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Rats and mice are just two of the mammals that belong to the order Rodentia. More than 2,200 species of rodents – such as mice and rats – exist, and more than 40 per cent of all mammal species belonging to the Rodentia order.

Australia has more than 60 native rodent species and three introduced pest species.

Rodents have been successful in populating every continent except Antarctica. This is because of their small size, short breeding cycle and ability to eat a variety of foods. They are the second most successful mammal on the planet, coming second only to humans.

Rodents consume and destroy their food source during feeding. This can cause devastating damage to a wide range of different settings, such as domestic households, commercial businesses, farms, manufactures and livestock.

Not only do rodents gnaw through many materials, but they can also ruin food supplies by excreting on them.

Not all rodents are considered pests. Many rodents are an important part of the food chain, as they are prey for meat-eating animals such as cats, snakes, large birds and foxes. Rodents are also important ecologically for spreading seeds and spores.

Rodents are characterised by their two sharp front teeth in the upper and lower jaws. These teeth grow continually, and their size is controlled by continual gnawing.

Major rodent pest species

Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)

The Norway rat, also known as the common rat, sewer rat or brown rat, is the larger of the two pest rats.

Their life span is usually between 9 and 12 months.

Females can have 5-6 litters per year, and average 8-10 pups per litter. The gestation period is 21 days and the young reach sexual maturity at 3-4 months.

Norway rats are usually active at night. They are good swimmers and diggers and can communicate through high pitched vocalisation.

The Norway rat is an omnivore, and will eat both plants and animal matter. They will eat almost anything, although they prefer starch and protein-rich food, such as cereals, which form a substantial part of their diet. Other foods they eat include meat, fish, vegetables, weeds, earthworms, crustaceans, nuts and fruit.

Roof rat (Rattus rattus)

The roof rat, also known as the ship rat or black rat, is smaller than the common Norway rat. Their life span is usually 9-12 months. Females can have 4-5 litters per year, and average 6-8 pups per litter. Sexual maturity is reached at 3-4 months and females have a gestation period of 21 days.

Roof rats are usually found in built-up areas or near the coast. They have good climbing ability and can nest in buildings, roof voids and ships.

Roof rats eat a wide variety of food items, and generally feed on cereals, grains, fruit, and almost any item that has nutritional value. They are omnivores and will feed on insects or meat if necessary.

House mouse (Mus domesticus)

The house mouse is small. They have a life span of approximately 12 months. Females can have 6-10 litters per year. Sexual maturity is reached at about 6 weeks, with a gestational period of 3 weeks.

House mice are curious animals and can live indoors or outdoors in close proximity to humans.

They have a wide and varied diet including fruits, nuts, grains, animal feed and cereals.

Indicators of Rodent Infestation

Rodents like to invade homes with plenty of openings, like A/C vents, service conduits, and holes in the foundation of buildings. Both rats and mice appreciate a warm area where they can colonize, breed, and find many different sources of food.

An easy indicator that both rats and mice have been in an area for a long period of time is the smell. If an area is saturated with rodent droppings, it tends to look decayed, moist, and smell heavily of ammonia. This would be a clear indicator that rodent control is needed.

If there are large quantities of it found in a residence, it can be bad for human health. In addition to smelling bad, it can become toxic, and cause damage when concentrated in a small area.

Rodents also have a nasty habit of gnawing on many things around homes, such as insulation and electrical wiring. This can create the risk of sparking a fire, or damaging foundational materials.

  • Droppings

  • Rub marks

  • Noises in the walls (Squeaking, scratching, etc.)

  • Damaged or open food containers

  • Heavy smell of ammonia

Rodent Removal

Since this sort of pest problem runs a great risk to a homeowner, the best way to deal with an infestation of rodents is to use Probest rodent control service. Our technicians specialize in rodent identification and control through the use of specialized baits and traps.

Different Rodent Control Methods

  • Traps: Electric, Spring-Bar, or Glue

  • Poison: Edible Bait, Powder/Spray Varieties

  • Sealing of possible entryways

  • Properly sealing food sources

  • Specialized bait


Wasp Control
Spider Control
Cockroach Control
Ant Control
Carpet Moth




bed bug
Cricket Control
End Of Lease Flea Control
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