RATS & MICE
One of the most awful pest experiences is that of having rats or mice in your home. The thought of these dirty, disease carrying animals living alongside you in your home, nibbling your food, running across food preparation areas and touching utensils is enough to make anyone feel ill.
Many people assume that rodents are attracted to a dirty home or other building. While food scraps will certainly provide an additional attraction, rodents also make their homes in very clean buildings. Rodents often enter warm ceilings in the winter months and is more a matter of rodents making their home in the nearest available building rather than having anything to do with cleanliness.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE RATS OR MICE?
Often the first sign the householder will pick up are noises in the ceiling at night. This is the preferred nesting location for rodents as it is dry and warm in the winter months.
Their waste is left behind at sources of food or nesting sites. Their faeces are dark brown to black with pellets ranging from 3 or 4mm long for mice through to over a cm for rats.
Food or household objects may be discovered with gnaw marks in them. Rodents have large front teeth which they keep limited in size by gnawing on all sorts of objects. They may even cause damage to electrical wiring etc. in ceilings and wall cavities.
WHERE SHOULD I LOOK TO CHECK FOR RODENTS?
Favourite hiding locations include: the ceiling of your home, rock retaining walls (they nest in the holes between stones), around BBQs (they love the greasy leftovers), rubbish areas, sub floor areas, garden areas along fences or near swimming pools, kitchen sink cupboards especially if there are holes around plumbing fixtures where access may be gained.
Beneath cupboards particularly in garages or sheds where there are gaps beneath external doors – be aware rodents can compress their bodies so that they can gain access through very small crevices or holes.
THE RODENT TREATMENT PROCESS
The pest operator will discuss with you where you have seen or heard rodent activity. This will help us identify where the rodents are coming from and aid us in the strategic placement of baiting mechanisms.
The pest operator will then investigate possible harbourages in search of nesting material, faeces, and rub marks (rodents have oily skin that leaves a greasy mark as the run along the edges of walls etc.). Again, this will help with accurate placement of baiting stations which will get you a faster result and save you money.
Lockable bait stations will be placed at the sites where rodents are living and travelling. The bait stations are small black boxes that for safety purposes enclose the bait and secure it with a metal rod so that pets and children cannot access it.
AFTER A RODENT TREATMENT – WHAT TO EXPECT
Rodents are neophobic, that is to say they are wary of anything new. So they usually will not touch the bait on the first night. Once they are comfortable they will nibble on the bait and one feed is sufficient to eliminate them. The bait affects them by making them thirsty. As a result they will go looking for water. The design of the bait is to avoid rodents perishing inside your home.
In my experience they usually go somewhere else to die. At times more noise is initially heard on the second night as the bait begins to effect the rodent. Usually the problem is resolved within a few nights.
WILL MY PETS BE SAFE IF THEY EAT THE RODENTS?
I am often asked: ‘what if my pet eats the rat, will it be poisoned too?’ The answer is no, secondary effects will not occur because the tiny amount of bait is digested into the rodents system and is not passed from animal to animal after that.