Scientists used the term a perfect storm to explain the culmination of adverse meteorological factors that lead to a major weather event. It could be said that this has occurred to cause the current mice plague that is hitting Metro and Rural South Australia.
Over this summer and autumn we have seen unseasonal weather systems that have created the perfect conditions for breeding of not only mice but all manner of creatures from crickets and spiders to possums.
We have received an inundation of phone enquiries from clients reporting mice activity. Mice are experts in exploiting building defects and the making use of the tiniest of gaps.
It may surprise you to know that mice only need a 5mm gap (the same size as a biro) to gain entry to your home.
The first line of defence in stopping a rodent infestation is population control and followed up with exclusion.
So how do you know you have rodents in the first place?
Here are some tell-tale signs to look for:
- Noises in the roof – the rule of thumb on noises in the roof is dependent of the time in which you are hearing it. All the time = mice, noises at the same time of the night but every night or second night = rats, and hearing noises at sunrise and sunset = possums.
- Gnaw marks – rodents are habitual gnawers because their teeth are continually growing they need to file them down through gnawing.
- Rub marks - the underbelly of rodents has a build-up of grease which easily transfers to any surface they continuously come in contact with.
- Droppings – rodents are easily distinguishable by their droppings. Mice droppings are the size of a grain of rice and black in colour. Rats droppings are dark brown in colour and around 9mm to 14mm in length tapering at the end.
When looking to proof your home against rodents it is important to inspected these area for gaps large enough to allow rodents entry
- Garage roller doors – in most cases the roller door is recessed back from the door frame making a half inch gap that has the potential to allow rodents entry.
- Air vents to allow air flow under subfloor in a board floored home. This is one of the most common entry points used by mice.
- Perp joints in brick commonly found on concrete slab homes
- Air conditioner cables running through the wall. These are never sealed 100% making a prefect little highway for rodents.
- Boiler and hot water services where the pipe comes back into the wall.
- Overhanging vegetation- rodents love to climb and any vegetation that has made it to roof height a rodent will exploit to gain access into the roof void and from there it is easy for a rodent to find his way into your house.