why get rid of rats?

Tuesday 18 June 2024, 10:01AM

By ACES pest control


corrigan Credit: ACES pest control

Rodent Control: Essential for Protecting Homes, Businesses, and Native Wildlife in Aotearoa

Auckland, New Zealand – Rodents might look cute, but the havoc they wreak on homes, businesses, and Aotearoa’s native wildlife is significant. Owen Stobart, an experienced pest controller in urban Auckland, emphasizes the critical need for proactive rodent control to prevent severe and costly damage. Let’s explore why this is crucial and what you can do about it.

The Hidden Dangers of Rodents

 Rodents can cause significant damage, from minor inconveniences to serious hazards. Have you ever considered what happens when they invade your home? They love nesting in the insulation, shredding it and rendering it useless. This leads to increased heating costs and discomfort. Owen explains, “This often results in the insulation being pulled down, so it no longer functions to effectively warm your home.”

But insulation isn't their only target. Rodents also chew on live 240-volt wires. Why would they do that? This behaviour exposes bare copper wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires. “I find myself looking at all these bare, exposed copper wires, shaking my head and thinking, what kind of animal does this for fun?” Owen wonders. This poses an extremely dangerous fire risk.

Moreover, rodents have a peculiar habit of chewing on plastic water mains pipes. Imagine a tiny gnaw leading to significant water leaks and floods in attic spaces, walls, floors, kitchens, and bathrooms. Owen comments, “Chewing plastic water pipes is a pleasant pastime for them, but when the water starts coming out like a fountain, it’s not so good for you.” The damage from such floods can run into thousands of dollars, making rodent control a must.

Identifying a Rodent Infestation How do you know if you have a rodent problem? The most common rat in New Zealand is the roof rat, which is often heard before it’s seen due to its shy nature. Do you hear scurrying in your attic? Another clear sign is rat droppings. Have you spotted any? It’s crucial to remain vigilant and address any signs of rodent activity promptly.

Effective Rodent Control Strategies

When dealing with a rodent issue, you have several options. Professional pest control services, like Aces Pest Control, offer reliable solutions. However, if you prefer a DIY approach, Owen suggests learning from experts like Dr. Bobby Corrigan, a renowned Urban Rodentologist and head of the New York City Rat Academy. Have you heard of him?

Dr. Corrigan’s teachings emphasize three key areas: access points, nests, and sebum trails (grease marks left by rodents). Addressing these areas is crucial for successful rodent control. “All you need is a keen eye, a bright torch, and a bit of determination,” says Owen. Sebum trails are particularly significant as they indicate frequently traversed areas. These trails appear as dark brown smears, resembling smeared Vegemite, on rafters or pipes. Have you seen any?

Once you’ve identified these key areas, you can choose from various control methods, such as mechanical traps and rat baits. Owen advises placing mechanical traps on sebum trails and leaving them unset for seven days to let the rats get used to them. If you opt for bait, strategically place it in key areas, ensuring non-target animals are excluded. Does this sound manageable to you?

Broader Impact on Native Wildlife

Rodent control is about more than just protecting your property. It’s also about preserving New Zealand’s native wildlife. Rodents prey on native species and compete for food sources. Effective control measures help maintain the balance of our ecosystems, contributing to the survival of native wildlife. By controlling rodent populations, you protect your property and play a vital role in conserving our unique biodiversity. Isn’t that worth the effort?


Rodent control is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy living environment. By addressing infestations promptly and effectively, you can prevent costly damage, reduce health risks, and contribute to the preservation of native wildlife.

By taking proactive measures and staying vigilant, you can safeguard your property from the destructive impact of rodents. Isn’t it time to ensure a safer and more comfortable living environment for yourself and future generations?

Original text by Samantha Hess, Predator free NZ edited by Owen Stobart ACES pest control and  Samantha Hess, Predator free NZ