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Rats and Mice (Rodents)
Rodents can not only cause considerable damage to buildings and equipment, but play also a big role in transmitting disease.
They got their name from the Latin word 'rodere' - to gnaw [nô]. It refers to the gnawing habit which is necessary to control the size of their front incisor teeth.
Three rodent species are classified as pests in Australia... the Roof Rat, the Norway Rat and the House Mouse.
The Roof Rat (also known as Black Rat or Ship Rat) is the smaller of the pest rats (6 to 8 inches, not including the tail) and is of slighter build. It has a more pointed snout, large prominent ears and a tail longer than its body length. They are excellent climbers and are likely to nest in wall and roof voids, but may range and feed freely all over the building.
The Norway Rat (also known as Brown Rat or Sewer Rat) is larger and has a thickset body, blunt snout, small close-set ears and a tail shorter than its body length. They're very widespread and possibly the most economically detrimental rodent pest in Australia.
Rats have poor eye-sight (beyond three or four feet), but an excellent sense of hearing, smell, taste and touch. They're highly sensitive to motion and use the sense of smell to locate food items and recognize other rats.
The House Mouse is small and has rather large ears, a pointed snout and a tail at least as long as its body length. House mice living indoors are usually a darkish grey colour, while those living mainly outdoors tend to a more yellow-brown colouring - hence the references to 'field mice'.
All rodents act as carriers for disease such as Salmonella food poisoning, rat-bite fever (bacterial infection), trichinosis worms and murine typhus fever. They contaminate food, food preparation areas and utensils by contact with their fur, urine and droppings.
Did you know that . . .
In conjunction with the rat flea, Roof Rats were responsible for the deaths of 25 million Europeans from the Bubonic plague in the 14th century.
The mating of a single pair of rodents is possible to result in a population of up to 700 offspring in one year.
Building fires can be started by short-circuits caused when rodents gnaw on electrical conduit.
A.Noble Pest Control
3/106 Crystal Street
Petersham NSW 2049
Petersham 9564 1852
Maroubra 9314 3409
Willoughby 9967 4840
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