RATS & MICE FACTS
Rats and mice are mammals belonging to the order Rodentia, Latin for 'Gnaw Tooth'. Their continually growing incisor teeth are kept short by habitual gnawing. They have lived along side humans throughout history and have become well adapted to man-made environments. They are more likely to enter our buildings during cooler weather or when other food sources are reduced. They will make use of insulation, fabrics, paper or leaf-litter to make their nests in roofs, wall voids or other secluded areas.
They are omnivorous and very adaptable in their diet. Both rats and mice have little need of free water and depending on their diet, mice in particular may obtain all the water they need from their food. Rats are neophobic, (frightened of new things or changes to their environment), but mice are quite adventurous and will readily approach new sources of food. Both however, are generally creatures of habit and prefer to travel back and forth along safe and familiar paths. They are agile climbers and the Norway rat is a skillful swimmer. They have keen senses of touch, taste, hearing and smell but relatively poor sight; a factor of their nocturnal existence.
Our Technicians have access to a wide variety of rodent solutions, including single dose anticoagulant baits that will deliver a lethal dose resulting in mortality within a few days of ingestion. Our Technicians are skilled at detecting rodent evidence, identifying species, recognising entry points and determining the best course of action to achieve control. A combination of eradication methods is sometimes necessary.
Why are they considered pests?
Rats and mice are genetically similar to humans and therefore are often used in medical research. They carry the same diseases as humans and have been responsible for enormous loss of life. The plague, spread from rats to humans by the oriental rat flea is said to have claimed more than 25 million lives in Europe during the 14th century. They still pose a serious threat to our health, particularly by spreading the Salmonella bacteria. Tapeworm, meningitis, typhus and Weil’s disease are also spread directly or indirectly through contamination by rats and mice.
Gnawing can damage buildings and equipment, books, upholstery and food packaging but more significantly, stripping of electrical wires can result in destructive fires.