Native Australian rodents (for example Hopping Mice) pose little or no threat to public health and should be left alone as they are protected species. However introduced rodents may infest residential and agricultural areas and carry disease. Rodents can carry fleas or ticks which can harm pets or humans and can damage food containers, wood, particle board, insulation and wiring through gnawing.
Rats : Generally grey or brown, Rats are much larger than Mice growing up to 25 cm and 400 gm in weight.
Mice : White, grey or brown, Mice can grow to 10 cm and weigh 30 gm.
Rats and mice will shelter and nest in places such as homes, sheds, garages and gardens, particularly:
in walls, ceilings and under floors
behind or under cupboards or bathtubs
behind boxes, machinery and furniture
in rubbish heaps, wood piles, thick vegetation, animal enclosures, paper or cloth
in holes under buildings
Rodents can pose a serious threat to human health and can transmit disease to humans by a variety of means, including:
Eating stored food
Contamination of food or utensils with rodent urine or faeces.
Contamination by direct contact with urine or faeces, where bacteria enter the skin through small scratches.
Indirect contamination via blood-sucking insects (eg fleas).
Contamination by directly biting humans.
Pest Management - Mice
Because mice are small animals, their ease of access to buildings and the range of possible nesting sites is much greater than that of rats. Typically within buildings they may nest in wall voids, cupboards, ceiling cavities, stored foods, furniture and many other locations.
Mice are much more curious and exploratory than rats, so traps and baits can often be very effective as mice are not as suspicious of new food sources as are rats.
Pest Management - Rats
Rat nests in buildings are mostly located in wall voids, roof voids and other parts of the construction that offer secretive, undisturbed areas for shelter and access to food and water.
Rats eat human or pet foods consuming on average 25 grams of food and 25 mls of water a day. Rat droppings are a sure indicator of the presence of these rodents.
Rats are more suspicious than mice and will avoid new objects such as baits and traps.