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Rodents.  Know the signs

If you think you have a problem with rodents infesting your home or premises it is important to find out what type of pest you are dealing with.

Mice

House Mouse (Mus Domesticus)

  • Variable in colour grey, brown, almost black.  All have a grey belly

  • Weight 15g

  • Length 160mm including tail

  • Large ears, small eyes, pointed snout

Habitat

Wherever conditions are sufficient to live and breed.  Houses, shops, factories, farms, offices etc

Reproduction

Prolific. 21 days gestation and weaned in three weeks and sexually mature ten weeks later.  With four to sixteen babies per litter populations can explode if unchecked.

Control

When droppings and damage are found, the harbourage (where they are living) should be found.  Holes in the fabric of the building should be filled and foodstuffs should be controlled to restrict mouse activity.

Toxic baits, break back traps and, as a last resort, rodent glueboards can be deployed to remove mice.

Rats

Brown Rat ( Rattus Norvegicus) Sewer Rat, Common, Norway

  • Usually Brown

  • Weight 150-500g

  • Length 440mm including tail

  • Small ears, small eyes, Blunt snout

Habitat

Burrow network two feet underground.  80mm entrance holes in river stream banks, farms, stables.  Can be found in any building especially cellars and sewers.

Reproduction

Prolific. 21 days gestation. Three to six litters per year of seven to eight naked, blind young.  A single pair, in optimum conditions, will produce 200 young per year.

Control

When droppings and damage are found the, harbourage (where they are living) should be found.  Holes in the fabric of the building should be filled and foodstuffs should be controlled to restrict rat activity.

Toxic internal and external bait stations should be installed to achieve control.  Live capture and break back traps and, as a last resort, rodent glueboards can be deployed to remove rats.

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel(Sciurus carolinensis)

  • Predominantly grey fur often with brown/red

  • Weight 400-600g

  • Length 500mm including tail

  • Large bushy tail

Habitat

An invasive species.

Throughout the region.  Omnivores.  Eats nuts, seeds, insects, etc.

A pest when entering premises.  Often cause great damage in lofts/attics.

Reproduction

From December to February and again between March and May. Usually 1 to 8 young per litter.

Damage indigenous nesting bird populations by stealing eggs and young chicks.

Have devastated the Red Squirrel population by encroaching on habitat and carry the squirrel pox virus.

Control

Ideally proof them out of buildings.

Should be trapped (lethal) or shot.

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