Rats and mice are common in established urban areas due to the abundance of food and shelter afforded by human activity. Water and food are readily available from sources such as drainage systems, fruit and nut trees, palm trees and pet food dishes.
You can control rodent populations by minimising their access to food and shelter and by following these steps:
- Store wood about 40cm off the ground and away from the sides of fences and sheds.
- Regularly remove garden waste and disused material from sheds and around the yard.
- Remove any fruit from trees and vines at the end of the season and pick up any fruit that has fallen on the ground.
- Store bulk pet food in sealed containers and regularly clean pet food dishes.
- Maintain compost and rubbish bins in good repair with secure lids and free from holes.
- Meat scraps should not be composted.
Property occupiers and owners are required under the Health Act 1911 to take action to prevent rodents harbouring on their property.
Talk to your neighbours to see if they are also experiencing rodent problems as a joint approach will be more effective.
The most common ways to eliminate your unwanted guests is by trapping and/or baiting.
Two types of traps which are commonly used include the snap back trap and the box trap. Some foods that can be used are pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, nuts, roasted oats, bacon and peanut butter. The trap should be placed somewhere in the rodent’s path but somewhere that is inaccessible to children and pets. It should never be placed above food or food preparation areas to prevent contamination by urine, droppings or blood.
Baiting involves laying poison baits along rodent paths and in roof and wall cavities that are easily accessible. Many brands are available at supermarkets and hardware stores. The City encourages the use of first-generation baits such as warfarin and coumatetralyl. Using these baits reduces the risk of secondary poisoning to owls and other wildlife that may prey on rodents. Ensure that baits aren’t accessible to children or pets.
For more information on rats and mice see the Department of Health's page on Protect your health – keep rats and mice under control
If after following the advice above you still experience rodent problems you may report the issue to the City for further investigation by following the link to our investigation request form. A licensed pest controller may need to be engaged for serious infestations.