Rat and mouse infestation hits Darling Downs

RODENTS are in plague proportions across the Darling Downs.

Graham Clapham farms in the Cecil Plains area and said there were plenty of mice and rats in the fields.

"It's a seasonable thing and there hasn't been any cold and wet that seems to break their breeding cycle.

"They've multiplied rapidly.

"If we get some wet and cold that could reduce the numbers a bit.

"We've baited the fields twice already because the mice numbers are so high.

"They would have dug up and ate the seeds if we hadn't have baited them.

"You get the circumstances right and they can increase rapidly."

Residents are being advised to watch for a possible rise in the number of rats and mice on the move as the mercury plunges.

Toowoomba Regional Council Environmental Health portfolio leader Cr Joe Ramia said a drop in temperature often forced rodents into homes and sheds seeking food and shelter.

Cr Ramia said rats and mice produced around 20 babies a year.

They are sexually mature at 35 days and females can have a litter of between four and 10 every second month.

"Residents should watch for burrows dug into the ground around concrete slabs, fences or stored materials that could indicate the presence of rats or mice," Cr Ramia said.

"Gnawed material or shredded matter are other signs of nests."

Rats are a big problem on the Darling Downs.
Rats are a big problem on the Darling Downs. AFP PHOTO

Cr Ramia said residents could take a number of simple precautions to control mice and rats including:

  • Clear materials that encourage nesting building materials stored outside
  • Clean up around your property
  • Keep vegetation to a minimum, don't let weeds get out of control and mow regularly
  • Store firewood off the ground
  • Ensure garbage is stored in containers or bins with a tight lid
  • Reduce possible food sources such as excess pet food, turn compost heaps regularly and don't leave fallen fruit lying around

Options to get rid of rodents

  • Set snap traps or glue traps near where they frequent. Set across the rodent's normal path so it is likely to run directly across the trap
  • Poisons can be purchased from a hardware, supermarket or primary produce supplier. If you use poisons, follow the manufacturer's instructions and keep children and pets safe
  • Hire a pest control professional
  • A good pest control company will be able to offer you a guarantee on their services

For more information call council on 131 872.

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