As the colder weather begins to set in, we quickly see a substantial increase in frantic, rat related phone calls. This is because as the temperature drops, rats and mice are forced to find warm, cozy nooks and crannies to wait out the cold weather and unfortunately they typically end up in homes and businesses during the winter.

So, just how much damage can rats and mice do to your property? Aside from carrying disease and being extremely unsanitary, rats and mice are also very destructive. Both have continuously growing teeth that require constant gnawing to be kept short, which can lead to significant damage to your home and belongings. Rats and mice have even been implicated in causing house fires after chewing through wiring! They can also cause structural damage to hill sides and retaining walls, contaminate food and their droppings have been found to be potential asthma triggers. It is also important to keep in mind that most insurance companies do not cover damage caused by pests.

Remember, having a professional pest control technician come out and check your property is going to be far less expensive than having to repair structural damage or replace damaged furniture, wiring and clothes. Prevention is always better than a cure, especially when you could possibly be facing up to hundreds of rodents. So next time you see a mouse or rat scamper along the skirting boards, along the back fence, or you hear noises in your roof – think about your wallet and the expense of repair bills if the infestation is not taken care of in the early stages.

Know Your Enemy!

Rats

  • Scratching noises in walls or under the floor
  • Dark, tapered droppings about 9mm to 1cm long
  • Distinctive, ammonia-like smell
  • Damage to wood and plastic caused by gnawing
  • Ripped food packaging
  • Nests built in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics
  • Burrows in places like compost heaps, under sheds or under decking

Mice

  • Scratching noises in the walls or ceilings
  • Small, dark droppings found typically along walls, in cupboard or under sinks
  • Distinctive, ammonia-like smell
  • Damage to wood, cables and plastic caused by gnawing
  • Nests built in hidden places such as behind the fridge using shredded material like newspapers and fabrics