Rats and mice can wreak havoc on homes and businesses, causing great loss of money and damage to health.
These rodents are omnivores, which means they are capable of eating all kinds of food and products. Thanks to their constantly growing teeth, they have a great need to chew on everything they come across. A family containing ten rats generates 54 litres of urine and 146,000 droppings in a single year. There are a number of different species of rats and mice, but the pest rodents are the:
Rats can be very stubborn once they manage to get into your property, and it is crucial to get rid of them before they spread diseases, soil food and damage the property. A rat does not have to enter your house in order to present a threat. They can be dangerous just by being in the yard or outdoors since these are areas that might be frequented by pets and children.Rats affect humans and their environment in a number of ways, like:
- Ruining the insulation of your home or business;
- Chewing through electrical cables, causing a fire hazard;
- Destabilising hillsides or structures such as retaining walls by burrowing;
- Cause illnesses and contaminating foods with bacteria (like salmonella) through their urine or droppings;
- Spreading diseases (e.g. leptospirosis, rickettsial diseases, typhus, Hantavirus and trichinosis) and even death through parasites like intestinal worms and fleas; and
- Ruining doors, books, upholstery, food containers and skirting boards.
The house mouse is the species of mice responsible for the mouse plagues in rural Australia. Favouring dry areas, you’ll most likely find a house mouse nesting in roof spaces, furniture, wall cavities and sometimes in the outdoors. The house mouse is an omnivore, so they prefer eating cereal grains. They will only grow to weigh approximately 20 grams and have a very fine and slender body that allows them to travel through tight pipes and through small holes.
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Also known as the 'brown rat', 'water rat' or 'sewer rat', the Norway rat is a combination of multiple rodents’ species. The small rodent is the largest out of the pest species of rats and mice, weighing around 450g, and they can become aggressive when provoked. They can live both indoors and outdoors, nesting in sewers, around waterways and digs burrows. They are very good swimmers.
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The smallest rat among the three species, the roof rat, also known as the 'black rat' is found in roofs. They are a very timid species, but agile as they can climb well. Unlike the others, they don’t burrow, aren’t strong swimmers and rarely venture into sewers. These rats also have a very slender body making it easy for them to slip through cracks and holes in buildings.
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Signs That You Have Rodents
- Droppings: Rodent droppings when fresh are malleable and shiny. After two to three days, they become hard and lose their sheen. Mouse droppings measure about 3 to 6 mm in length, often contain hair and are pointy at the ends, while rat droppings are blunt and can measure up to 12 mm in length.
- Rub marks: When the fur of rodents rubs against walls and other surfaces, they leave behind a greasy residue, most noticeable when dealing with very large infestations.
- Burrows: Rat tunnels are commonly seen close to buildings and waterways.
- Sounds: Mice and rats often make noise at night. If you hear the squeaking of mice or gnawing of rats, you might have an infestation case on your hands.
- Nest: Materials like paper, cardboard and rags are commonly used to build nests.
- Gnawing: Due to their growing teeth, rats need to constantly gnaw on materials like wood, conduit, cables and metal this helps to sharpen their incisors and grind down the length of the teeth. When they bite on cables, they leave behind exposed wires which can then lead to fires or short circuits.
Flick Pest Control uses safe, lockable rodent bait stations when controlling rodents in external areas and in areas where people and pets frequent. The baits are inaccessible by pets or children and are generally installed on the property’s perimeter, along fence lines, close to entrances and in places where rats and mice are likely to breed, conceal themselves or search for food. Rodent infestations can be extremely damaging to affected buildings and the local agricultural industry. They also spread diseases to humans.
Rodents reproduce extremely quickly and a population can easily escalate beyond your control.
In order to nip the problem in the bud and keep your home, yard and health safe; it is key to engage pest control professionals who can offer a bespoke solution for your situation. If your neighbours are willing to cooperate, you have a much higher chance of preventing a rodent infestation.
If you live in a densely populated neighbourhood or in an apartment complex, it may be wise to coordinate activities aimed at preventing infestations, such as cleaning up the area or changing the landscape. Individual homes can also be made more rodent-resistant by finding and sealing points that rodents may be able to exploit to enter the property. Homeowners tend to try DIY solutions when trying to deal with rodent issues. Some homemade remedies include essential oils and mothballs. Unfortunately, these are rarely effective when dealing with serious infestations. The wisest move on the part of anyone facing rodent problems is to immediately contact a pest control specialist and arrange for an inspection. Professionals can not only get rid of infestations quickly but can also help to deter rodents from returning.
Handling Dead Rats Or Mice
Finding a dead mouse or rat on your property can be a sign that your pest problem is being eradicated, but it can also be very disconcerting if you do not know how to dispose of the carcass. Here are some tips:
- Keep Pets Away: If you have a cat or dog, do not be surprised if it appears extremely curious about the carcass. It is essential that your pet is kept away from the carcass at all costs, and does not play or, worse, eat it. Rodents are the carriers of germs and illnesses which can spread to your pet. If the mouse or rat was killed by poisoning, your pet is at risk of being poisoned as well if it comes into contact with the carcass. Rodenticides that have less potential for secondary poisoning can be used where pets may be able to access carcases, ask your Flick technician.
- Empty Rodent Traps: If rodent traps are being set on your property, you will have to deal with emptying them at some point. Always use rubber gloves when handling dead rodents. Lift the steel trap very cautiously and pick up the carcass. If even this is too much for you, just slide some newspaper beneath the trap, fold the whole thing up and then empty it into the trash.
- Disposing of the Carcass: It is advisable to get rid of a dead rat or mouse by wrapping it in newspaper and then placing it in a trash can. Avoid burying the carcass in your garden as it might later be dug up by curious pets or wild animals, which could then fall ill thanks to the diseases or poison lingering in the dead rodent.
- Wall Cavities And Other Inaccessible Areas: If you suspect due to the smell that there is a dead mouse or rat stuck in an inaccessible area, it is advisable to wait a few weeks. Rodent carcases need about two weeks to dry out and start decomposing. Use air fresheners as you wait, and after a period of time, the problem will take care of itself. Odour reducing products are available if the smell becomes unbearable.
Rodent Baiting and Monitoring:
Rodent Lockable Bait Stations Can Treat Both Mice And Rats Infestation
Rats and mice must be monitored very carefully in order to keep them under control and ensure they do not wreck your property or harm the health of your family. A large amount of the world’s food loss and spoilage is caused by contamination or physical destruction and consumption by rodents. About a fifth to a third of food in the world does not get eaten by humans thanks to rodents.
Being omnivorous, these animals are able to eat all varieties of food and products meant for human consumption. They also need water, which they often obtain from various sources such as machine-derived condensation, service pipes, water collecting in drain traps and air conditioning outlets.
Flick Anticimex uses rodent baiting stations which are highly secure and designed to ensure the rodents are unable to get away with the Rodenticide baits. This is crucial in places where food is being handled, as it prevents cross contamination. Secure bait stations enable you to set your mind at rest since you need not worry about the Rodenticide being moved by the rodent from the station and harming any another animals or people.
Number Bait Stations
All of Flick Anticimex’s rodent bait stations are located in strategically chosen spots based on the specifics of your property, your rodent treatment programme and your requirements, and then securely installed. They are typically placed around your property’s perimeter, close to entrances and in places likely to be breeding grounds, hiding places or food sources for rodents. Each rodent station is assigned a number and clearly marked out on a plan which is then stored in the service register.
To eradicate rodents from your property, call your local Flick office at 13 14 40.