Scurrying in the roof, scratching in the ceiling, walls and under under the floorboards are usually the very first signs of rodents present. You may also find damaged food packages and scattered droppings near feeding areas and around your home.
In later stages of the infestation, dirty and dirty looking rub marks along the wall where rats and mice are running, will become more obvious. You will also notice burrows, gnawing marks and chewed out holes in gyprock walls or skirting boards, urine stains, squeaking sounds and bad odour.
The critical point in preventing rats and mice establishing themselves in and around our homes, is deprivation of favourable conditions in which they can thrive. Rodents need food, water and shelter and a drastic reduction to these necessities will create an uninviting surrounding for these critters. In order to minimise the likelihood of a rodent infestation, ensure all garbage bins are closed and no food is left out overnight. Any opening that rats and mice can utilise as an entry must be repaired or proofed. Keep grass short and reduce overgrown areas in your garden. Unnecessary items and goods that may be kept around the house and yard should be removed.
Rats and nice are prolific breeders and given suitable conditions they can multiply rapidly. In Sydney not only climate, but also demolishing for redevelopment, household pets and poultry contribute to rats and mice relocating and establishing themselves within and around your home. Aside from playing a role in transmitting diseases, rodents contaminate stored food, damage utility cables and pipes and are known to have caused fires by gnawing on electrical wiring. Rodents can nest inside machinery, appliances, upholstery, soft furnishings, cavities in the ceiling, under the floor and in piles of rubbish.
They can easily access roofs via a wall cavity and start nesting in the insulation.
Rats and mice in search of food can find their way inside via openings as small as 10 mm. Rats and mice are nocturnal and while we are asleep they raid garbage bins, steal fruit from kitchen bench tops and help themselves to breakfast cereals.