Mice and rats in New Zealand: threats and tips
Mice and rats are one of the most common pests that impact Kiwi homeowners, particularly in cooler months when they seek warmth, food and shelter. When rodents invade a home they often threaten the health of the occupants and damage the property. This is because rodents can carry various diseases and parasites which contaminates food and surfaces, and they will often chew through various materials such as insulation and wiring, and eat food - both unpackaged and packaged.
Understanding the threat
Rodents will commonly enter a home through cracks and holes, and can also make their way inside through drainage pipes and similar openings. Once inside they can be very elusive, contaminating any area or food they touch, and leaving a trail of urine or feces which also carries serious diseases.
It is widely known that the Black Death or the plague, which swept through Europe in the 14th century, was caused by rats carrying the bacterium Yersinia pestis. However these animals have also been known to carry many other diseases that infect humans.
In New Zealand, rats and mice have been known to carry LCM (lymphocytic choriomeningitis), which is a viral infection; salmonellosis, a bacterial infection; mycoplasma, a type of bacteria; leptospirosis, a bacterial disease also known as Weil’s disease; streptobacillus, another type of bacteria; and dysentry, a gastrointestinal disorder. They can also carry parasites such as fleas and ticks.
What you can do about it
Once rats and mice enter a home they are more difficult to get rid of. This is because these animals are naturally quick, clever and resourceful. In addition, they are known to have high reproduction rates, which only accentuates the problem.
The best approach to securing a home against rodents is to have a combination of proactive and reactive measures in place. We recommend investing in a pest control service which will ensure the problem is taken care of quickly, efficiently and humanely.
In the meantime, you can set your own traps and bait to catch the rodents. Be sure to use these options safely as bait will contain chemicals and pesticides that are very harmful to humans. Traps should be placed in dark, sheltered areas and in many spots around the home as rats and mice will often nibble a food source and move on. If you find droppings or signs of rodents, clean the area thoroughly and disinfect any surfaces, and dispose of any food items that have been eaten or contaminated.
Preventative measures include doing a sweep of your property to see if there are any cracks or holes in your walls, roof or joinings that can be filled - remember that rats and mice can enter spaces as narrow as a pencil. Be sure to also trim back any trees or bushes from your home to ensure these rodents can’t enter from above, and stop rats and mice infesting the garden area by ensuring the area is clean and secure.
While an invasion of rats or mice can be unpleasant and difficult to manage, targeted, proven methods can restore your home to being pest free and help you to keep it that way.
Article published by Thrivetech