Are rats and mice eyeing off your Canberra home this winter?

As the temperature starts to plunge in Canberra, many local rats and mice will have your home, garage or shed in their sights. Like humans, rats and mice prefer the warmth to the cold. With winter just around the corner, now is the time to safeguard your home and family against rats and mice. In this article, we provide the lowdown on rat and mice control in Canberra, and stress the importance of making the necessary household repairs to prevent reinfestation.

Are rats and mice dangerous?

Yes. Rats and mice are dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, they can spread serious diseases, such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), salmonellosis, tularaemia, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and rat-bite fever. Secondly, they can cause house fires (after gnawing on electrical wiring).

To protect the health of your family, it’s important not to touch or smell rodent urine, faeces and saliva. Always wear gloves, a face mask and protective eyewear if you need to clean up after rats or mice. As a leading provider of rat and mice control services in Canberra, we can help you eradicate rodents over time.

Why are rats and mice so difficult to eradicate?

Rats and mice in houses are difficult to eradicate for one very simple reason: they create odour trails that other rats and mice pick up on. Even if you kill the rats or mice in your home, there’s a strong possibility that other rats and mice will replace them – unless you can find and repair all the entry points.

In many homes, entry points (cracks and gaps) are difficult to spot, as they’re hidden by internal walls, floor coverings and roof insulation. In other words, finding all the entry points is easier said than done. At Canberra Pest Control Group, we employ a “best endeavours” approach – baiting the rodents and pointing out any entry points we find.

Important Note

It’s the property owner’s responsibility to find and repair all the entry points that the rats or mice are using. Consequently, Canberra Pest Control Group cannot guarantee to fully eradicate rats or mice from your home in Canberra or Queanbeyan.

Which rats and mice are problematic in Canberra?

Canberra is home to four rodent species that are problematic: the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), black rat (Rattus rattus), house mouse (Mus musculus) and field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). Canberra Pest Control Group has experience dealing with all four rodent pests.

Do rats and mice have any major quirks?

Rats and mice have several quirks that Canberra homeowners should be aware of:-

  • They’re neophobic (fearful of new things).
  • They have teeth that never stop growing (they gnaw on household materials to file them down).
  • They’re nocturnal creatures that scavenge for food at night.
  • They create odour trails (secreted pheromones) when they find a food source or place to live.

What are the signs of a rat or mouse infestation in my home?

It doesn’t take long for rats and mice to make their presence known. If you notice any of the following signs, you might have an infestation:-

  • Scratching, gnawing, scuttling or squeaking sounds coming from the roof, walls or floor.
  • Strong, unpleasant urine smells.
  • Pellet shaped droppings (up to 20 millimetres in length).
  • Gnaw marks on fruit, food packaging, electrical cords and wooden fixtures (such as skirter boards).
  • A structure resembling a nest (usually made from shredded paper and/or dried plant matter).
  • Pets – particularly cats and dogs – are more excited than usual.

How do I stop rats and mice from entering my home?

Rats and mice are cunning creatures that enter homes through holes, gaps, roof vents, chimneys, skylights, air vents and sewerage lines – not to mention open doors. The best way to stop rats and mice from entering your Canberra home is to perform regular property maintenance and cover any ventilation openings with mesh or perforated plastic.

In our experience, rats and mice gain access to many Canberra homes via damaged floorboards, walls, fascias, soffits, bargeboards, roofs and flyscreens. We strongly recommend that homeowners get these entry points repaired or closed off (once we’ve dealt with the rats or mice). Homeowners should be aware that rodents are more attracted to homes with untidy kitchens.

How are rats and mice eradicated?

In most cases, we use a rodenticide (typically in bait form) to kill rats and mice in Canberra. This process can take several weeks or months, as rats and mice are neophobic (fearful of new things). Once the rats or mice have consumed the rodenticide, they usually leave the property in search of water (dying in the process). Our helpful team is available for follow-up visits to replenish baits and remove carcasses (if required).

For further information on rat and mice control in Canberra, or to make a booking, please call Canberra Pest Control Group 1300 022 111.