We are currently experiencing a higher than normal amount of rodent activity in and around Newcastle and surrounding areas as a result of weather conditions that are favourable to rodents.
We recently conducted rodent treatments in suburbs such as Mayfield, Waratah, Hamilton and Adamstown particularly where houses back onto, or are near bush reserves.
This appears to be a seasonal event, being the combination of the cooler months and rain, driving them in to find shelter and food. Our customers are reporting hearing noises in roofs, sighting rat droppings around BBQ areas in garages and around rubbish bins.
Rodents are well known for their activity in the winter months, but they can also be found in the warmer months of the year. When their normal food sources are depleted, they will search for new food sources and shelter, often at the expense of the homeowner. Rodents can also establish themselves at any home, despite how clean the home may be – they need food, water and shelter just like us.
Do I have a rodent problem?
At least 10 percent of the calls we receive from concerned customers are due to their home lighting no longer working and an electrician stating they have found chewed wires.
Rodents are well known for causing this type of damage to home wiring, which can result in a house fire, sparked by damaged wires in roof voids and within wall cavities.
Other signs that you may have a rodent problem include:
- Scratching sounds in walls and roof voids during the early hours of the night and morning.
- Gnawing on doors, skirting boards, books and food packaging.
- Rub marks – greasy marks on walls and skirting boards.
- Droppings and urine – strong repulsive odour around outside areas such as barbeque’s, sheds and indoor storage areas such as cupboards, drawers and under sinks.
- 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.
Health Issues and problems
Rats are well known for spreading diseases, here are some of the most well known:
- Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the home caused by Rodent droppings.
- Salmonellosis – caused by infection with bacteria called Salmonella.
- Typhoid – a fever disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella.
- Hygiene – food contamination risk, stock and product loss.
How to treat rodent problems
When all else fails and pest control measures need to be implemented, Amalgamated Pest Control technicians will look at all the available options. The two most effective methods of control of rats and mice are:
- Rodent Trapping: Using traps to physically trap and remove rodents.
- Chemical Control: Includes a wide range of baiting techniques, most commonly bait blocks used in Tamper Resistant Rodent Stations. These baits are secured inside the station and cannot be removed, making them pet and child friendly. Where needed, tracking powders, gels and other baits may be used as required.
How to avoid rodent infestations
- Ensure all of your household garbage is in tightly sealed in bins, which rodents cannot access – restrict their access to food as much as possible.
- Alter your building so that rodents cannot gain entry. Look for access holes that rodents can use such as where pipes enter buildings and gaps under external doors. Sealing these points and others similar will make it harder for rodents to enter. Using a gutter guard to seal the roof can be also be helpful in stopping 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 the structure, especially trees that overhang the roof. This will take away both harbourage areas and make accessing the roof a little bit harder for them.
We advise our customers to make these changes to their home and consider the installation of a gutter guard solution.
If you believe or suspect that you have rats or mice, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Newcastle for further advice.