The Norway rat, also known as the common rat, sewer rat or brown rat, is the larger of the pest rats. Their life span is usually between 9-12 months. Females can have 5-6 litters a year, averaging 8-10 pups each litter. The gestation period is 21 days, and the young reach sexual maturity at 3-4 months.
They are usually active at night and are excellent swimmers. They dig well and may communicate through high pitched vocalisation.
These rats are omnivore and will eat food from both plants and animal origin. They will eat almost anything, although they prefer starch and protein-rich food such as cereals which form a substantial part of their diet. Other foods they eat include meat, fish, vegetables, weeds, earthworms, crustaceans, nuts and fruit.
• Brown or grey with grey belly fur.
• Head and body size between 20-27 centimetres.
• Size of the tail between 16-20 centimetres.
• Large build.
• Weight between 200–500 grams.
• Short thick ears with beautiful hair.
• Grey feet.
The Roof, Ship or Black rats are smaller than the common Norway rat. Their life span is usually between 9-12 months. Females can have 4-5 litters per year, averaging 6-8 pups per litter. Sexual maturity is at 3-4 months and females have a gestation period of 3 weeks.
Black rats live in built-up areas or near the coast. They have excellent climbing ability and can nest in buildings, roof voids and ships.
They eat a wide variety of food items feeding on cereals, grains, fruit, and almost any piece that has nutritional value. They are omnivores and will feed on insects or meat if necessary.
Mice are mainly active at night and usually confine their movements to areas where adequate cover is available. They use the same path when moving from refuge to feed source. Within buildings, these movements are in walls or natural barriers, beams or pipes, and result in forming of smear marks. They make paths through vegetation.
It is difficult to keep mice out of buildings and storage because of their ability to swim, dig, jump up to at least 300 mm, and jump down at least 2.5 metres without injury. They can squeeze through openings as small as 8 mm wide. In addition, they can run up most rough surfaces, run-down ropes and electric wires, and climb upside down along wire mesh.
The adults eat between 3 and 5 grams daily of a wide range of foods. In food storage areas, their diet can include cereals, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, biscuits, peanuts, cheese, rolled oats, rice, wheat germ, apple and melon. Mice living in field conditions can survive on the seeds of the native grasses and grains.
They sample all foodstuffs available within their range and may not return to a particular feed type for several days. This information is essential when deciding the bait, where to place it, and how often to change the bait. Mice can live and breed without drinking water as long as their diet has a moisture content of at least 15 per cent. This moisture can be in the leaves, stems or roots of plants and may be available as dew. If mice live in dry conditions near buildings, they need water to survive, so a reduction their activity can be done by cutting off their access to water.
Bugstoppers Melbourne will inspect your property to assess to what extent the infestation is.
We can set up a program to meet your needs; this may involve setting up bait stations in strategic positions around your building or setting up traps or using tracking powder. The bait stations prevent secondary poisoning from other animals.
Our technicians can give you advice on how to reduce your future rodent problems. You may do something as simple as putting mesh over holes and removing water, or pet food overnight.
Rats are a lot like humans they love to be comfortable, and that’s why in the colder months they move inside when the temperature is warmer they go outside. Rats eat the same things humans do they get plenty of food from you or your neighbours or your pets.