We’ve all heard the urban myth: You’re never more than six feet from a rat. But like most people, I’ve often been one of those people who dismiss this notion out of hand. While I might have seen the odd rat scuttling around the pond in my local park, You might never imagined such beady-eyed beasts might be living in your beautiful Perth home.
Then, to the horror of many Perth homeowners, you discover that not only are you living within six feet of a rat, but just two inches from a whole infestation of the things. A family of giant rodents that has taken up residence under the floorboards, in the roof, in the double brick wall space, in the shed, and the old gum tree. A big family enjoying a life of luxury in the soft insulation in my celing..
Chances are that will still all be living cheek-by-jowl to one unless you start noticing the stink of dead rats in your walls and ceilings and the smell or rat urine and faeces as it gets stronger over time. Causing us to call in Megatec Pest Control, take up floorboards and find two huge decomposing brown rats.
Looking back, the clues — had we known what to look for — were plain to see. First, there was the 5kg plastic bag of dry cat food we’d bought for our placid ragdoll, Scruffles, and which we were storing in the store-room / junk-room.
When my husband Dale went to refill our pantry stash last month, he found the bag was empty. The only clue was a neat little circle chewed in the bottom left corner.
The next clue was a sudden acrid smell in the living room. For a while, Scruffles was blamed for having had an accident somewhere. We bleached the floors and took up two rugs, but the stench got worse. Especially as the outside temperatures started to hit the thirties. Within a couple of days, it was so bad that we had to shut the dining room doors to keep the smell from engulfing the rest of the house. It stank.
By this point, it was starting to dawn on us that it was a dead animal causing the stench: A dead rats. YUK!.
Finding it, however, was another problem. Draughts under properties carry smells of decomposing animals for some distances, sometimes making it nigh-on impossible to locate the source. But this did not deter my husband. I kept finding him on all-fours, shining torches through cracks in floorboards.
Yet the true scale of our problem only revealed itself when he started taking down the ceiling panels in the cellar — and rat droppings rained down on him.
Horrified, it became clear we had two options: either take up the floorboards on the ground floor, or wait for whatever was under there to rot away, which could take weeks.
We decided to call in the experts.
But when we rang our local council, we were told that any rat problems in a private home were not their concern. We were referred instead to a £70-an-hour pest-control company.
An exterminator, who had the weary air of a man who had seen everything, turned up later that afternoon.
Within ten minutes, the call went up. ‘We’ve found our rat!’ my husband yelled triumphantly.
Apparently, he and the pest guy were forlornly wondering where to start when Anthony happened to lean over the radiator and got a blast of putrid air so strong he nearly gagged.
When the floorboard below was taken up, it revealed a fine specimen of not-quite-fully-grown brown rat, his eyes still open and measuring ten inches from nose to tail. He was also boasting the sort of sleek, shiny coat you get when you’ve been feasting on $35 bags of vitamin-fortified cat food.
However, his underside told a different story — so badly decomposed that he was now glued to the floor in a revolting, sticky puddle.
Avoid Seeing and Smelling Dead Rats in Your Garden
Ten floorboards were lifted up to reveal several rats which had recently died and were beginning to stink
‘Where there is one, there is often another,’ said the exterminator gravely; and he was right. When the next floorboard came up, there was another young rat. He had died more recently, and this time his little eyes were tightly closed.
That was by no means the end of the story, the exterminator warned. Rats give birth to litters of seven or eight at a time, so where were this pair’s brothers and sisters? And, more importantly, where were their larger mother and father?
Ten floorboards were taken up. Each time I expected a riot of squeaking and scuttling as a nest was exposed — but no more vermin were found.
That didn’t mean they hadn’t been there. We learned it was likely that the whole family had been living side-by-side with us for weeks. There was evidence of a well-used rat run, littered with rat droppings, stretching from one end of the house to the other.
How could we not have realised? Many nights I had worked into the small hours in the living room and not heard so much as a squeak.
They’d clearly outsmarted us, for rats are clever animals. They live in organised hierarchies. By day, they snuggle up together in a nest in families, led by a dominant male, and feed mainly at dawn and dusk.
They can carry diseases and contaminate your food with their faeces, hair and urine. Rodents are known as one of the vectors for many different diseases such as bubonic plague, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, hantavirus, trichinosis, infectious jaundice, rat-mite dermatitis, salmonellosis, pulmonary fever, and typhus.
The rodents such as rats and mice are able to form nets almost anywhere and at any time of the year with the cooler months being worse as they search for shelter. Rodents can cause structural damage to homes, furniture, appliances and books through burrowing and gnawing. Mainly rats will be active at night unless their populations are very large and are able to squeeze through very small crevices making them difficult to contain.
Because they have an affinity for chewing on electrical cables and wires. The sooner that the pests are dealt with the better as if left unchecked can cause hundreds and even thousands of dollars of damage to your home and health.
A conservative estimate on the number of rats in Australia is one rat for every person living in Australia. Currently, there are over 60 described species of rats in Australia, however, two rats the Black Rat and Brown Rat are introduced species. The more widespread and Black Rat also known as the Roof Rat is more usually found in urban areas.
Rats can reproduce at an alarming rate with the female having a short gestation period of approximately 21 days. The offspring then able to breed at around 10 weeks. Under the right conditions, they are able to have over 100 babies per year and live for up to 3 years.
They have a large appetite with a single rat able to eat a third of its body weight each day, eating anything being a true omnivore from meats to fruit, leather and even other rodents. One rat is able to leave behind 25 thousand dropping per year as a result of its food consumption.
One of the first clues to a serious rat problem is their droppings on the kitchen counter.
The house mouse is known as the most common mammal on earth. They are highly adaptable as they are excellent at swimming, running, climbing and jumping. They have excellent senses of smell, taste, and touch but have poor eyesight. They will often nest in rubbish, cracks in rocks and walls or they can construct a network of tunnels below ground with separate chambers for nests and storage, often built with several exits.
Unlike Asif, you have seen a mouse it does not automatically mean that they have built up a high population density. They are however able to grow a population very quickly as female mice start breeding at 40 to 45 days of age and have a gestation of around 18 days with a litter of 3 to 12 with each female mouse able to produce 12 or more litters per year.
If you have seen one of the signs that you may be experiencing a rodent issue contact Ph: 1300 032 748 for a quote.
Unfortunately, if one house is infested it is likely that the nearby neighbours are too, as rodents are a community problem. Because their populations can grow so large in a short period of time, The best solution to effective rodent pest control is for all of the homeowners in an affected community to work together to limit the shelter, food and water sources.
MTS Pest Control is fully qualified and licensed pest technicians.
Megatec Pest Control Perth is well respected in the industry and we keep up to date with all licenses, insurances and trade organisations. We are members of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association and the Pest Control Board of Australia, accredited by Trades Monitor, fully insured by WorkCover and certified by Termidor and HAACP Australia.
We service most areas in Perth, providing pest control in Perth City & CBD, Eastern Suburbs, Western Suburbs, Northern Suburbs, Southern Suburbs, The Hills and beyond.
Our commercial pest control technicians are highly skilled and use only the safest and most effective techniques for pest eradication, all of our chemicals are environmentally friendly and safe to both humans and pets.
Megatec Pest Control Perth always provides a no obligation free quote prior to starting any extermination work. We'll inspect your property, determine a plan of action and then suggest the most affordable strategy based on the extent of your problem. Our rates are very competitive within the industry but our service is unmatched.
Each of our pest control professionals goes through an extensive and thorough training program in order to work for us. We also require periodic brush-up courses and continually provide extra training. Our employees must hold a current WA Pest Management License (Cert II), an OHS General Induction Card.
Megatec Pest Control Perth is fully equipped to handle properties of any size. We work with restaurants, hotels and strata complexes to implement integrated termite control strategies. Our commercial pest management team is available 24/7 to take care of our commercial clients when they need us most.
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