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Rats and mice are commensal pests that have been well-adapted to live inside, alongside humans for centuries. They are notoriously responsible for the spread of many diseases and contaminate more food than they eat.

Rats and mice have also been known to cause house fires after chewing through electrical cables.

Once they have entered your home or business, rats and mice can populate extremely fast and in a short space of time you could have an infestation. Canberra Pest Control have over 45 years’ experience in dealing with pests and will eliminate rats and mice from your home or business, guaranteed.

Mice & Rats commonly found in the Canberra ACT Area

There are over 65 different species of rats and mice in Australia but the three most common pests found in residential and commercial areas in Canberra are the Brown Rat, Black Rat and House Mouse.

At Canberra Pest Control, we exterminate all types of rats & mice in the Canberra, ACT and local NSW surrounding area. This Rodent Identification Guide will help you recognise the species that are likely to be found in Canberra and which species are living in your home.
Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)

Also known as the norwegian rat or sewer rat, brown rats are aggressive and as such, are often seen with a scabby, damaged tail and ears.

Photo of a Brown Rat

Colour

It has a coarse brown or dark grey upper coat, with a brown to light grey underside.

Size

The brown rat has short ears, small eyes and a slanted, blunt snout. It is robust with a thick tail that is usually shorter than the body. Adults have an average body length of 20 to 25 centimetres and weigh an average of 250-350 g.

Habitat

The brown rat prefers wet areas like creek banks, sewers and around ports, but can also be found around farm buildings or in low, damp areas in and around the home. It builds nests from shredded soft materials like grass, paper and insulation. Unlike the black rat, the brown rat won’t often be found in roofs as it is not a strong climber. Away from human habitation, many brown rat colonies live in burrows underground.

Lifecycle

Female brown rats will have 3-6 litters per year, producing around 7-8 pups (young rats) per litter. The gestation period only takes 3 weeks and once born, it takes just 10-12 weeks for the pups to reach sexual maturity. The average lifespan of a brown rat is 2 years.

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Black Rat (Rattus Rattus)

Also known as the Roof Rat.

Photo of a Black Rat

Colour

It has a sleek black to light brown upper coat, with a pale grey to white underside.

Size

The black rat has large ears, big eyes and a pointed snout. It is slender with a long, thin tail that is usually longer than the body. Adults have an average body length of 16 to 24 centimetres and weigh an average of 150-200 g.

Habitat

As its alias suggests, the black rat is a good climber and is often found in the roofs of residential and commercial buildings, where it constructs nests of shredded soft materials like grass, paper and insulation. It is widespread across Australia and lives in both agricultural and urban areas, as well as in bushland.

Lifecycle

Female black rats will have between 3-6 litters per year, producing 5-10 pups (young rats) per litter. The gestation period only takes 3 weeks and once born, it takes around 12-16 weeks for the pups to reach sexual maturity. The average lifespan of a black rat is 12 months.

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House Mouse (Mus Musculus or Mus Domesticus)

Its preferred food is cereals and as such, has become a serious pest in the grain industry, with plagues every few years being a serious economic problem.

Photo of a House Mouse

Colour

It has a short light to dark brown upper coat, with virtually hairless feet, ears and tail.

Size

The house mouse has relatively large round ears, big eyes and a pointed snout. It is small and stout with an average tail length of 5-10 centimetres. Adults have an average body length of 7 to 10 centimetres and weigh an average of 10-30 g.

Habitat

The house mouse is a wild animal but is mostly found inhabiting in and around commercial, agricultural and residential buildings where humans dwell. They are naturally ground dwelling burrowers but will often climb and live in most dark, hidden areas of the house. Like rats, they make their nests from soft materials like paper, grass or insulation.

Lifecycle

House mice are prolific breeders. Female house mice will have between 7-8 litters per year, producing 4-16 pups (young mice) per litter. The gestation period only takes 3 weeks and once born, it takes around 8-12 weeks for the pups to reach sexual maturity. The average lifespan for a house mouse is 12-18 months.

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Field Mouse (Apodemus Sylvaticus)

Its preferred food is cereals and as such, has become a serious pest in the grain industry, with plagues every few years being a serious economic problem.

Photo of a Field Mouse

Colour

It has sandy brown fur which becomes more yellowish on its chest and abdomen.

Size

Adults have an average body length of 8 to 10 centimetres, with a long tail measuring 7 to 9 centimetres and larger ears than a house mouse. The Field mouse has upper front teeth with a smooth inner surface, which differ from those of the house mouse.

Habitat

The field mouse feeds on grains and is mostly found within commercial, agricultural and residential buildings where humans dwell. They are naturally ground dwelling burrowers but will often climb and live in most dark, hidden areas of the house. Like rats, they make their nests from soft materials like paper, grass or insulation.

Lifecycle

The breeding season is from around October to April and afterwards, each female will produce around 5 young. The average lifespan for a field mouse is just 2-3 months.

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We exterminate ten pests in one treatment when we spray your home for spiders.

At no extra cost to you, we also treat cockroaches, silverfish, earwigs, slaters, millipedes, clothes moths, pantry moths, paper wasps & mud wasps - 100% free

Clothes moths, pantry moths, paper wasp & mud wasp warranty applies only if present at time of treatment.

Canberra Pest Control mice & rat treatments What's Involved?

If you have mice & rats in Canberra, here’s what we’ll do for you...
  1. A Pre-Work Risk Assessment will be completed over the phone at the time of booking with our office staff. Details include but are not limited to: type of premises, specific requirements, instructions and risk information.
  2. A further risk assessment and thorough inspection will be conducted by your technician on site at the time of the treatment. Here we will identify the species and extent of infestation, as well as any risks involved.
  3. Depending on the size of your home and the infestation approximately 2-3 dozen baits will be placed strategically in both roof voids and sub floor areas if applicable. If the infested areas are accessible to children or pets, or in commercial situations, we will use lockable rat or mouse boxes to ensure safety and sanitation.
  4. We may suggest other control measures based on integrated pest management including sanitation, hygiene and trapping. All facets of pest control procedures will be considered, including elimination of food & water sources, gaps and crevices.
  5. As Rodents are Neophobic (fear new objects) it can take up to 2 weeks for the rodents to go near bait, take it and for the bait take effect.
  6. If after 2 weeks, you still find evidence of live rodents, it is possible that a new family of rats or mice have moved in. There will be enough bait already in place for this possibility, so you simply need be patient, and allow the bait & process time to take effect again.
  • Signs of a mice or rat infestation Know where and what to look for...
  • How to prevent mice & rats in your home Handy tips and tricks...

Signs of a mice or rat infestation

Signs of a mice or rat infestation What to Look for

Rats and mice are nocturnal and attracted to dark, quiet residential or commercial environments where they can easily reach food sources. Depending on the species, they will often make their nests in roof spaces, walls, kitchens & laundries, or storage places like sheds and warehouses. If you have a basement, shed, accessible roof space or attic, you should check them regularly for these signs:

Droppings

Rats can produce up to 40 droppings each per night, which are often found concentrated in specific locations. Rat droppings are long, dark and cylindrical and can resemble a large brown grain of rice. Mice can produce even more droppings; from 50-80 per night and scattered randomly. They are dark, cylindrical and smaller than rat droppings.

Nests

Rats and mice shred soft materials like paper, fabrics, grass and insulation to make their nests. Look for piles of these materials in hidden places like behind big appliances, in roof spaces, under the house or in the back of cupboards. Nests will often contain rat or mouse pups.

Noises

The unusual scratching noises heard at night can be rodents scuttling about the house, or the clicking of their sharp front teeth as they gnaw through furnishings, building materials and electrical wires. If there is a rat or mouse infestation, often squeaks can be heard at night when the rodents are most active.

Damage

Rats and mice can cause serious damage to your home or business by gnawing through organic matter like wooden beams in the roof or even electrical cables. They will almost anything edible that is left out, including pet food and can even chew holes in your pantry to eat and contaminate your food.

Footprints or Rub Marks

Rats and mice will leave footprints and track marks from their tails in dusty environments. To test for an active infestation, sprinkle flour or talc on the area and check for fresh footprints in the morning. Due to their poor eyesight, rats and mice often use the same routes around walls every night. You might find dark, greasy smears around holes or corners where their dirty fur has constantly rubbed against it.

Odour

Rodent urine can give off a distinctive ammonia smell and often the stronger the smell, the larger the infestation. This smell can linger for a while even after the infestation has been removed.

Live Or Dead Rodents

Usually, rats and mice are nocturnal and will only venture out into plain sight at night time. If you spot a rat or mouse during daytime hours, this can be a sign of a heavy infestation.

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How to prevent mice & rats in your home

How to prevent mice & rats in your home Handy Tips & Tricks

Here are some handy tips to help reclaim your home and keep rats and mice out for good.

Clean up

Regularly clean under and behind your kitchen appliances for crumbs and anything else that might be considered a food source. Keep inside and outside rubbish bin lids closed and empty them regularly.

Remove food sources

Don’t leave food on the bench and clean pet bowls regularly. In the pantry, keep food stored in glass or metal containers as rodents can chew through plastic.

De-clutter

By removing clutter around the house and cleaning up the plant debris from your garden, you will limit the amount of hiding spaces for rats and mice to live.

Seal up your house

Use a sealant like caulk to seal up cracks and crevices around windows, skirting boards, floor boards, electrical outlets and pipes. Eliminate other entry points by replacing torn window and door screens and fitting brush strips to the bottom of doors with gaps underneath.

Separate the home & garden

Trim back trees and plants growing near your garden to reduce the risk of potential nesting sites. High overgrown branches can make it easy for rats to climb onto and into your roof.

Let the pets loose

Pets, cats especially, will enjoy chasing and hunting down pests like rats and mice. They will also do a good job of deterring more rodents from the area.

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Rats & Mice FAQs

  • How does rodent pest control work?

    In most cases of rat & mouse infestation, we will use a block product approved for the treatment of rodents as per label instructions. These blocks will be placed strategically in both roof voids and under house areas if applicable. Click here to find out more about what’s involved in rodent pest control.

  • Do rats & mice bite humans?

    It’s rare for mice to bite unless food sources are scarce, but rat bites are more common and they will also bite when threatened.

  • Do rats & mice carry diseases?

    Yes, they can. Mouse urine can carry germs which has been known to cause illness and allergies. In addition, they also spread disease by carrying fleas and ticks. Rats can also carry fleas and ticks and were notoriously responsible for the spread of the bubonic plague and the death of over 25 million people back in the 14th Century. Rats can spread several diseases and viruses by biting, scratching and contamination. These include hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever and salmonellosis.

  • How do I tell if I have rats or mice?

    Refer to our rodent identification guide to find out which species of rat or mouse you have a problem with. In general, rats are much larger and darker than mice.

  • How can I tell the difference between an odd rat or mouse and an infestation?

    Rats and mice are well known for being prolific breeders, so the odd rodent can very quickly turn into an infestation. In addition, if you have a basement, shed, accessible roof space or attic, you should check them regularly for signs of an infestation.

  • In addition to pest control, what else can I do to deter rats and mice around the home?

    There are many things you can do yourself to discourage a rodent infestation around your home. These include simple habits like cleaning surfaces and removing rubbish. For more information, read how to prevent a rodent infestation.

  • Is pest control safe for children and pregnant women?

    The simple answer is yes. When we use pesticides or baits, we select formulations with the lowest toxicity available & apply these products where pests breed and live, not where you can come into contact with them. If the infested areas are accessible to children or pets, or in commercial situations, we will use lockable rat or mouse boxes to ensure safety and sanitation.

  • Is pest control safe for my pets?

    Yes, however with Rodent Bait, if there is a chance that your pet may access it, we will be unable to bait in that area. In these situations we may be able to use lockable rat or mouse boxes to ensure your pet cannot access the bait. Locked boxes come at an extra cost, but they are well worth it and are yours to keep and can be re-used.

Get rid of mice & rats in Canberra now!

Call 6242 7779 or request a call back!

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The Most Common Pests We Treat

 

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When treating for spiders, we also exterminate cockroaches, silverfish, earwigs, slaters, millipedes, clothes moths, pantry moths, paper wasps & mud wasps at no extra cost.