Rats and mice
It's the property owner/occupier responsibility to get rid of rats or mice on their property.
Bait and traps
Baits and traps are the best way to get rid of rats and mice.
Facts about rats
Rats are creatures of habit, they follow well defined paths or tracks between feeding, drinking and living areas. Inside buildings they tend to move close to walls rather than along an open floor. They like to feed under cover, safe from predators. Bait is the best method to kill rats.
Facts about mice
Mice usually cover very limited areas and don't need to drink. Traps work well with mice, their favourite bait is peanut butter.
Where you should put the bait
Lay bait in safe places away from children and pets. Bait stations can be used to protect bait from the weather and other animals. They're available for rats and mice, or make your own. Use a short length of pipe with a diameter small enough so that only rodents can get at the bait. Otherwise put bait under a tile or board against a wall or fence.
Removing food sources
Try to find where the pests are living. Remove weeds, overgrown grass and piles of rubbish or other materials, and this will cut their access to food and water.
Laying bait inside your house
We don't recommend laying bait inside your house, it can attract the pests into your home. But if you need to, make sure you lay the bait in dark hidden away places like up in the ceiling, behind refrigerators, freezers, ovens or inside a hot water cupboard where the pipes come through the floor or ceiling. Keep the bait out of the reach of children and pets.
Remember to keep checking and replace the bait as they eat it. Then remove the bait or trap and seal any places where they can get into your home.
Laying bait outside
If you're controlling rats outside, place baits near "runs" or burrows. Other good bait areas include:
- the edges of drains or waterways, and near possible food sources
- choose places between feeding and nesting areas, ideally in active rat holes, along their runs or under rubbish
- bait should only be placed in areas where the pests are going, but out of the way of children, pets, domestic animals and wildlife, and in a dry area
- attach the bait block with a nail or wire to the bait station. This will stop the bait being taken away to be stored and not eaten
- place a fresh bait block in each active rat hole; close the hole off after baiting.
Check your bait locations every 7 days. Replace with fresh bait if the blocks have been eaten. It normally takes about 3-4 baiting rounds to get rid of the rats and mice.
How to keep them away and stop them coming back
Look for and rodent-proof any places where rats or mice are getting into your property or building. Common entry points are openings around service pipes, gaps near wall skirting, broken under floor ventilation grates, missing drainage grates, gaps under doors and trees against buildings giving access to roof spaces.
Suitable materials for fixing gaps are light sheet iron or tin, chicken netting or a plaster mix made of sand and cement.
You can also:
- clear overgrown areas and regularly remove rubbish
- throw out old newspapers, boxes, rags, and junk from cupboards, spare rooms, and basements
- get rid of piles of bricks, timber, rubble, derelict cars or appliances and heaps of garden rubbish. Clear overgrown parts of the section.
- make sure your rubbish tin has a tight lid and that this is always kept on
- fix dripping taps, and don't let water collect in buckets or tins outside. This will help cut off the rats supply of drinking water.
- don't leave food for pets or birds out overnight where rats can get at it.