Rats and mice are generally very adaptable to their environment and are omnivorous scavengers. They are mostly nocturnal and have excellent senses with the exception of sight. Rats do not like change in their environment, they like to follow the same pathways to and from food back to the nest and sometimes the placing of materials will make them wary and avoid the area for a period of time we’re mice on the other hand are more curious and more of a grazer, they will nibble small amounts of food from several different areas. Most rat and mice problems occur domestically around the mid winter months or when there is a lot of rain as they want the dry warm conditions for nesting.There are several reasons they are considered a pest
- Rats or mice are very common and plague in around the grain belts where if they get into the store areas they will contaminate with their urine and faeces, this is also the case in the standard household pantry. Rats are even known to kill and eat chooks and other birds that are kept in captivity.
- Gnawing, rats and mice have exceptional teeth and it is very common for them to chew through gyprock walls, timber skirtings and electrical wires that can create big problems even fire hazards.
- Most importantly disease transmission, rats and mice are capable of transmitting many diseases like salmonella, weil’s disease through contamination of food from their urine and faeces. They can also spread disease indirectly from blood sucking insects or secondary hosts carrying disease.
Norway rat ( Rattus norvegicus )
The Norway rat is the largest of the rats and has a thicker body, it has a blunt snout close set ears and a tail that is shorter than it’s body, they normally live for 9 to 12 months and may have 5-6 litters per year with up to 10 young, they reach sexual maturity within 3 to 4 months. Commonly referred to as the common rat, sewer rat, brown rat orl water rat. They mostly build nests underground but have been known to nest in buildings and will usually try and hide their entry points. In high population areas Norway rats will remain generally dominant over other species and are a creature of habit. Norway rat droppings a longish with blunt ends.
Roof Rat ( Rattus rattus )
The roof rat also referred to as the ship rat or black rat is the smaller of the pest rats and of a lighter build, it has a pointy snout, large prominent ears and the tail is longer than the body length. they will normally live for 9 to 12 months and may have 4-5 litters in the year with up to 8 young, sexual maturity is normally reached at 3 to 4 months of age. As the name suggests they are more prominent indoors or around buildings and have excellent climbing skills enabling to get up walls and into roof voids. Roof rat droppings I usually longish with pointy ends.
House Mouse ( Mus musculus )
The house mouse commonly also called a field mouse is small and has rather large ears and a pointy snout with a tail at least as long as it’s body, they are normally a lighter colour on thier belly to what they are on the upper part of their body. They tend to live for about 12 months and may have 6 to 10 litres per year with anywhere up to 6 young and will achieve maturity within 6 weeks. The house mouse will live indoors or outdoors, sometimes only entering indoors when the environmental conditions are adverse. Mice are much more curious than rats so trapping is quite often very effective form treatment. Mouse dropping are very small and tear dropped shape.
Rat & mice treatments
There are several different methods of treating rats and mice this can involve live trapping, kill traps, glue boards, and most commonly baiting. A program can be organised around your particular needs.