Advice and information on Rodents
Rats and mice can spread diseases to humans such as Salmonella, Listeria and Leptospirosis to name a few. They can also cause structural damages, causing serious fires, floods and other safety hazard by gnawing through pipes, cables and other materials.
- The Brown Rat measures about 23cm long without measuring the tail and has a blunt muzzle, hair covered ears and shorter tail.
- A Black Rat is smaller, has a pointed muzzle and large hairless ears and a long thin tail.
- The House Mouse vary from light brown to grey and measures about 6-9cm.
Rats and mice live in any situation that provides food, water and shelter, so the main factor that increases an infestation are entry points into the house. Rats only need a 15mm gap to gain entry and mice need even less, 5mm.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
- You may be able to identify the presence of Rats through scratching noises and the unpleasant smell of their urine
- Rats gnaw to wear down their growing incisors. You might find damage to woodwork, plastic, bricks, lead pipes and electrical cables
- Rats droppings may be found in specific locations and resemble large brown grains of rice
- Rats nests can be found in lofts, attics, crawlspaces, under eaves and in cavity walls
- There may also be smear marks on surfaces caused by repeated contact with the oils on the fur of the rat
- Similar to Rats, you may notice scratching noises
- Small dark droppings
- A strong ammonia-like smell which comes from their urine
- Prevent entry by sealing gaps throughout the building. In particular, around pipes, under sheds as well as any gaps that allow entry into the building. The recommended method is to place steel wool in the opening and then use silicone caulking to seal it up.
- Ensure drain inspection covers are in a good state.
- Cover household waste, i.e. bins and compost heaps.
- Keep foodstuffs in tight fitting storage units.
- Ensure that any outdoor rubbish is kept in bins which the rats cannot get access to.
- Keep clutter indoors and outdoors to a minimum so that the Rats do not have a place to hide and to remove potential nesting places.
It is advisable to contact professional pest however, for first instance solutions there are various repellents, baits and traps.
- Ultrasonic devices: These emit a high frequency sound that deter rats from setting up a nest in the area. Multiple devices must be used as the frequency wave does not penetrate through walls and furniture.
- Botanical rodent repellent: The smell of the plant based products are offensive to rodents whilst still being safe for humans.
> Live capture
- Traps can be set up to capture the rodent live for later release. The release should be far away enough so that the rodent cannot find its way back.
- A variety of manual and more advanced traps can quickly and effectively combat an infestation. These need to be placed on flat surfaces along walls where the rodents have been seen to run or near smear marks.
> Baits and poison
- Bait boxes: The bait used to kill the rodents are held securely in a box making the boxes child and pet friendly.
- Baits and poison: Rodenticides that are attractive to rats and mice can be placed near suspected rodent activity. These need to be placed in secure and safe places out of the reach of pets and children. In addition, any dead rodents need to be disposed of quickly using gloves to ensure that there is no secondary poisoning resulting from the other animals eating the poisoned rodent.