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There are actually many different species of rodents in Australia. However the three main commensal rodents that are of concern to mankind are the Roof Rat ( Rattus rattus) , the Norway Rat ( Rattus norvegicus) and the house mouse ( Mus musculus).

Other important commensal species exist but occur mainly in localised areas. Apart from commensal rodents, native species can be found throughout the world but cause very little concern in comparison to the three main pest species.

The plague is the best known of all diseases associated with rodents. The great black death which swept Europe and the middle east in the middle of the 13th century and wiped out at least one third of the population.

The Roof Rat is identified by its large ears and eyes as well as having a pointed nose. It usually has a slender set body and the tail will tend to be longer than its body. They are equally at home both indoors and outdoors depending on the climate are extremely agile and skilled climbers.  It is the most common rat to be found on sea going vessels.
The Norway Rat is also commonly referred to as the Sewer Rat. This species will tend to have small ears and eyes and a blunt nose. The tail will be shorter than the body. They tend to be quite stocky and burrow into soil around gardens and rockeries.

The House Mouse is found in most parts of the inhabited world living in close association with mankind and his dwellings. At present, the house mouse probably has a wider distribution than any other mammal apart from man. It habitually infests food storage in both rural and urban surroundings and can quickly breed out of control. A good example occurred in Victoria where population density exceeded 32,000 mice per hectare.

If proper controls and measures are not made to keep their numbers under control the resulting damage can be devastating .Rats in Australia are able to breed quickly. They invade crops and food storage. 

Most rodents eat seeds but generally are omnivores. This means they will eat almost anything. In the home they will end up consuming a wide range of available food items. These eating habits are important to note for those eager to keep them out or ensure their numbers remain low.

What can make rats really scary are their potentially high birth rates. They are born after a 21 day gestation period. They become sexually active and ready to breed within 10 weeks. Considering that most rats are capable of birthing 10 or more youngsters every 21 days, the numbers can grow alarmingly fast and cause some serious trouble.

Temperature and food supply are known to be limiting factors for breeding and often the season is extended when the temperature is moderate, and food readily available.

Some tell tale signs that you have potential rodent trouble include noises at night (scratching, squeaking, clawing and gnawing) near possible food sources. Rats are most active at night. Other indicators are droppings near their potential shelters and travel paths. Signs of gnawing on woodwork, cables, plastics, clothes and so on will also be a sure sign that there are rodents around. In some cases burrows along walls or near stacked material amongst other places will be the warning sign that you may need to deal with rats before they become a very serious problem.

Better still, call EC Morelli Pest Management on 1300-788-450 or complete the quick quote form on the right hand side to address all your pest control needs and you’ll never have to deal with rodents ever!

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