Rat control is important to avoid the spreading of diseases, food contamination, structural damage, not to mention flood risk if they chew through water pipes or fire risk if they chew through electrical cables. If they enter into your home or business they can also introduce other pests such as fleas, ticks or lice.
The reason rats cause such damage is because their incisors never stop growing, so in order to survive they must gnaw (chew) to keep their teeth at a manageable length. Their gnawing is powerful enough to chew holes through pipes, joists, walls, floors, etc. They can flatten their rib cages to fit through gaps – if their head can fit through, their body can follow.
The most common rats in New Zealand are the Ship Rat/Roof Rat (Rattus Rattus), and the Water Rat (Rattus Norvegicus). Roof rats are incredibly good climbers and they are the ones that do the damage mainly within upper/higher areas of dwellings/buildings.
Rat Signs to look out for:
- Scratching/Scurrying Noises – Usually heard at dusk and dawn in roof voids and upper levels of buildings.
- Smell – The smell of urine can be quite evident in roof spaces and in kitchens if there are rats nesting in appliances.
- Rat Droppings – Commonly found in roof voids, under sink units, behind appliances, etc.
- Damage – Holes, mostly in wood and plastic with obvious gnaw marks, ripped food packaging, damaged stored food products, gnawed/damaged electrical cables, etc.
- Rub Marks – Because rats have poor eyesight, they use their whiskers to feel their way along structural routes such as skirting boards, walls, etc. and if it’s a well-used route, grease and dirt from their bodies can leave a visible trail, which can also lead to where they have gained entry into buildings.
- Running Tracks – Trails can often be seen in areas such as a dusty area of a warehouse, or outside through grassy areas, which will clearly show a track of no grass often leading to the building and subsequently to an entry point.
- Nests – Rats prefer to build their nests in a warm, dark, secluded area, usually close to a food source. Their nests are made from shredded material such as newspaper, cardboard, insulation, etc. Common nesting areas are underneath or within appliances such as fridges, freezers and dishwashers; roof voids, rafters, etc.
Regular pest control is the most effective way to eradicate and maintain the control of rats, using a good quality bait and tamper-proof bait stations which keep the bait safely out of reach of the public, children and pets.
What we do:
Ask where they are being seen or heard. Look for visible signs – droppings, urine marks, smell, rub marks, gnawing/damage. Get an idea of what type of rat – roof rat (rattus rattus) or a Norway (rattus norwiegicus). The main problems are usually the roof rat also known as the black rat, ship rat.
Inspections are carried out in roof voids and sub-floors and the surrounding perimeter of the building also noting if there is any access such as anything structural, anything leaning or attached to the house such as power lines, tree branches, trellis, vines, etc.
Bait is always secured. We never have bait unsecured so rats are forced to eat the bait where it is, rather than taking loose blocks of bait and possibly dropping them halfway back to their harbourage areas and possibly someone’s pet or child finding and eating it (the bait has a bitter additive to make it unpalatable to non-target species, such as pets and children!!) What we use is a single-feed bait, meaning they need only one feed for it to be fatal to them. The death is relatively quick and painless and is caused by internal haemorrhaging. Their own active behaviours such as leaping/jumping helps to speed up the haemorrhaging. The bait we use is safer than most baits on the market with regards to the level of toxicity for secondary poisoning, meaning it’s safer for your pets if they happen to eat a dead rat/mouse.
We mainly wire baits in roof void areas so they are secure, and for interior, sub-floor and exterior areas we use bait secured within bait stations which are then placed discreetly but strategically around the property.
We provide a number of options for rodent control:
- A six week program where we set up the bait and bait stations, then re-bait them on a fortnightly basis.
- A preventative maintenance program where we set up bait and bait stations and service them (label, re-bait and clean when required) the bait stations on a regular basis.
- DIY options where you can purchase the products yourself
- A combination of DIY and setup where we will set up the bait and bait stations you have purchased, draw a site plan, offer advice for rodent proofing and leave you with the tools and knowledge to carry on with the job yourself.