safe passage to pests
  • Mulch, in particular, should not be used near the foundation, and any overhanging tree branches need to be cut down
  • Do not store firewood within the immediate vicinity of the house

Once these preventative measures have been taken, the NPMA advises being on the lookout for these indicators of rodent infestation:

  • Droppings: Droppings are typically found in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, and in boxes, bags and old furniture.
  • Noises: Rodents often make scurrying sounds, especially at night, as they move about and nest.
  • Gnaw marks: New gnaw marks tend to be rough to touch and are light colored.
  • Burrows: Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such as insulation, and are drawn to dark and secluded areas.
  • Damaged food packages: House mice prefer to feed on cereals and seeds, while Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.

If any of these signs of rodents are found, contact us immediately! Remember, a small issue will become a major problem in a short amount of time. You can reach us at (262)797-4160 or on our website.

Rats in Madison and Milwaukee Residential Areas

When most Wisconsin suburban homeowners think of rats, they imagine filthy New York subway stations or Chicago sewers, not their own backyards. While there are definitely more rats in those more densely populated areas, the resourceful rodents are moving into less urban neighborhoods at a high rate.

Madison Area

Fall of 2016 saw public health officials in Madison, WI and Dane County respond to a surge in rat infestations, most of which were reported from the city’s East Side and neighboring communities.

The situation in the Madison area is a perfect example of how rats can adapt to suburban and rural areas, not just older buildings in the city. In a piece by the Wisconsin State Journal, John Hausbeck, Public Health Supervisor with Public Health Madison and Dane County, explains, “While older housing may have more cracks and crevices that could permit the entry of rats, the significant infestations are due to allowing conditions that attract rats, such as food and shelter, and this could happen in any neighborhood, old or new.”

One of the steps taken by Public Health Madison and Dane County was to release a video focusing on how residents can make their homes less appealing to rats. In keeping with the integrated pest control model practiced here at Batzner, its primary focus is the elimination of food and harborage sources.

Milwaukee Area

The areas surrounding Milwaukee have also seen sharply increasing reports of rat problems in the few years that statistics have been taken.

One example is West Allis, where Health Department Environmentalists account a rapid rise in rat sightings. According to an article by the West Allis Now, sightings from 68th Street to the eastern city limits jumped from one or two calls on an infrequent basis back in 2010 to 127 in 2013. Additionally, there appears to be a definite trend of westward expansion for rat populations, as the article also states that the area from 68th Street to 92nd Street went from one or two calls a year to at least one call a week. This includes calls from areas that had never previously had a complaint.

Our service team has experienced this firsthand, as Operations Manager Jason Ganas explains, “We have had a definite increase in the number of rat control jobs in the areas around Milwaukee. The most notable would be in West Allis and Wauwatosa, but we have seen particularly bad cases as far as Brookfield.”

Check out these recent cases of rats affecting people in the Milwaukee Area to see just how problematic the growing population can be: Rats Popping up in Milwaukee Neighborhood, Terrier Finds Big Rat in Milwaukee, Rats Drive West Allis Woman out of Backyard, Milwaukee Neighborhood Grocery Store Infested With Rats

Why Rats Relocate

There are several factors causing the spread of the rat population in Wisconsin, some of which are due to rat biology and behavior and others because of human action (or inaction). Ganas explains, “Rats are highly territorial, and a dominant male will get the best location for his burrow. A burrow is usually within 100 feet of a food and water source, so there are limits on how many potential nesting locations exist in a given area. As the population increases, it forces other rats to search farther away for their own place to nest.” Their ability to adapt to new environments and high reproductive rate also means that once a population has been established, it is very difficult to rid an area of rats completely.

Dan Stawicki, another Batzner Service Manager, notes the role people play in causing the spread of rats. “Construction projects, like the work being done on I-94 and the Zoo Interchange, uproot existing burrows and cause rats to seek out new harborage sites. The vibration alone can cause nearby burrows to be abandoned. Unfortunately, residential areas often provide the new homes they are looking for, offering harborage under cracked concrete slabs in garages and other structures and food sources in uncovered garbage bins.”

Rat Control- A Group Effort

Another reason why controlling the rat population is so difficult is confusion over who is responsible for handling it. There is often finger-pointing between city government, property owners/tenants, and pest control providers, as each feels the other parties are not pulling their weight. This issue exists even in areas that have been dealing with rat infestations for decades, so one can imagine the potential trouble the respective parties are in for in areas experiencing rat infestations for the first time. Ultimately, successful rat control comes from a coordinated effort between all three groups.

What You Can Do

Residents of urban, suburban, and rural areas are often unaware of just how much food and shelter their homes can provide to rats. Spilled birdseed, fruit fallen from apple trees, and even dog waste can feed rats in the suburbs, and stored grain and livestock waste provide food for rats living in the country. As a homeowner, you can help prevent rats from moving into your neighborhood by restricting their access to these food sources.

Additionally, make sure to keep up to date on how to rat-proof your home and share the information with your neighbors. Call us at 866-591-3519 or contact us online if you need additional help.