Rodent control – there are better ways than baiting and trapping

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Rodent control – there are better ways than baiting and trapping

Rodent control – there are better ways than baiting and trapping

Rats and mice are a common pest in regional Australia. When they get into a house they can bring diseases, ruin insulation, chew wiring, and cause mental health issues. When you think of rodent control, most people think of either rodent baiting or trapping. But at best, both of these methods only keep numbers down, while still letting mice and rats enter your home. Not to mention some mouse trapping methods can be cruel and inhumane.

Why rodent baiting and trapping isn’t the best option

In a plague, the mice just keep coming!

Australia’s agricultural areas are well-known for our mouse plagues. When these roll around (every five to ten years), local hardware stores frequently run out of mouse bait and rodent traps.

Even pest controllers struggle to achieve rodent control. In the 2020-2021 rodent plague, several of our commercial clients who refused to consider (more expensive) rodent proofing were inundated with mice. We were coming back to these buildings twice a week to refill empty bait boxes. When the mouse population is so high, baiting and trapping fails to get control.

Picture of a number of dead mice around a mouse bait station in the middle of a mouse plague.
In a plague, the mice just keep coming and coming. This photo is of one of our rodent bait stations in Jerilderie after 2 weeks in the middle of the 2020-2021 mouse plague.

Rodents can die in your walls or roof

Most of the time, rats and mice spend their time foraging. So, after eating a rodent bait they should die outside away from your house. What a perfect world that would be!

Unfortunately, sometimes a mouse or rat will die in your roof and cause a smell. We offer dead rodent removal, but there’s only so much we can do when they die in your walls. An odour removal bag often takes the edge off, though.

Picture of mice dead in a rodent bait station.
An extreme example of mice dying close to the baits (another mouse plague photo).

Secondary poisoning

Most rodent baits available to pest controllers and consumers are anticoagulants. They stop the production of clotting agents in the bloodstream and cause hemorrhaging and death.

We use the safest anticoagulant rodent baits with the least amount of secondary poisoning potential. Normally if a cat, dog, or native animal eats a dead mouse or rat, there isn’t enough bait left in the rodent’s stomach to affect your pet. However, when mouse and rat numbers are seasonally high, your cat can eat a larger number of mice and could build up enough levels to make them sick.

We strictly control our baiting with targeted placement, limiting bait use, and tamper-proof lockable bait containers. This eliminates risk of secondary bait poisoning, but we can’t control what your neighbours are doing.

Baiting and trapping has a delayed reaction

Rodent baits cause death in a mouse or rat in three to seven days. Depending on the amount they eat and the size of the rodent. Rats, in particular, are neophobic (afraid of new things) and may not approach baits or traps for weeks.

In the meantime, they can keep scuttling around in your roof, gnawing cables, and damaging insulation.

Picture of a tunnel through insulation.
Mice frequently tunnel through insulation around ducting, causing lots of damage.

So what should I do instead?

Make your house less attractive to rodents

Mice and rats can be attracted to your house for many reasons. There are some things you can do to help them focus their attention elsewhere.

Remove food and water sources like fruit and pet food. You can do this by only feeding your pets at certain times of the day and taking away the food when they’ve finished. This can be done with chickens as well. You should also consider removing fruit trees or at least picking up the dropped fruit every day.

Picture of fruit dropped from fruit trees that can attract rodents.
Fruit trees can be an easy food source for rats and mice

Remove rubbish and cut your grass shorter to give rodents fewer places to hide. They will look for other hiding places, hopefully in your neighbour’s yard and not yours.

Picture of boxes and rubbish near a house giving rats and mice a place to hide.
Rats and mice are attracted to rubbish. They can hide themselves from predators.

Stop them getting into your house in the first place

Rats and mice can gain entry into the tiniest of spaces that you might not think of. Part of our job is seeing the things that other people overlook.

Consider rodent proofing to stop rats and mice from getting in. See the linked article for more detailed information. This is a service most good pest controllers will provide for you.

rats and mice getting in to your house through gaps.
Rodents can get into the smallest spaces. See our article on rodent proofing.

You can find more information about our residential pest control services here and our commercial pest control service here.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a no-obligation quote then please give us a call on 02 6032 7137 or click here to send an enquiry to our office team.

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