Rats are disease carriers. They eat almost everything. Also, they can make themselves at home in sheds, garages, houses, and gardens. They cause unpleasant damage and odours to possessions and property.
3 Main Rat Species in Australia
- Roof Rat – Also known as ship rat and black rat, the roof rat has a slender body. Its tail is as long as its head and body combined.
- Norway Rat – This is also known as wharf rat, sewer rat and brown rat. This is bigger than the roof rat and is found wherever humans reside. It has a small, close set of ears that don’t reach the eyes when pulled down. An adult Norway rat weighs about 500g.
- House Mouse – This has a slightly pointed nose, large scantily haired ears, black protruding eyes, and hairless tail with very obvious scale rings.
Why Worry About Rats?
Rats can carry diseases like typhus fever and leptospirosis. They also carry ticks and fleas that can harm pets and humans. They contaminate food with their droppings, urine and hair that can lead to food spoilage and poisoning. Lastly, they generate unpleasant odours and damage materials like wood, wiring, insulation, and food containers.
8 Tips to Keep Rats Away From Your Garden
- All rubbish must be kept in sealed containers.
- Clear out sheds or storage areas regularly. You must remove the things you no longer use.
- Stack bricks and firewood above the ground – preferably at least 30cm from the ground.
- Collect and properly dispose of any fallen fruit.
- Keep your grass mown and free from any debris.
- Give your pets only what they will eat in a day.
- Store all left-overs in sealed vermin-proof containers.
- Look around your house and cover or repair any holes or cracks in your property.
How to Get Rid of Rats
Use live rodent traps – These are among the most popular and effective ways of managing rats in your garden. Make sure that the traps are checked every day to remove, relocate or humanely destroy the trapped rats.
Use rat baits and poisons – These are short-term solutions. Rats eat baits and poisoned foods and then go away to die. Using poisons, however, has disadvantages. Pets and children may ingest mislaid baits.
Use snap traps – These traps are a humane and fast way of controlling rats. You can buy them at hardware and grocery stores. They can be set with cheese, meat, bread, fish or chocolate. Since these traps can be messy, consider asking someone to dispose of the victim of such traps when you have a weak stomach.
Deal with your rubbish properly to prevent rats from invading your property. Get help from rubbish removal experts if you must.