As the days start to get colder rats and mice will start to try and enter homes for the purpose of finding a nice warm place to nest and breed through the cold. From late April through to the start of spring we start to get a lot of calls for Rats in the roof or Mice in the roof.
The colder times of year are known in the industry as rodent season. The fact is rats and mice are breeding all year around. They breed just as much in summer as they do in winter. The reason why we call it rodents season is because during these colder months rodents, like us want to be warm. Our homes provide a fantastic place for rodents to live. Especially when it’s cold outside.
How do rodents enter a house?
Rodents can find their way in through very small holes and make their way through the wall cavities and access exploit almost any area inside your home. The roof void makes an excellent nesting area as it is full of nice warm insulation. Rodents sometimes burrow into the insulation, and sometimes take small portions of it away to other areas to help them construct a nest.
These photo’s below was taken from a home in Toongabbie last week and we can see clear evidence that rodents are in this roof. We can see droppings and where they have tried to get below the insulation.
Aside from shelter rodents also need food and water. Often in and around a home for a rodent, these two essential things are very easy to find. Rodents mostly travel between 3 – 50 metres from their nest for food depending on species (approx. 3 – 10m for mice & up to 50m for rats).
How can I stop rodents at my house?
There are some things that you can do around your home to help make your property less attractive for rodents to live.
- Ensure all of your household garbage is in tightly sealed bins which Rats cannot access. Restrict their access to food as much as possible.
- Alter your building so that Rats cannot gain entry, look for access holes that Rats can use such as where pipes enter buildings, gaps under external doors. Sealing these points and others similar will make it harder for Rats to enter. Using a gutter guard to seal the roof can be helpful also to stop them entering the roof via the gutters. Restrict their access to shelter as much as possible.
- Trim excess trees and shrubs from around the perimeter of structure especially trees that overhang the roof. This will both take away harbourage areas and make accessing the roof a little bit harder for them.
How do I know if I have a rodent problem?
Some simple tell-tale signs of rodents to look for around your home;
- Sounds – Scratching and shuffling noises in the roof.
- Droppings – Found in and around the building.
- Tracks – Run tracks or rub marks (dark greasy marks) along walls or plumbing pipes
- Gnawing – Damage to food packets in the pantry. Additional indicators would be holes in skirting boards or conduits, cables being stripped of insulation or cardboard/ paper products being chewed.
- Visual sightings – Sighting of rodents scurrying around the areas and sighting of rodents nesting material in stored boxes.
- Excitement of your family pet. If your dog or cat is acting strangely, for example excessive barking in a particular area of your home, they might be trying to tell you something.
- Sensors / Alarms – being triggered, particularly within 1 or 2 specific areas of the premises, can be an indicator of rodent activity within an area.
How do you get rid of rodents?
When all else fails and control measures need to be implemented. Amalgamated Pest Control will look at all the available options. The two most common methods of control are;
- Trapping: Using traps to physically trap and remove Rats.
- Chemical Control: Includes a wide range of baiting techniques most commonly bait blocks used in Tamper Resistant Rodent Stations, the baits are secured inside and cannot be removed. Also the use of tracking powders, gels and other baits as required.
When we apply bait to control rodents we first complete a thorough inspection then apply bait in Tamper Resistant Rodent Stations (locked bait stations) as required. Trying to keep bait in areas such as roof voids and sub-floors as much as possible. If needed internally or externally in Tamper Resistant Rodent Stations keep the bait inside secure and don’t allow pets and children access to the bait. The bait cannot be removed from the station. We will always come back to assess the placement of the baits to ensure that they are being consumed and are placed in the most effective areas and to replenish if required.
If you would like more information on how to manage rodent problems at your property, call Amalgamated Pest Control Sydney.