It is the time of year that outdoor pests want to become indoor pests.

As it gets colder rodents seek the warmth and food that a house offers.

Experts say the first line of defense is to close down all entry points. Even the smallest cracks offer a way in. Mice can flatten themselves down and get through a hole no wider than a ballpoint pen. Use sealant, steel wool around pipes and make sure there are no gaps in weather stripping around entry doors.

If you have signs that a mouse has gotten inside, such as droppings or rips in food containers, it is time to use mouse traps.

The old school snap trap still does the trick and is generally considered more humane than a glue trap. The best bait is up for debate but generally, peanut butter tends to work better than cheese. The smell of the peanut butter does a better job of drawing them in.

Another way to go is bait stations that will allow the mice to take the poison back to the home nest and share among its pals and family. If you have pets it is important that this bait is placed in a spot your dog or cat can’t get to.

While keeping a clean house doesn’t guarantee to keep mice away, having a messy house increases your chances big time. Don’t let food sources, garbage, empty boxes etc. pile up. Those are all great places for mice to feed, nest, and have baby mice.

If you have a cat in the house, and you suspect some areas might have visitors, leave cupboards open overnight so your kitty can see in and spot the intruder.