Rodents are normally considered a winter pest; however this year due to wet weather conditions and cooler than normal temperatures, I have noticed a spike in rodent activity and calls.
rodents eat practically anything humans eat, they get plenty of food from home gardens, fruit or nut trees and even parts of some ornamental shrubs and flowers. Garbage disposals also attract rats into household and street sewer lines. Rats and mice have long been a problem in domestic environments where food is plentiful and convenient nesting sites are both numerous and hard to eliminate.
There are some major problems caused by rats and mice:
- They eat food and contaminate it with urine and excrement.
- They gnaw into materials such as paper, books, wood or upholstery which they use as nest material. They also gnaw plastic, soft metals such as lead and aluminum, and wiring which may cause a fire hazard. Rodents will continually gnaw for food and Harborage.
- Rodents, or the parasites they carry, (such as fleas, mites and worms) spread many diseases.
- Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the home caused by Rodent droppings.
- Rats can damage ornamental plants by burrowing among the roots, or feeding on new growth. They also eat some garden vegetables.
- Rats and mice are socially unacceptable.
- A female Rodent can have between 84 to 120 young in her life span
On Saturday, 7th January 2012. I undertook a night inspection at residential premises in Burpengary that backs on to a council reserve. The home owner invited me to the property to witness the rodents roaming and foraging in the back yard and the rear pergola. Sure enough the property owner was correct and I sighted at least 25 rodents in the half hour visit.
I believe these rodents have been at the property for a period of time as they seem quite familiar with their surrounding and there was a large population sighted of different sizes and species, most commonly sighted at the inspection were the House mouse and Norway rat.
Action taken by Amalgamated Pest Control
On Monday I returned to the property to develop an integrated rodent management plan, to do this Iundertook the following steps:-
- A day light inspection;
- Rodent burrows were found in the gaps of the rear timber retaining wall;
- Rub marks were found along the timber retaining wall and on the rail of the rear timber fence;
- A chook pen was in the back yard with feed (seed mix) on the ground;
- A dog dish was found on the rear pergola with biscuits on the ground;
- A compost bin was in the back yard with fruit and table scraps
- Over grown gardens;
- The rear garden shed stored open bags of poultry feed;
- Neighboring properties also had poultry;
- The property backs on to a council drainage reserve.
The key to any treatment plan is customer education and involvement, the customer was requested to undertake the following actions to reduce the rodent’s conducive conditions:-
- Cease feeding the chooks on the ground. It’s recommended to feed the chooks in an approved feed station, these stations retail for around $25.00 at any produce. These stations keep the feed of the ground and any seed that does fall is usually cleaned up quickly by the forging chocks
- Rear shed, store open feed bags (chook food) in sealed air tight containers;
- Dog dish, It was recommended that dog is fed at set times and any leftover food is removed after the dog finishes eating.
- Compost Bin, cease filling with fruit and table scraps until the rodent activity is controlled
- Rodent proof the rear shed and home by undertaking the following:-
- Close up all holes in the exterior walls
- Install self closing devices on frequently used doors
- Permit no openings over 6mm particularly near doors and windows.
- Maintain the back yard gardens by undertaking the following:-
- Keep overhanging trees and shrubs cut back, these areas provided dark shadowy areas where rodents feel safe and protected.
- Keep grass and vegetation cut short.
As the customer agreed to the above terms we set about managing the rodent population and the following integrated rodent treatment plan was implemented.
- External yard areas
- Plastic lockable bait stations were placed 6 lineal meters apart along the boundary fence line, timber retaining walls and around the structures perimeter;
- Plastic lockable bait stations were placed selectively in the rear garden shed and in the gardens that were suspected to harbor rodent activity;
- Baits chosen were a combination between Ditrac blocks and pellets (these product were chosen for a quick knockdown effect and the products durability in damp conditions)
- Snap traps were installed in plastic lockable stations along the fence rails were rodents rub marks were found.
- As no rodent activity was sighted, glue boards and snap traps were placed in selected areas of the home.
Summary of the treatment program to date
Two weeks later and after a number of visits by Amalgamated Pest Control, rodent numbers have been reduced dramatically, bait consumption is reducing and the home owner is not visually seeing rodents of a night time. Due to the program in place and the home owner’s involvement it is believed in the coming weeks the sight will be rodent free.
|Common Names||House Mouse||Norway Rat||Roof Rat|
|Scientific Names||Mus musculus||Rattus norvegicus||Rattus rattus|
|Weight||20 grams||450 grams||260 grams|
|Body Shape||Slender||Heavy set||Slender|
|Fur||Fine, coloured brown to grey||Coarse, red/brown in colour||Fine, coloured grey, black or brown, can be white underneath|
|Ears||Reasonably large, hairy||Small close set, finely haired||Large, prominent, almost hairless|
|Tail||About as long as body and head, partly naked||Shorter than body and head, pale underneath||Longer than body and head – uniform colour|
|Droppings||Pointed 3-4 mm long||Blunt 18mm long||Pointed 12mm long|
|Gestation period||19 – 20 days||21 – 23 days||21 – 22 days|
|Sexual maturity||4 weeks||2 – 3 months||2-3 months|
|Number of litters per year||6 – 10||5 – 6||5 – 6|
|Average number of offspring per litter||4 – 6||7 – 12||10|
|Average life span||15-18 months||18 months||18 months|
|Foraging Range||40 – 50 Meters||40 – 50 Meters||40 – 50 Meters|
|In good conditions||As little as 2 meters||can be more||same|
If you believe you have rodents, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control for a tailored solution to meet your needs and prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home or work place.