Winter drives mice indoors

Wet and cold weather has brought a surge in reports of mice infestations across the Limestone Coast.

Signs there could be issues with mice or rats include scratching in the roof, a visible sighting, droppings in the cupboard or food that’s been nibbled.

Despite the ongoing mouse plague in Queensland, Spiderman SE Eco Pest Management owner Michael Cutting said a surge in the South East was nothing out of the ordinary and to be expected at this time of year.

“There’s farming, forestry, paddocks and a lot of buildings going up at the moment, so rodents like to relocate inside residential and commercial properties where it is warm and cosy to escape the cold,” he said.

“They are quick breeders so if you do not control them, they can multiply and quickly get out of control.

“Female mice mature after six weeks and have litters of 5-6 pups up to 10 times per year whereas female rats mature after 12 weeks and can have up 6-10 pups up to six times per year.

“Potentially one female mouse or rat can give birth to around 60 pups per year.

“We have a lot of open areas around and because it is a regional area we likely do not notice or see the activity you would in a city with a fairly condensed population.”

Mr Cutting said property owners taking pest control into their own hands led to other problems.

“A lot of people will go to the local hardware store or supermarket, purchase a heap of rodent gear and start throwing it in the garage, shed or manhole,” he said.

“It’s imperative to secure the bait especially with rats because otherwise a dominant rat will end up hoarding it all so you will only kill one of them.

“There is also the chance that pets or even native animals like owls and possums can pick loose bait up and be poisoned.

“If you are throwing wax blocks in the manhole they can land on a downlight and melt.

“A lot of people do not realise but DIY is probably the worst thing you can do if you have a rodent problem.”

Mr Cutting said it was best to trust the professionals.

“Most of the time we install secure, locked bait stations in the usual hotspots and leave them for four weeks before coming back to inspect the situation,” he said.

“Our locked bait stations are inaccessible to children or pets, eliminating the risk of untargeted poisoning.

“We will rebait if the bait has been consumed or replace the stations to more suitable areas if we have not had as much action as expected and continue the process until we have control of the infestation.

“We use multiple-feed bait so the rodents have a chance to come and go meaning most of the time they will clear out, so you will not get that funky smell behind a cupboard or wall cavity.

“It is safe for secondary poising so if a mouse or rat dies and an animal picks it up it will not be harmful.”

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