There’s no escaping that we are living in an environment that is becoming increasingly harsh within the Macarthur area. From the searing heat waves, to the sustained periods of droughts followed by severe flooding, it’s these extreme and quick shifts in our climate that are having a remarkable impact on the evolution of our indigenous and successful non-indigenous fauna. These evolutions are also making it easier for these pests to modify the main key to their survival: being able to adapt rapidly to the new fluctuations in the environment they live in.
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There is a saying that goes along the lines of, “Make hay while the sun shines.” This certainly rings true for our wildlife, and none more so that intrusive species like the Norway and roof rats. When conditions are right, they will increase their breeding cycle to make use of the new abundance of food. This also happens to be what is occurring now, and due to this factor we have seen an increase in the amount of rat activity in the Campbelltown area.
Rats, such as the Norway and the Roof, are very effective at exploiting small gaps into a property, and once they have established themselves they can cause a lot of damage in a rather short amount of time. Rats also pose a real health risk, and are even known to transmit diseases to humans such as salmonellosis and Weil’s disease.
We are often asked how to prevent rats from entering the home in the first place, and provided below are some helpfulhints to combat this issue.
- Keep your home in good repair. Rats only need a gap a thickness of 15mm to gain entry into your home.
- Remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy. Be sure to also cut back overgrown areas and remove any fallen fruit in your yard.
- Seal gaps around waste water pipes and air-conditioning units.
- Install pest exclusion mesh over building vents and weep holes.
- Do not leave household waste where rats can gain access to it. Close the lids to the rubbish bin and composters, and do not feed wild birds as you may be feeding the rats as well.
- Keeping chickens, pigeons, and other caged birds in your yard may attracted rats into your property.
- Rats are very adept climbers and can exploit hanging tree limbs to gain access to your home via the roof. Be sure to trim any overhanging or touching tree limbs.
- Avoid having items such as shade cloth attached to a fence. This will act as a highway for rats when traveling along the fence to climb up onto your roof.
- Ensure that all down spouts connect directly into the storm drain and are not left open at ground level. An easy solution to this is to install a metal gutter ball to top of the down spout. This will act in helping to stop rats from climbing onto the roof through the pipe.