NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — As it continues to get colder outside, rodents are trying to come inside.

According to a news release from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), homeowners should know what to do if this happens and what threats rodents pose as well.

From Sunday, October 15 to Saturday, October 21, NPMA is observing Rodent Awareness Week.

“Without fail, pests like rats and mice intrude into millions of homes each year,” said Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for NPMA, Dr. Jim Fredericks. “To protect families and their properties, we utilize Rodent Awareness Week as an annual reminder of rodent infestations and provide the public with knowledge and tools they can use to keep these pests out of their homes.”

Here are some ways to prevent those rodents from scurrying inside this season:

  • Seal cracks, holes, and other entry points on the outside of the house.
  • Keep food stored in tightly sealed containers.
  • Inspect wires, door seals, and walls for marks that may indicate a rodent infestation.
  • Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed and away from the house.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house.
  • Look out for droppings, as that’s the first sign of an infestation.

Sightings of these rodents are more common than people think, according to a recent NPMA survey, one in four Americans have found a rodent in their home in the past year. About one in 10 Americans have experienced a rodent infestation in their home in the past year.

“Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and a small problem can become a big issue quickly if left untreated,” Fredericks said.

If you see a rodent, contact a qualified pest control professional to get rid of them.