The rise of the Rat

There’s no escaping that we live in a harsh environment from the searing heat waves through to the sustained periods of droughts followed by severe flooding. It’s is due to these extreme and quick shifts in our climate that has had a remarkable impact on the evolution of our indigenous and successful non-indigenous fauna making them able to adapt rapidly to the changes in the environment which is key to their survival. There is a saying make hay while the sun shine and this certainly rings true for our wildlife none more so that the introduce species like the Norway & the roof rats. When the conditions are right they will increase their breeding cycle to make use of the abundance of food and this so happens to be what is occurring now. We have seen an increase in the amount of enquires rat activity. Rats like the Norway and the Roof are very effective at exploiting small gaps into a property and once established they can cause a lot of damage in a short space of time. Rats pose a real health rise and are known to transmit many diseases to man such as salmonellosis and Weil’s disease. We are often asked how to prevent rats from entering the home in the first place, below are some helpful hints.
  • Keep your home in good repair; rats only need a gap of 15mm to gain entry
  • Remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy, and by cutting back overgrown areas and removing any fallen fruit
  • Seal gaps around waste water pipes and air-conditioning units
  • Install pest exclusion mesh to building vents and weep holes
  • Do not leave household waste where rats can get access to it, close rubbish bin lids and composters and do not feed wild birds as you may be feeding rats as well
  • Keeping chicken, pigeons and other caged birds in your yard can attracted rats into your property.
  • Rats are very adept climbers and can exploit over hanging trees to gain access to the home via the roof, so cutback any overhanging tree limbs.
  • Avoid having items such as shade cloth attached to the fence as this will act as a highway for rats traveling along the fence to climb up onto the roof.
  • Ensure that all down pipes connect directly into the storm water and not left open at ground level. One easy solution is to install a metal gutter ball to top of the down pipe this will stop rats from climbing onto the roof.
It comes back to the old saying “prevention is better than cure!” but if you’ve tried all these methods and you still have ongoing problems, sometimes you need to call on the professionals to help you out.

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