Rodents are the most common mammals in the world, both in numbers and in species. Australia has more than 60 species of native rodents. These natives rarely invade homes but some do cause problems in agriculture. There are also three introduced rodents that are the main cause of problems in urban areas. These rodents live with or near people and depend on humans for at least part of their food and or shelter. They are often attracted to houses for food and shelter as the weather cools in autumn / winter. Rodents contaminate our environment with their urine and droppings and by spreading disease. Rodents are known to be vectors of over fifty disease organisms.
Brown or Norway Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)
Originated in Central Asia. Large, aggressive, adaptable and sly.
A native of the forests of equatorial Southeast Asia. It was the most common rat in urban areas in Europe during the outbreaks of plague.
House Mouse (Mus musculus)
Believed to have originated in Central Asia. Mice adapted to structures associated with the storage and transport of grain, with their provision of shelter, warmth and food. An adult house mouse produces 50 to 100 droppings and up to 3,000 micro-droplets of urine per day, a rat about 40 to 50 droppings per day or 15,000 droppings and over 10 litres of urine per year.
Some properties are invaded in autumn every year as rats and mice seek shelter from the cooler weather. Others may be invaded when nearby areas are developed. If you are aware of a potential influx, contact Sandgate Pest Control to introduce a program before the invasion occurs.
– Pet food is a major attraction for rodents. Ensure that all pet food is not left outside overnight and is stored in airtight containers.
– The home, or buildings should be inspected for potential entry points, concentrating on gaps in the walls, such as weep holes, doors, windows and penetrations for plumbing and electrical services.
– Trim all tree branches away from the house. Remove ivy and trellises from the walls.
– Do not store timber or debris adjacent to the house.
– Repair leaky taps and remove other water sources.
It is important to correctly identify the species so effective control programs can be designed to suit the behaviour patterns of that species. Access to food and shelter, poor hygiene, incorrect placement of traps and baits and a poor choice of inappropriate active and formulation of baits will result in a slower or even ineffective control.
Inspection: This step is taken to determine the species, the extent and severity of the problem, the location of harbourages and areas of activity and assess appropriate control strategies.
Baiting and Trapping: The Sandgate Pest Control technician will place baits discreetly out of sight (usually in a box) and in a location not accessible to pets or children. There are a variety of traps available including curiosity traps, sticky boards and snap traps. The success of these relies on correct placement.
Proofing: Keep them out! The main areas of entry are doors, overhanging branches, vents and penetrations for plumbing and electricals. The Sandgate Pest Control technician will give advice on removing potential rodent habitats and rodent-proofing whilst on-site. A mouse can get through a hole the size of the tip of your little finger and a rat only requires the size of the tip of your thumb!
Hygiene: Mow the lawn, eliminate clutter, debris, rubbish and access to pet food (ideally use metal containers and take in at night). Limiting access to food, water and shelter makes it harder for the rodent to survive and increases the effectiveness of control strategies.