Rats and mice in our home or office are definitely not desirable from the viewpoint of disease transmission, damage from gnawing and contamination of food. I think it’s something that we would all like to avoid. We just need to know at some point these rodents will enter our living spaces. They are prevalent in our climate and our living environment is just too enticing for them.
Spoilage of Food
Rats and mice contaminate an enormous amount of food in South East Queensland. Rodents move around our stored foods continuously. They drop faeces (up to 50 droppings per day) and urinate on our kitchen surfaces and our floors. They also drop hairs that contaminate food as they go. Rats have also been known to kill and eat live animals such as chickens.
Rodents gnaw continuously to keep their teeth from growing too long. They will gnaw on all sorts of materials including timber, plastics, plaster, upholstery , electrical wiring and even machinery.
It is not uncommon for these pests to nest in the warmth of our car engines where they not only defecate but gnaw on the electrical cables. I have had this unfortunate experience with my own car. Rats chewed through the electrical wiring causing all sorts of problems. It was very expensive to repair, extremely inconvenient and of course dangerous.
One day many moons ago my husband came home, opened the back door of his 4 wheel drive and out scurried an enormous rat. He had been in a bushland garden with his back door open for some time, giving the rat the opportunity to hitch a ride.
As per my earlier blog Keeping Our Families Healthy, rodents transmit a wide variety of diseases. The most well known of all these diseases is the Bubonic Plague or Black Death that spread through Europe, Asia and Africa in the 14th century. This disease wiped out a huge percentage of the population.
Today the more common problems caused by rodents include the dissemination of food poisoning organisms such as salmonella. These bacteria are transmitted in a number of different ways. Rats and mice can contaminate utensils and food preparation areas with droppings and urine. They can actually bite humans or transfer diseases through our pets to us.
Needless to say, rats and mice pose a serious threat to human health. It is therefore imperative that we continuously treat our homes for these pests.
Most Common Rat in our Neighbourhood
The Roof rat or Rattus rattus tends to be a city dweller that is more accustomed to living inside a building rather than in the outside environment.
This rat has a pointy nose, large prominent ears, slight in build and with a tail longer than its body. Each rat lives between 9 and 12 months and has 4 to 5 litters per year. Each litter of rats has 6 to 8 young which also go on to breed 4 to 5 times a year producing 6 – 8 young … and so on and so on and so on.
It’s easy to see how these pests quickly become an infestation within your home. Unfortunately, by the time we become aware that these rats are in our roofs they are already onto their second or third generation.
Roof rats have excellent climbing skills which allow them to scuttle up drain pipes into roof cavities, hence their name. These little critters can also cross from one building to another using the electrical cables as tight ropes. These rats are normally described as being omnivorous however, they are also known to eat a large amount of fruit and vegetable material. Rodents eating these foods that have a high moisture content have a much reduced need for water.
Rodent Control Methods
Rodent infestations are usually treated using a combination of methods. These methods include improving sanitation and reducing food and shelter for rodent activity. Often rodent proofing of a building is done preventing access to the structure. Traps and glue boards can be used to physically capture them. Chemical control is another method which can come in the form of baits, tracking powders or gels.
This is where one of our Hitman technicians can help you in identifying the most effective form of rodent control in your home or office. The treatment that we do has a full 12 month warranty.
Give us a call and talk to us about any pest problem you’re experiencing.