Rats and mice belong to the group known as rodents (from the Latin rodere ‘to gnaw’) This name refers to their gnawing habit which is necessary to control the size of their chisel shaped front teeth. Our experienced technicians at Dandenong Pest Control Pty Ltd often witness damaged homes due to the constant gnawing on and through plumbing and electrical pipes/cables.
These animals/pests are well adapted to living in very close association with humans, sharing food sources and shelter. Throughout history, rats and mice have been responsible for enormous losses of food and for their ability to transmit disease to humans by a variety of means, even to the extent of loss of human life. Whether it is crops in the field or foods in the store, rats still consume and contaminate vast amounts of food and they pose a serious threat to health. Hence, it is not surprising that many countries have adopted legislation aimed at reducing levels of infestation.
Being social animals, rats and mice live in groups and make nests constructed of soft materials available e.g. paper fabrics and insulation. Outdoors, they may live in burrows adjacent to waterways, under buildings, in trees and vines, garbage dumps, rubbish heaps and other places where food and shelter are within reasonable access. Indoors, they may construct nests in wall voids, roof voids, under floors and even within stored foods.
In their travels they tend to move and feed under or near cover, hardly ever running out in open spaces. This behaviour displays a marked reliance on the sense of touch and is much exploited in the position of baits and traps. Rats in particular are very much creatures of habit, tending to use the same routes of travel to and from food sources for as long as possible. They have a fear of new objects in their otherwise well-known environment. This behaviour can be the cause of their apparent disinterest in a new bait station, at least for the first days of its appearance. Mice on the other hand, although seeming to maintain a high degree of caution in their movements they are very curious and adventurous animals. Mice often investigate new food sources within a very short period of time after the appearance and they prefer nibbling on small amounts of food at numerous locations. This preference for feeding at several sites is taken into account in mouse baiting programs.
Rodents breed very rapidly and can do terrible damage to our homes.