How to keep rodents out of your home this winter

How to keep rodents out of your home this winter

In our mild Brisbane winters, the average temperature sits at a high of 21 degrees and creeps down to a frosty 12 degree low. This leads many animals to look for a warm, snug and safe place to inhabit during these colder months. Homes in Brisbane make the perfect hiding spot for rodents as they have shelter, insulation and food so various species of rats and mice will happily occupy your home in these cooler months.

When these pests invade your home, they are anything but cute. Rats and mice will destroy everything from clothing to candles and can also risk the structural integrity of your house. In short, these pests can cause insurmountable damage.

What kind of rodents will I be likely to find in my home?

When people think of rats and mice, they conjure a mental image of cute, fluffy, domesticated pets. However, when we talk about rodents being pets, there is a large difference in their appearances, scent and behaviour. There are two commonly found rodent species within Brisbane – the large brown sewer rat and the grey/black climbing rat.

The large brown sewer rat has a few distinct features used to identify them. It has a large body, growing up to 25cm in length, with small eyes and ears. Another key feature is the length of its tail. Sewer rats have tails that are shorter than the length of their body.

The grey/black climbing rat varies in colour, as the name suggests, and often has a darker dorsal stripe with lighter fur underneath. Considerably smaller in length, averaging at around 6-9cm, these pests have larger features, including their eyes and ears. Their tails are also longer than their bodies, making them easily identifiable.

These two common creatures will nest in the warmth and safety of your home. This is where you run the risk of structural damage, destruction of your personal property and the prospect of endangering your family’s health and safety.

They can also pose a huge threat to your family pets. If dogs or cats suspect rats in your walls or roof, you will often find them scratching or trying to draw your attention to the surface under which the rodents are hiding. Rodents view birds, reptiles and other small mammals as prey and will treat them accordingly, which is yet another reason why these critters must be attended to as soon as possible if you suspect anything!

Where do rats and mice hide, and how can I prevent them from getting in?

Rodents can sneak into your house without you even realising, entering through or under the door frames, in through windows and other cracks and crevices within your home. Generally, they will avoid being in plain sight, and stay out the way of frequently accessed areas. This makes spaces like attics, garages, closets and behind walls opportune for these stealthy creatures!

There are very simple, cheap and effective methods that you can use when trying to keep rodents out of your home:-

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors to close off that entry point to block initial access.
  • Keep your home dry and well ventilated, avoid creating any kind of moisture.
  • Place screens on any vents, chimneys or direct access points.
  • Regularly take out the rubbish and keep all food in sealed packets or containers.
  • Seal any cracks or holes you have leading into your home using steel wool.

If you suspect anything, contact the team at Abolish so we can solve your pest problem as soon as possible to limit damage and prevent it from happening again.

How can I tell if I have rodents living in my home?

Although they are quiet, there are ways to tell if you have rodents in your home. If you have pets such as dogs or cats, often they will notice and locate the problem for you! However other signs of having pests invade your home are:

  • noises in the ceiling or wall cavities – including scratching, running and gnawing sounds
  • gnaw marks on things around your home like wood, soap, candles, clothing & food containers
  • small, black, thin droppings along walls and fences
  • run marks such as dusty trails or greasy marks along walls caused by their fur
  • an unusual, unpleasant smell

If you notice one or more of these signs, there is a good chance you have either rats or mice and it’s possible there are more of these animals hiding in your family home.

What do I do if I find them?

So now that you’ve realised you have a rodent infestation, the first thing you should do is contact the team at Abolish and we will send our friendly team out to complete a home inspection and extermination to stop the problem in its tracks.

If possible, try to locate any damage that has been done by the rats or mice. Look for things like gnaw marks on household doors, skirtings and window frames. Other common items that rodents will go for are; upholstery, books, food containers, packaging and clothing items.

Rats can even gnaw through electrical wires and cables, leading to a loss of service and short-circuiting of telephone and electrical systems and in some extreme cases, fire. It is essential to inspect where the rodents have been, to ensure that they haven't caused any major damage, and will not pose any threat to the health of you, your family or pets.

Another very dangerous outcome of having rats or mice invading your home is the risk of disease. If found in your kitchen, you must take every precaution when cleaning germs. Throwing away or deep cleaning contaminated utensils or kitchen appliances is recommended, as most rodents will tread urine or faeces around your home, often causing salmonella or food poisoning.

Contact us today!

Don’t let mice or rats run havoc in your home! The only way to be certain that rodents won’t spread disease, cause damage or breed within your home is to get rid of them altogether.

That’s where we can help! Contact Abolish Termite & Pest Control today on 1300 057 067 to book an inspection. We will send one of our professional rat and mouse exterminators out to eliminate and safely treat the problem at the root cause.


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Abolish Termite & Pest Management
Unit 4 / 54 Paisley Drive
Lawnton QLD 4501
Phone: 1300 057 067