Rampaging Rats and Mice
For centuries, where man has lived the rat and the mouse followed, waiting to scavenge their next meal. You may not see these pest control offenders as they’re nocturnal, but they’re out there, waiting to find their next meal in your home. The chill of winter brings humans in even closer contact with rats and mice as they search for warmer places—like the wall spaces of your home—to build their nests.
The Rodent and Your Health
Rats and mice are hazardous to you and your family. They carry disease such as Salmonella, trichinosis worms and bacteria. They contaminate food serving areas in kitchens with dirty feet and fur. They use trails of urine to find their way around in the dark—something you definitely don’t want spread in your home! They can cause dangerous conditions in your home by chewing through electrical wires and causing fires. Their teeth continuously grow, causing them to seek out hard things to chew to wear them down
Life Cycle of Rodents
The mother mouse or rat can produce up to 10 litters of pups a year. Usually these litters have around 8 pups each. The babies are born hairless, sightless and dependant on their mother who nurses them and tends to their needs. By three weeks the babies are self-sufficient; by 40 days of age they're ready to start families of their own. This means a harmless pair of mice living in your basement for the winter could produce a colony of relatives by spring!
Types of Rat and Mouse
There are two kinds of rat and one common species of mouse throughout Australia recognised by pest control professionals. The Norway Rat is brown and usually found in sewers. The Roof Rat is black in colour and interestingly found its way to Australia by stowing away in the rafters of ships. It inhabits trees, roofs and higher places whilst the Norway or Brown Rat tends to keep to the underground areas. The Common House Mouse makes his home where he can but he usually prefers cosy wall spaces and attics.
The best way to deal with mice and rats is to make sure your home is proofed against them before they become a pest control nightmare. Screens and windows need to be tight fitting and in good repair as mice and rats can pass through the smallest hole to enter your home. Make sure all food is stored properly and spills are cleaned up promptly inside and outside of the home. A rank garbage bin of food is heaven to a hungry rat. Check your foundation and areas around pipes and electrical point of entry to be sure they are sealed tightly. Rats and mice can enter a small crack in the foundation or crawl through a tiny gap around a drainpipe to get inside your home. Lastly, neat shrubberies and vegetation outside your home give rats and mice less places to hide.
Man may not be able to avoid living in proximity with the rat or mouse, but you can definitely call a pest control professional to keep populations out of your living space. A pest control programme will help keep your home free of disease and safe from the threat of electrical fire.