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)