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Rodents (Rats & Mice)

Rodents (Rats & Mice) are a serious issue that affect many Australian homes. Our homes are very attractive to them, as they provide them with everything they need: food, water and shelter.

Rodents do not only spread diseases and contaminate food, they also cause damage to your home. Rodents have to continually gnaw on their teeth to keep them from growing too long. They will gnaw on anything even, so when you hear noises in your roof, walls or under your home they are not only nesting, but they may be gnawing on your water pipes, plaster, Ducting for you heater and air-conditioning, and electrical cables and conduits. Every year homes are water damaged and fires are caused by rodent infestations.

Black Rats (Rattus Rattus)

    Appearance

  • The black rat is between 16-24cm in length, with a trail longer than the head and body.
  • It grows to between 150-200g in weight.
  • They have a pointed nose, large ears and a slender body.

Lifecycle

  • Black rats produce 5-10 young per litter, and have between 3-6 litters a year.
  • The gestation period is about 3 weeks.
  • it only takes between 12-16 weeks from birth for them to reach sexual maturity.

Habits

  • They are incredibly agile and very good climbers.
  • Their preferred food is moist fruits. Black Rats will eat around 15g of food a day and drink 15ml.

Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)

    Appearance

  • The Brown rat is up to 40 cm in length, with a tail shorter than the head and body.
  • It grows up to between 350-500g in weight.
  • It has a blunr nose, small ears and a thicker body when compared to the Black Rat (Rattus rattus).

Lifecycle

  • Rats have 7-8 young per litter. and between 3-6 litter a year.
  • The gestation period is about 3 weeks.
  • It only takes 10-12 weeks from birth to reach sexual maturity.

Habits

  • Preferred food is cereals, although they are omnivorous.
  • They will eat around 30g of food a day and drink 60ml.

Field Mouse (Apodemus Sylvaticus)

    Appearance

  • Size: adult head and body 80 – 100mm in length; Tail 70 – 90mm.
  • Weight: Male can weigh 25g, and the female 20g.
  • Sandy / Orange brown fur on the head and black.
  • Yellowish fur on the flanks and white on the belly
  • There is usually a small streak of yellow on the chest.

Lifecycle

  • Their lifespan averages two to three month, but they can survive as much as 20 months in the wild, or two or more yers in captivity.
  • Breeding seasons are October/November to March/April and gestation lasts approximately 25 days. They grow their first fur after six days; their eyes open after 16 and they are weaned 18 days old.
  • Survival of the young and adults is poor during the first half of the breeding season as adult males can be aggressive towards one another and to the young, who are then driven form the nest.

Habits

  • They eat a high proportion of the seed crop of trees as oak, beech ash, lime, hawthorn and sycamore. Numbers can reach plague proportions in the grain belt areas.
  • Small snails and insects are particularly important sources of food in late spring and early summer when seeds are less available.
  • They also eat apples and will attack newly planted legume seeds.

House Mouse (Mus Domesticus)

    Appearance

  • Size: 70 – 95mm in length, with a tail around the same length.
  • Weight: 12 – 30g.
  • Their relatively small feed & head and large eyes & ears distinguish them form a young brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Lifecycle

  • 4 – 16 young per litter; 7 – 8 litters a year.
  • Gestation period of about 3 weeks.
  • 8 – 12 weeks form birth to sexual maturity.

Habits

  • Usually ground living and burrowing, but often climbs.
  • Preferred food is cereals.
  • Will eat around 3g of food a day and can survive without any additional water. They will drink up to 3ml a day if their diet is particularly dry.