What are Rodents?
So what are Rodents (Rodentia) are a group of mammals including squirrels, dormice, mice, rats, gerbils, beavers, gophers, kangaroo rats, porcupines, pocket mice, spring-hares, and many others. In Australia, there are approximately 60 native species including the well-known water rat, bush rat and stick-nest rats.
Currently, there are more than 2000 species of rodents surviving, among the mammalian groups. Rodents have specialized teeth for chewing and biting these teeth are continually growing and are maintained through constant grinding.
Most rodents are small animals with robust bodies, short limbs, and long tails. They use their sharp incisors to defend themselves, gnaw food and excavate burrows. Rodents are very clever, they can quickly learn to avoid poisoned baits, which makes them difficult pests to deal with. Guinea pigs can learn and remember complex pathways to food. Kangaroos and rats are able to locate caches of food by spatial memory, rather than just by the smell.
What do they eat?
Rodents eat a lot of different foods including leaves, fruits, seeds, and small invertebrates.
Rodents and disease
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.
How to manage your Rodent problem
- Always keep doors to food cupboards closed.
- Place all food waste in a bin with a close fitting lid.
- Keep any animal food in metal bins with a tight lid.
- Keep your yards free of all waste food.
- Keep your house dry to deny rodents access to water.
- Clear your land and house of all rubbish and timber.
- Keep grass cut short and dispose of cuttings at the tip. High grass and long weeds hide rodent burrows.
- Cover entry points around windows and openings under buildings with wire or fine mesh. A rat can squeeze through a very small opening.