Rats and mice are a family of mammals characterized by a pair of continuously growing front incisor teeth on the upper jaw which they have to keep short by constant gnawing.
There are many reasons why rats and mice are considered pests. The most obvious are, they are disease carriers, contribute to food damage and contamination and cause physical damage to buildings.
For these reasons, you don’t want to have them in your home or business.
That is why it is important to engage an experienced service provider for expert advice and professional service. Here are 4 keys steps to deal with rats and mice infestation.
It is very important to inspect the exteriors and interiors for rats and mice activity before you start a treatment program. Common infestation signs are faecal droppings, tracks, gnaw marks, grease marks including runways and entry points to name a few.
Gnaw marks on cable and wood
Grease marks on pipe
Rats and mice look very similar however the noticeable differences are their
- physical size and body features
- food preference
Here are the 3 common species and identifying them correctly is important so you know which species you are dealing with.
Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus)
Norway rats, also known as Brown rats or Sewer rats have thick bodies. They usually live in burrows and sewers. They seek and eat any human food preferably garbage, meat and fish in the same places with regular access to water.
Roof Rats (Rattus rattus)
Roof rats, also known as Black rats or Ship rats have slender bodies. As the name says, they frequent roof voids. They will eat any fruity and vegetable food sources, because of this the need for water is reduced. Unlike Norway rats, they tend not to eat at the same place.
Mice (Mus domesticus)
Mice, also known as House mice or Field mice, have smaller body size compared to Roof rats and Norway rats. Adult mice can easily be mistaken for young rats. Mice eat cereal and like Norway rats will tend to look for food in the same places but will only drink water if available. They either live indoors or outdoors.
There are 2 key aspects to control and prevention of rats and mice, which are chemical and non-chemical methods.
The chemical method involves the use of poison baits to control infestation level. This will be elaborated further in the 4th key step.
The non-chemical methods are simple things you as a home or property owner can do to keep rats and mice away. Here are 3 prevention tips.
- Eliminate food and water sources
Dispose of food scraps and clean food preparation areas regularly and thoroughly including spills. Store food in sealed airtight containers.
- Eliminate entry points
Seal up cracks and any holes on the exterior of your home or office with a caulk or a hard durable material particularly around utility fittings, under doors and on windows and vents.
- Eliminate potential breeding areas
Unnecessary debris can become safehouses for rats and mice so regularly clean and maintain inside and outside of your home or office and dispose of unwanted items.
4. Scope of Works (Treatment)
It is very important that the chemical method or control should only be undertaken by a trained and experienced service provider.
A trained service provider has a better understanding on the correct and safe handling of poison baits together with the right equipment and PPE to use in appropriate situations.
Most importantly, it is the Duty of Care by a trained service provider to ensure the chemical treatment meets standards and requirements without causing any harm to home or office occupants.
Want to know more about how to prevent rats and mice or have an expert inspect your property for damage? Contact our expert team today.