Rats and mice are pests that spread disease, contaminate food, cause damage and make you sick. They usually live for 6–36 months and can breed several times a year, having up to 10 babies each time. Their numbers can grow very fast, so once they enter your home it can be difficult to control their numbers.
Rats and mice in the home
If you think you may have rats or mice in your home, you may not see them as they mostly come out at night.
What to look for:
- rat or mice droppings
- rat or mice holes or tunnels
- missing or eaten food
- scratching or squeaking sounds
Controlling rats and mice
Keep your property clean and tidyRemove places where rats and mice can hide or nest, such as timber piles, rubbish heaps, machinery and general litter.
Remove sources of food
Food attracts rats and mice. You can help stop them coming on to your property by:
- removing fallen fruit from around fruit trees
- not leaving too much pet food out
- keeping your aviary or chicken pen clean and tidy
Rodent proofingBlock any gaps or holes in your home where rats and mice can get in. Make sure you block it with something that they can’t chew or dig through, such as steel wool.
TrappingA mouse trap or rat trap works well and you can buy these at your local hardware store. Use bait like peanut butter or cheese. Place the traps in the path that the rats or mice use or have been seen.
Use gloves when touching the used traps or any dead rats or mice, and make sure you wash your hands straight after.
Council does not approve baitingBaits are poisonous can harm children and also other animals (e.g. cats and dogs). If you choose to use baits, follow the instructions carefully to make sure you have laid the bait safely and in an area where children and/or pets can’t get to it.
Rats and mice are creatures of habit and will travel close to walls and fences, normally following the same path. After you have baited a trap place it along a sheltered wall or fence and secure in place with several bricks or stones. Baits will make a rat or mouse thirsty and they will look for water so you may find them there.
Help removing pests
If you have rats and mice on your property and you need more help removing them, you should call a professional pest controller.
If your neighbour has mice or rats that are causing a problem for you, you should try to speak with them first to fix the problem. If that doesn’t work you can let us know.
When you contact us, please provide the following information:
- your name, address and phone number the problem
- the exact address/location
- evidence of the rats or mice (photos of them, droppings, etc).