Complete Rodent Control – Newcastle and Hunter Valley
Rodents aren’t cute furry creatures. Rats and mice are disease carrying pests that cause damage to food and property.
Rats and mice carry diseases such as dysentery, leptospirosis and typhus fever; can introduce fleas, ticks, lice and mites into your home; spoil food with their urine and droppings; and by chewing through electrical cables rodents are known to be a significant cause of house fires.
If you hear the sound of pattering feet in the roof void, find chewed boxes in the cupboard or droppings in the pantry, you probably have a rodent problem… and you need to deal with it quickly!
For complete and safe rodent treatments call the experts at Rebel Pest Professionals.
How we get rid of rats and mice
As with all our pest treatments we start with a thorough inspection to fully understand the nature of the problem. For rodents it is particularly important to identify the species of rodent present, any nesting sites and how they are entering the building. With the correct information we can design a successful rodent control program.
Our professional rodent treatments
- Our rodent programs typically include the use of rodent baits, sometimes in combination with traps.
- For safety, rodent baits are always placed in secure bait stations (see below for more information)
- The bait stations and traps are placed in strategic locations to deliver maximum performance. It is important that we place sufficient bait at all sites of activity, so the number of bait stations used will depend on the size of the infestation.
- Typically this means that bait stations are primarily placed in the roof void and sub-floor, as well as other areas of activity.
- Although most residential rodent problems can be eliminated in a single visit, for heavy infestations additional visits may be required.
We will always discuss any safety concerns you may have before carrying out a treatment. We do this over the phone at the time of booking and also carry out an on-site risk assessment before carrying out a treatment.
This is particularly important for rodent control programs, as the rodent baits can be toxic to pets and humans, and traps can cause injury to inquisitive fingers and paws!
To minimise the risk of accidental poisoning, we place all bait in secure bait stations and place them in locations which cannot be accessed by pets and children.
How rodent baits work…
Rodent baits contain a slow acting rodenticides – once the rodent has eaten the bait, it can take 4-7 days for them to die.
The rodents only need to eat a small amount of bait to get a toxic dose, but they will continue to eat until they die.
The rodenticides are actually anticoagulants which cause internal bleeding – the rodents become sluggish before falling unconscious and dying.
Rodenticides can also affect dogs and humans (as well as other mammals and birds) in the same way, but a dog or child would have to eat a lot of rodent bait for it to have any effect. If a child or dog accidentally ingests some bait, you should seek medical or veterinary attention and they will determine if any treatment is necessary.
What to expect from our rodent treatments?
Although the rodents will die within 4-7 days of eating the bait, the rodents don’t always eat the bait straight away. Although mice are very inquisitive and will often eat a bait at the first visit, rats are neophobic which means they are wary of anything new in their environment. It can take up to a week before rats start to feed on a bait.
Taking into account feeding behaviour, it can take up to 2 weeks to eliminate a rodent problem. However, if there is a significant rodent infestation, follow up visits may be required to top up the baits to make sure all the rodents are eliminated.
It is important that any dead rodents are removed as soon as they are noticed. Put on some gloves, place the rodent in a plastic bag, seal and place in the bin.
Rodent proofing your home
We will block up any obvious entry points during our visit and will make recommendations on rodent proofing your home to help prevent rodent problems in the future.
How to prevent a rodent problem…
To help prevent rodent problems, it’s a good idea to rodent proof your home with these key actions:
- Remove food and water sources
- Maintain good hygiene practices – clear up any food spills, clear away dishes after meals and keep the kitchen clean
- Make sure food, including pet food and chicken food, is stored in rodent proof containers
- Keep garbage bins away from the building, with the lids firmly in place
- Fix up any water leaks
- Prevent easy access to your home
- Block up cracks and crevices to prevent rodents having easy access to your house. Note: Rats can squeeze through a gap the size of the end of your thumb and mice through holes the size of the end of your little finger!
- Trim back any branches that overhang the roof
- Eliminate potential nesting sites
- Clear away vegetation from the building perimeter
- Remove stored items from the sub-floor and roof-void
What are the signs of a rodent problem?
As rats and mice are nocturnal animals it is very unlikely you will see one during the day. However, they are very active animals so will leave behind a number of tell-tale signs…
- Sounds in the roof – Rats will make quite a lot of noise moving around the roof. Mice are a lot quieter
- Droppings – Rodents will leave clusters of oblong shaped droppings. Rats droppings are up to 19 mm long, mice dropping are a lot thinner and shorter, up to 7 mm
- Damage – chewed boxes or packets of food are an obvious sign. They will also gnaw hard materials to help file down their teeth
- Footprints – in dusty areas it is quite easy to spot their footprints and tail marks.
- Nests – rats and mice will collect soft materials such as insulation, paper and grass to make their nests
- Burrows – rats and mice will dig burrows outside, preferably in raised banks with vegetation for protection
- Odours – with an establish infestation, with the nest nearby, there can be a strong smell of urine
- Rub marks – when rodents have been in place for a while they develop runways which they travel along on a regular basis. Where these runways meet the wall, there will be oil rub marks where their fur has contacted the surfaces.
Types of rodents
There are three main pest rodents in Australia: the roof rat (or black rat / ship rat), the brown rat (or sewer rat / Norway rat) and the house mouse.
The roof rat is the most common pest rat in Australia. As its name suggests it prefers nesting above ground (roofs are ideal) and are excellent climbers. Although they are also called black rats, they can be black or brown, with a grey or white underside. They have quite large ears and eyes, a pointed nose, and a tail that is longer than its body.
The brown rat is a large heavy rat, with small ears and eyes, a blunt nose and a tail that is shorter than its body. It is brown in colour with a lighter or white underside. Brown rats will commonly make burrows outside buildings.
The house mouse is a small rodent with bulging eyes in a small head, with large rounded ears. It is a brown / grey colour with a paler underside. The tail is about the same length as its body. Mice do not travel far from their nesting site to their food source and will happily nest in wall voids and furniture. Although they are excellent climbers, they prefer to live at ground level and will dig burrows outside.
There are also a range of native rodents and also some native marsupials which sometimes can be confused with rats, such as possums and antechinus.