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If you can hear scratching sounds in your wall cavities or scurrying feet across your roof space in the quiet of the night, chances are you’re sharing your home with a rodent. The good news is, you’re not alone and in recent years we’ve seen a rise in rodent infestation in Sydney homes. The bad news is these small pests can cause big damage in your home – they will eat virtually anything and are active all year round. There are different types of rodents found in Australia from the common house mouse to the larger brown rat and all pose a serious health problem if found living in your home. If left untreated, their numbers can grow to significant levels – this is where Safe Pest Control can help.
More on mice…
Introduced in Australia by the first European settlers, mice have been a problem all around the world for some time. They have a hearty appetite and multiply quickly, with the female species having up to eight in a litter at a time. The House Mouse is a small species, weighing up to 30g and is approximately 70-95mm in length. It is grey/brown in colour, has thin whiskers, narrow hind feet, sharp claws and a long, almost naked tail. As its name suggests, the House Mouse prefers to live indoors, in the comfort of wall voids, behind cabinets and around appliances. The real cause for concern with mice is that they can spread diseases via their urine and droppings, contaminate food and damage materials in and round your home – i.e. chewing through electrical cords and gnawing on wood and insulation.
Introducing the Rat Pack…
The largest of the rodent species and by far the most common is the Norway Rat (also known as the Brown Rat). This pest can be found living happily wherever there is food, water, warmth and shelter – by this we mean anyone’s home. The Norway Rat has a life expectancy of approximately one year and the female species will have 5-6 litters in that time. It grows up to 40cm in length and weighs approximately 350-500g. It is reddish/brown in colour and whilst it is a good climber, jumper and swimmer, it prefers to burrow at ground level.
The second species which is also commonly found in Australian homes is the Black Rat (otherwise known as the Roof Rat). Prone to living in coastal towns, the Black Rat is dark brown/black in colour with a pointed nose, large prominent ears and a tail as long as its body. It grows up to 24cm in length and is known for its agility. The Black Rat is a particularly serious threat to farmers, eating a wide range of agricultural crops and it too has a lift expectancy of approximately one year. Both species will consume different types of food around your home, primarily cereals, bird seeds and pet food left unattended both indoors and out, so good housekeeping goes a long way. There are close to a dozen diseases that are linked to rats, including Salmonellosis and Leptospirosis (both worldwide and both transmitted when eating or drinking food or water that has been contaminated with rat droppings or urine*).
If an infestation of mice or rats has been identified in your home, the next step is to implement practical and long-term solutions to avoid a re-infestation. Effective rodent control is essential in keeping your home and your family safe from the spread of disease, the contamination of food and the damage to your property. Don’t be fooled – mice and rats are clever creatures. They know what to do and where to hide in order to survive, so solving a rodent problem can prove to be quite a challenge. Appointing a knowledgeable and qualified team of pest control providers is your best bet in getting rid of rats and mice for the long term.
The dedicated team at Safe Pest Control will tailor a solution specifically for you. It will start with a detailed inspection using the latest technology, where they will identify the areas in your home where the rodents are getting in and where they are likely to hide. “A good pest control provider will recognise the signs, solve your rodent problem quickly and then show you how to manage it in the future,” said the company’s Director, Milad Bahrami. “Once we carry out the initial inspection, we will then put into place a range of highly effective, eco-friendly rodent control solutions that will bring positive results for the long-term.” ‘Rodent proofing’ your home will also help a re-infestation from occurring so be sure to keep the kitchen and other food preparation areas clean; store food in air tight containers (preferably glass or plastic, as rodents can eat through paper and cardboard); and keep the lids on your garbage bins closed and in good condition.
Rats and mice will quickly make your Commercial or Residential property their own if you let them, however, there are ways you can help prevent an infestation from occurring. Whilst their eyesight is poor, they have excellent hearing, smell, taste and touch and all they want is easy access to food, water and shelter. By making access to these things as hard for them as possible, you’re off to a good head start. Keep your house tidy both inside and out and eliminate places where rats and mice can hide and most importantly, don’t leave pet food unattended. Small gaps under doorways are big enough for rats and mice to enter, so use door strips across the bottom to block their entry. Holes in your walls around pipes and utility cables, etc. are a welcome sign for rodents. Cover these and broken roof tiles with wire mesh and seal any smaller gaps. Rats, in particular, are good swimmers and can travel through damaged pipes, so covering drains with metal grates is a good way to stop them in their tracks.
Here is a list of our ‘top tips’ for preventing rats and mice, which you can easily carry out in your home…
Signs of Rats and Mice in Your Home
Even if you haven’t physically seen a rat or a mouse, this doesn’t mean they’re not around. They become active after dark which is why, it’s usually in the quiet of the night, when you will hear the scratching sounds in the walls and the shuffling in your roof space. There are several telltale signs of rodent activity and/or an infestation in your home including small droppings, urine stains in your kitchen cupboards and pantry, gnaw marks on food products or skirting boards, or even sighting them out in the open running hastily across a room. We explore these in further detail below.
FAQS – RODENT
There are several telltale signs of rodent activity including droppings and urine stains; noises in the quiet of the night including scratching in the walls, under the floorboards and in the roof space; damage to food packaging in your pantry and also to skirting boards and electrical cables.
There are close to a dozen diseases that are linked to rats, including Salmonellosis and Leptospirosis (both worldwide and both transmitted when eating or drinking food or water that has been contaminated with rat droppings or urine).
Keep your house tidy both inside and out and minimise clutter; store food in airtight containers and don’t leave pet food unattended; ensure the lids on your garbage bins are in good working order; and if you suspect signs of rodent activity, call the professionals sooner rather than later.
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