WEEKLY PEST PROFILE: Rodents

Rodents

Rats and mice

In Queensland, there could be up to twenty-four native species of rodents. However, it is the three introduced species that have become such pests to society:

  • Brown Rat (or Sewer Rat): a burrower, is thick set and brown in colour.
  • Roof Rat: a climber, is slender and black in colour.
  • House Mouse: can be distinguished by its small size.

The presence of rats and mice in buildings can result in food spoilage and contamination, physical damage caused by gnawing which can sometimes lead to costly fires, and the transmission of diseases to humans.

The most common disease transmitted by rats is Salmonellosis which is spread when food is consumed by humans which has been contaminated by excreta or saliva of rats.

In Queensland, introduced rats have been associated with the spread of Plague (the last outbreak being in 1923), Weils Disease, Rat Bite Fever, Murine Typhus and a form of Meningitis, all of which may result in serious illness or death. (Note: Plague and Murine Typhus are transmitted by rat fleas.)

How do you detect rodents?

  • damage to food containers or droppings
  • rat runs (lines in the dust or greasy smears on walls and fences worn by the rat)
  • disappearance of food
  • sounds during the night
  • gnaw marks or burrows.

(Source: City of Gold Coast Offical Website 2015)

 

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WEEKLY LETHAL WEED PROFILE: MULLUMBIMBY COUCH

WEEKLY LETHAL WEED PROFILE: MULLUMBIMBY COUCH

A long-lived grass-like plant with long underground runners and upright flowering stems up to 40 cm tall. Its upright stems are three-angled in cross-section and only 0.5-1.5 mm thick. Its bright green leaves (1-3 mm wide) are hairless and sheath the stem at the base. Its pale green seed-heads (6-7 mm long) have three or four green leafy bracts at the base and contain numerous small flower spikelets. Its ‘seeds’ are yellow to reddish-brown in colour and topped with a small projection 1-1.5 mm long.

COMMON NAMES
Also known as: Globe kyllinga, Perennial greenhead sedge, Short-leaf flatsedge,

FAMILY
Cyperaceae

DECIDUOUS
No

FLOWERING TIME
Year round

NATIVE/EXOTIC
Exotic

ORIGIN
This species is widespread in the tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world and its exact origin in obscure. However, some authors believe it to be native to tropical Asia and the warmer temperate regions of China and Japan.

NOTIFIABLE
No

COUNCIL DECLARATION
SIL – Special Investigation List

KNOWN DISTRIBUTION
This species is very widely naturalised in the coastal and sub-coastal regions of Australia. It is particularly common in the northern and eastern parts of the country (i.e. in the northern parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, insouth-eastern, central and northern Queensland, in eastern New South Wales and in the ACT).

HABITAT
A widespread weed that prefers damp and shady habitats. It is most commonly found in gardens, footpaths, lawns, roadsides, pastures, disturbed sites and waste areas, but is also a weed of riparian vegetation, wetlands and some crops.

HABIT
A long-lived (i.e. perennial) grass-like plant with long underground runners (i.e. rhizomes) and upright flowering stems 5-40 cm tall.

(Source: brisbane.qld.gov.au 2015) http://ow.ly/i/dd7Zk

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