KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Health officials say rats and mice may take shelter in your home once cold weather sets in. Here are some things you can do to keep the rodents out of your house.

First, seal up any holes in the walls. Even holes as small as a dime should be closed. Also, don't leave pet food on the floor or food out on the counters.

Finally, get rid of rodents already in your house with a trap or by getting an exterminator.

Health officials say rodents are a nuisance but that they can also carry disease. The Department of Health's Susan Shelton says, "You can't tell by looking at a mouse if it's sick, you can't tell if it's got fleas or a tick until it's too late, so you want to keep them out of your house altogether."

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