Not all pests are insects. While most callouts for pest control on the Sunshine Coast are for termites, cockroaches, ants, and spiders, rodent treatment is also a common request.
What are Rodents?
Rodents are the largest group of mammals – in fact, 40% of all mammals worldwide are classified as rodents! They have very sharp, rootless upper and lower incisor teeth that never stop growing, and they are known for gnawing. With small but robust bodies, long tails, and short limbs, they include everything from rats and mice to guinea pigs, hamsters, squirrels, and beavers.
In terms of pest control in Australia, rodents are rats and mice. And as cute as they can sometimes be (to some of us, anyway), when wild they can also be an enormous problem. While Australia has many species of native rats and mice, the most destructive ones tend to be feral introduced species that came to Australia on ships with the European explorers and settlers.
As well as being physically destructive, rodents can also carry and transmit diseases to you, your family, and your pets.
They also breed and multiply very quickly!
Note* While possums can be troublesome if they move into your walls or attic space, they are not rodents and need a different approach to control if they are a problem in your home. It is an offence to harm a possum in Australia. Proactive Pest Solutions can offer guidance for the right professional, legal possum relocation services.
Rodent Activity – What You Need to Know
Unless they are caged, beloved family pets you have chosen to welcome into your home, rats and mice are a nuisance. They get into everything and can cause extreme property damage, accessing basements, walls, and roof spaces. They can also get into your pantry and other cupboards. They gnaw and chew on everything from cardboard to timber and even plastic pipes.
Mice and rats seek out food, warmth, and shelter in our houses, garages, and sheds, especially in the colder months, though they are active year-round. Once in your home, they:
- Chew through walls and gnaw on electrical wiring
- Create nests in cupboards, attics, walls, or under the house
- Destroy food boxes, contaminate, and munch on everything from dry goods to fruit and vegetables
- Carry fleas and harmful bacteria
- Worsen asthma and allergies in humans
- Attract snakes – even in urban areas
If you have or live near a chicken coop, your likelihood of having rats and mice is much greater.
- The first obvious sign of rodent activity in your home will usually be droppings. These look like dark grains of rice for mice and are larger for rats. They often appear in trails.
- If you have debris in your pantry or tooth marks or holes in your food boxes, you almost certainly have mice or rats.
- If you see one rat or mouse, chances are very high that he has friends and family hiding close by.
- If a resident rodent naturally dies in an area you have not actively trapped or set an easily accessible bait (e.g. in your roof or a wall), your first hint will be the rancid odour – and it can be very difficult to not only locate and remove the corpse but also to eliminate the smell.
Rodent Control and Treatment – Tips and Tactics
Keeping rodents out of your home in the first place is the most effective long-term solution to these problematic critters.
- Identify and seal entry points – these include doors to crawl spaces (attic or basement), doors and windows to the outside, and small access holes near cabinets, cupboards, or closets. Rodents can also gain access to your home via holes around doors and windows, missing vent screens, cracked foundations, broken or missing roof tiles, and holes around appliances or sink pipes.
- Remove food sources – tightly seal pantry staples, including rice, cereal, nuts, flour, biscuits and crackers, chip bags, and other non-perishable goods. Don’t leave fruits and vegetables in open bowls outside the refrigerator.
- Keep your kitchen clean and benchtops and floors free of crumbs.
- Keep outdoor BBQs and grills clean and covered.
- Fix leaking pipes and dripping taps both inside and outside.
- Keep trash and compost bins (indoors and outdoors) firmly closed and sealed.
- Keep firewood away from your house and garage and up off the ground.
- Secure pet food and feed/water your pets inside if possible and ideally, do not leave pet food or water outside overnight.
- Prune shrubbery and branches back from your home’s exterior. Don’t plant ivy or other wall climbers.
- Recycle paper and cardboard weekly as rodents love to chew on this.
- Install Rodent Barriers – this can be as simple as using steel wool and caulk to seal entry points (which need only be as large as a five-cent piece!). Metal mesh is also a great option.
- Clear nesting areas – look for shredded fabric or paper. Declutter junk and trash around your home.
- Control snails and slugs – rodents eat these.
- Avoid having a bird feeder – birdseed is a rodent food source.
- Keep your compost pile as far away from the house and garage as possible.
- Traps – snap or electronic traps, used properly, kill rats and mice quickly.
- Baiting – safe for you and your family when undertaken professionally. Call professionals like Proactive Pest Solutions for rodent treatment with poison baits for the safest, most effective outcomes.
If you have (or suspect) active rodent activity, there are several rodent treatment options. You need to understand that traps and poisons will not effectively keep rodents away into the future – only sealing all entry points and making your home less inviting will achieve this.
Control Rodents with Proactive Pest Solutions
Being proactive is the key to controlling rodents!
Say goodbye to these troublesome critters on the Sunshine Coast with Proactive Pest Solutions! At the first sign of rodent activity, call us to come and inspect your property. We will help identify the entry points, the nest if it is present, and provide solutions that include:
- Tactics to effectively block future access at entry points.
- Baiting with safe, lockable bait stations around the home in areas most suspicious for rodent activity. This is the most humane way possible while not putting your family or pets at risk
- Setting the most humane mouse/rat traps in the most effective locations where baiting has been unsuccessful or is unsuitable.