To many people’s surprise, winter is actually the major rodent season in the industry. Despite the temperature drop, rats breed just as much in colder times as they do in summer. Every winter, rodents invade 21 million homes and gather mostly in bathrooms. Just like us, rats crave cosiness when it gets cold outside. That is why our homes provide an ideal place for them to make nesting.
Why is your house invaded even more by pests during the colder months?
There is a common misconception that pests are less likely to appear during colder months. However, rodents, warm-blooded animals including rats and mice, are adept survivors that invade households in search of food and warmth when the weather gets harsh and food and water become scarce.
Rodent pests can make their way into houses through even the smallest holes or wall cavities. Upon entry, they will exploit as many areas as possible. For example, roof voids or bathrooms are perfect shelters because of the abundant warm insulation there.
After many cafes and restaurants underwent forced closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While rodent activities often increase in winter, the abnormal upsurge may be induced by lockdown restrictions. Since the rats no longer have bins to forage through, they are more likely to flood into suburban areas and people’s homes.
Here are some invasive rodent species in metropolitan areas such as Sydney
- Roof Rat: Originating from South East Asia, roof rats or black rats are present anywhere now. Roof rats have soft, typically brown fur with intermixed spots of black. With pointed noses, large ears and unusually long tails that are even longer than their torsos, roof rats are highly skilled climbers. Commonly gathering in colonies, they often nest in upper parts of structures or trees. They are known to spread many diseases such as typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and Salmonella.
- Norway Rat: Norway rats, also known as Sewer rats, are larger than roof mice and live at ground levels. Primarily nocturnal, they often dig in piles of garbage or under concrete slabs. If they enter homes, Norway rats will mainly nest in basements, attics and other undisturbed dwellings. Property damages caused by these rats can happen to various materials, especially plastic and lead pipes. They are potential transmitters of plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and Salmonella. Their presence can also introduce fleas and mites into homes.
- House mice: Scientifically known as Mus Mucus, house mice colonise a wide range of habitats and are mostly found in secluded areas. They are excellent climbers and sneakers, thanks to their larger figures and excellent ability to move quietly, infestations of house mouses sometimes get unnoticed until the population is large. These rodents hold serious health threats. They can contaminate food and transmit diseases like Salmonella, tapeworm and the plague.
Rodent pest control measures
Preventative rodent pest control methods
Here are some do-it-yourself ways you can do to make your home less attractive to those uninvited guests:
- Cover left-over food and drinks and store them in the fridge. Do not pile dirty dishes in your kitchen, as food crumbles and water drops are exactly what rats look for. Also, ensure that domestic garbage is in nowhere but the sealed bins so they can block rat access.
- Detect any holes, cracks or cavities in doors, windows and pipelines that can grant mouse entry. Seal them properly can restrict rat invasion as there are fewer chances for them to enter your home.
- Trim excess trees and shrubs in close vicinity to your house. This will not only take away possible nesting areas and make roof entry harder for these tiny climbers.
Rodent treatment methods
If you have found traces of rodent infestation inside your house, you can employ one or several of the rat control measures below:
- Baits: Rodent bait stations will be set up at various strategic locations around the house structure. The advantage of these rodent bait stations is that they limit the risk of secondary poisoning of non-targeted animals, which is reduced to almost zero.
- Snap Traps: As baits may require daily monitoring, specially designed humane snap traps can be a more convenient option.
- Tracking Powders: Rodent tracking powders and pastes applied to burrows and rub marks can help trace back to their nesting and give you clues to treat them from the root.
However, rodent complaints are not always easy to deal with, because many factors build up environments for rats to survive. Therefore, if the infestation and damages go beyond your control or at-home treatments yield little result, seek professional help from rodent pest control agencies.
If you need to help controlling a pest problem, send us a message and we’ll get back to you immediately.