Seal all entry points:
Rats and mice have easy access into most commercial buildings and homes. Sealing weep holes, doors and windows (with bristle strip), cracks and gaps leading into the building, and the like. There is no end of access, however reducing entry of rodents is your first priority.
Feeding pets and wildlife:
Leaving pet food and water unattended is asking for trouble. In most cases this is unavoidable, but rodents will feed on dog and cat food and all species need water. If you are keeping birds or feeding native birds, rats and mice are highly attracted to the seed and grains in bird feed. They are also attracted to eating eggs and young birds if you are breeding birds. Using concrete floors in an aviary and keeping pet or feeding areas as clean as possible is vital.
Pet food storage:
Store pet foods in rodent proof containers and inspect regularly. These foods are a favourite for rodents, and they will chew through plastic containers quickly to access bird seed, as well as dry dog and cat foods.
Keep garbage areas clean:
Be this domestic or commercial, the garbage area is a primary food source for rodents. Garbage bins must be well sealed, and the area kept clean.
Garden bed, trees and shrubs:
Plants around the perimeter of a home or business is a concealed access opportunity for rats and mice. Rodents are avid climbers, so trees that tower over or touch the roof are also a direct access of rodents to your roof area. Keeping garden beds clean and clear of the foundations as well as monitoring vegetable gardens and building perimeters for rodent tunnels is vital.
Kitchen food storage:
Rodents are commensal and live like kings in our built environment. With that in mind, they feed on our food. Keep all foodstuffs in sealed containers and keep kitchens, pantries and cupboards clean at all times. No access to food will be the greatest deterrent of rodents possible.
Building cleanliness and hygiene:
Keeping your commercial or domestic building free of clutter is important to eliminate rodent harbourages. Regularly cleaning floors and countertops of food scraps, pet foods and overall mess will be of great help to reduce rodent activity. Leaving access to inspect around the internal storage areas of a building is vital to monitor rodent access and damage.
Keep doors closed:
Most rodents access a building the same way as humans do – the door! If you can keep doors sealed and closed, this primary entry point is reduced. Bristle strips on all access doors is ideal to reduce “after hours” entry as well.
Use rodent traps to monitor:
Rodent traps such as the Viper rodent range are all designed to use with snap traps. As snap trap is a simple warning system that rodents are active. You can increase the efficiency of snap traps by using the Viper Rodent Lures – see (insert details here). You can place Viper traps (Viper L-Catch, Viper Deluxe, Viper Hi-Sec or just the Viper Snap Traps) in dark, hidden rodent pathways in the garage, roof, kitchen cupboards and the like. Look for rodent “rub marks” or sebum. This is the oil marks rodents use for navigation and territory markings and is a visual indicator of where rodents are moving and where you should place traps.
Lastly, you should consider gaining professional assistance from a reputable, qualified pest manager. It is highly recommended to ask for a poison-free option such as the VIPER range. The best place to look is the industry association (www.aepma.com.au) or call PestIT on 1300 665 657 for a recommendation or advice.