Pest control - rats and mice

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The house mouse and the brown rat are common rodent pests. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our homes, gardens and local environment are kept free from rodents.

The problem

There are three main reasons rodents must be controlled:

  • they can transmit many diseases to humans, including salmonella (food poisoning) and Weil’s disease
  • they contaminate food and food preparation surfaces
  • they cause damage by gnawing woodwork, water pipes and electric cables (which can cause fires).

The rodents

PKMousie courtesy of Compfight. Used under Creative Commons Licence

Rats and mice breed very quickly. A pair of rats can produce several litters a year, with each litter producing about eight young. The offspring mature three months after birth and breed at the same rate.

The law

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places an obligation on owners or occupiers to control rats and mice on their property and to inform the local Council of infestations. The control of rats and mice is therefore everyone’s problem.

The council

The council has no duty to provide a treatment service. We can offer advice.

We will however investigate all reports of rats and mice and take the appropriate action. If you have a problem in your own home then you can ring us for advice but we do not provide a pest control service. You can either take steps to deal with the problem yourself using products readily available from hardware stores, or you can contact a professional company in Yellow Pages.

The answer

Prevention is better than dealing with an infestation. If there is no access to food, water, shelter or nesting sites, rodents will go elsewhere and will not be able to produce or maintain significant populations. Repair broken air bricks and holes in outside walls, floorboards or skirting boards; tidy up cupboards and remove nesting material. Cover and put away all food out of reach.

You can download this information as a pdf by clicking on this icon PDF version at the top of the page.

Published: 23 August 2013 - 9:38am