Rodents now on the rampage
Monday, 09 May 2011
By Ditch Keeling
Rat and mouse calls have been coming in throughout this summer and are now peaking as rodents start moving into buildings for the winter.
Before winter really does set in, there is much that can be done to reduce the chances of a rodent invasion. Reducing the amount of food items available to rodents in utility buildings and feed pens is often an important factor.
| Autumn brings rodents inside - ensure plenty of traps are in place. |
Palletising/shelving stored grains and regularly sweeping up any spilt food stuffs both reduces the amount of available food and also allows easier checks for rodent presence.
There are often key areas that rodents use to access our buildings so it’s well worth finding and reducing these by doing things such as sealing gaps around drainage fittings and doors with chook mesh or aluminium strips – timber plastic and rubber can all be chewed through by rodents.
The removal of vegetation/trees that give rodents direct access to gaps under roofing iron is often a critical factor.
Sometimes just removing branches that are touching the roof or guttering is all that is required to keep rodents out of a building.
As general rule, trimming all vegetation back to at least a half metre away from buildings will do the trick.
Plastic bait stations containing toxic bait provide the most efficient form of rodent control; traps can work, but they seldom achieve the same results as a well run bait station programme.
Traps, bait stations and bait are all available from your local rural supply outlet. There are so many variants available that I can’t list them all here so instead will just tell you what I use and swear by.
If its traps you require, find a supply of Victor Professional Rat and mouse traps. These should be baited with crunchy peanut butter and set in groups of two to three where the problems are occurring.
For best results it’s worth leaving the trap baited but un-set and only setting it once the bait starts disappearing. This gets multiple animals used to the trap and higher capture rates should be the result.
Always attach your traps to something solid with a piece of wire to stop them being dragged away by captured animals.
Poison bait should always be placed in a bait-station (see photo) that protects the bait from the elements, excludes non-target animals, pets and children and also prevents rodents from taking the bait away and “caching” it.
There are many stations on the market and most of them will work well. Sadly, there are a few rodent toxins that don’t perform so well and I use nothing but Pestoff Rodent Blocks. These highly palatable and chocolate smelling baits do the business every time.
As a guideline on how many stations to apply to buildings (with the average three bedroom house and shed) I would place two in the ceiling cavity (one at either end), two under the building or outside the base of the building (one at either end) with one of these adjacent to where the rubbish is normally kept.
A further one to two should be kept in the shed depending on how big it and/or rodent problem is. Four to six stations filled two to three times during winter generally achieves results very nicely.
I place four to six blocks in each station and also add a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter to get the animals nice and keen and allow at least one month between each fill.
Please feel free to email or call me direct to find out more about the range of rat and mouse control products available.
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