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Identifying a Rat and Mice Infestation – Operation DIY – 2

January 20, 2023

Rats

There are two main types of rat: the Ship Rat and the Brown Rat. The Ship Rat lives near Docklands, but most common in our towns and cities is the Brown Rat. These creatures aren’t indigenous to the UK; they came from Siberia and Northern China in the 18th century. They often live wherever there’s waste to scavenge from and drains to live in.

Characteristics of Rats

Rats are about 16-40 cm in length and weigh between 150-300 g. They eat 10-30 g of food per day in 10+ meals, drink 15-60 ml of water per day and exhibit very cautious behaviours. Did you know? Rats can jump up to six times their length from a standing start, but only if they are running away from something or someone who scares them!

How Rats Breed

Rats typically form colonies that start with a single pregnant female and can grow to include up to 8-11 rats. As the colony grows, rats of higher rank live nearest the food source, while those lower down on the social ladder are pushed out to the margins. Therefore, when managing rats for pest control purposes, it is important to remember that rats can move their burrow from one place to another if needed. This means that if you haven’t seen any rats in an area after a week of layering bait or traps, they may have relocated their home within a 30m radius of the original burrow.

Dealing with a Rat infestation

Identifying a rat infestation can be difficult, and it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are eradicated. Rats typically leave clues such as dark spots on walls, greasy rub marks near skirting boards, mouse droppings in cupboards or around foodstuffs, and often an unpleasant odour. If rats are present in a home or business premises then it is likely that professional pest control services will be required in order to exterminate them safely and effectively. Taking action early on is key to preventing rats from damaging property and spreading disease; quick identification of rats is therefore essential.

Mice

Mice have been plaguing humans for centuries, and are capable of huge amounts of destruction in their environment. They’re mainly attracted to food sources and therefore, common locations where mice are found includes places such as kitchens and food storage areas. While mice can be cute, friendly companions as pets, when they’re living outside of captivity, they present a public health risk because mice urinate and droppings after contaminating all the surfaces they move over. Thankfully, there are some great ways to discourage mice from inhabiting your home and ensure that you stay safe from the potential dangers they pose.

Characteristics of a Mouse

Mice may be small, but they’re capable of causing huge amounts of destruction. Sporting a typically grey or brown fur with lighter coloured bellies, mice have small eyes and ears. In length mice measure in at 7-9cm both body and tail and weigh 18 grams. Despite their miniscule size mice are often desctructive, unintentionally gnawing through electrical wires or insulation as well as destroying various food or objects by way of their constant chewing and scratching. Though not usually friendly creatures, mice can carry over 80 different diseases that bring danger to humans and other animals. Recognizing mice before they cause an even larger problem calls for awareness and vigilance around the home; some common signs to look out for include chewing marks on boxes, cupboards or floors, droppings 2-3mm long or rub marks along skirting boards where mice have oiled their coats whilst moving against them.

How Mice Breed

Mice are incredibly adept breeders! You see, mice can start reproducing at the tender age of five weeks, with gestation lasting a mere 20 days. Each litter can comprise between 5-8 mice, and then within just 22 days – their mother will go ahead and bear her next litter! To say mice have prolific reproductive properties is putting it mildly – in perfect breeding conditions, each female mouse could give birth to 2000 mice in the span of one year. The data speaks for itself – if mice have any chance of settling into your home or business….Well, chances are you’ve got an infestation on (or more accurately…in) your hands.

Dealing with a Mouse infestation

Identifying a mice infestation can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Mice are generally active at night and tend to leave behind signs of their presence during the day. If you see small black droppings near food sources or hear random noises coming from your walls, it is likely that mice are the culprit. To confirm whether mice are present, set mouse traps in strategic locations around your home and check on them regularly. Be sure to also check behind any appliances or large furniture pieces as mice like these dark places to hide. Pay attention to any strange new smells that may linger in your home, which could provide further evidence of an infestation. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to identify a mice infestation and take appropriate measures to eliminate them safely and quickly!

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