Types of Rodents In Australia

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Many types of rodents are notoriously responsible for spreading diseases, contaminating food and causing electrical faults and fires. Once they enter your property, mice and rats can reproduce extremely quickly and result in a serious pest infestation. Here are some of the most common types of rodents we treat in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland and the Hunter Valley.

Brown Rat

Also known as the Norwegian or sewer rat.

Appearance and characteristics

Brown rats have a coarse brown or dark grey coat, with a lighter grey underside coat. They have short ears, small eyes, a slanted, blunt snout and a thick tail that’s usually shorter than the body. Relative to other types of rodents, Brown rats are very aggressive so they are often spotted with damaged tails and ears.

Lifecycle

Female brown rats will have 3-6 litters a year, producing 7-8 young per litter. Brown rats have a gestation period of only 3 weeks and the pups only take 10-12 weeks to reach sexual maturity. The average lifespan is 2 years.

Habitat

Found in sewers, around ports, farm buildings and low damp areas of the home. Brown rats make nests out of soft materials such as grass, paper and insulation. Away from human spaces, brown rat colonies burrow underground, often near creaks.


Black Rat

Also known as the roof rat, for their ability to climb up and live in rooftops.

Appearance and characteristics

Sleek black coat with a pale grey to white underside. They have large ears, big eyes, a pointed snout and long thin tail. Adult black rats measure between 16-24cm in length and weigh an average of 150-200g.

Lifecycle

Female black rats can produce 3-6 litters a year with 5-10 pups. The gestation period lasts for only 3 weeks and the pups take around 12-16 weeks to reach sexual maturity. Their average lifespan is one year.

Habitat

Black rats are found throughout Australia, in both agricultural and urban areas. They have great climbing skills and are often found in the roofs of commercial and residential buildings. They make nests out of soft materials such as grass, paper and insulation.


Field Mouse

Field mice feed off grains and have become a major problem for the agricultural industry.

Appearance and characteristics

Field mice have a sandy-brown fur on the body and yellowish fur on the chest and abdomen. They measure between 8-10cm in length, with a tail about 7-9cm. They have noticeable upper front teeth and large ears.

Lifecycle

Field mice breed in between October and April, each female will produce around 5 young. The average lifespan for a field mouse is only 2-3 months.

Habitat

Field mice are naturally ground-dwelling burrowers, but can also be found in moist dark, hidden areas of the house in nests made of soft materials like paper, grass or insulation. They can be found in commercial, agricultural and residential buildings.


House Mouse

House mice are prolific breeders and found in spaces where humans dwell, creating major infestations.

Appearance and characteristics

The house mouse is similar in appearance to the field mouse, but with smaller ears. They have a short light to dark brown coat, with virtually hairless feet, ears and tail. They also have big eyes and a pointed snout. House mice are around 7-10cm in length, with a 5-10cm long tail and weigh about 10-30g.

Lifecycle

Female house mice have around 7-8 litters per year, producing 4-16 pups each. The gestation period only lasts for 3 weeks and pups reach sexual maturity within 8-12 weeks. House mice live for an average of 12-18 months.

Habitat

House mice are mostly found inhabiting commercial, agricultural and residential buildings where humans dwell.

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