Conditions ripe for an invasion of rats

THE rats have mobilised so don’t be too surprised if you’re woken in the night by thumping and scratching in your ceiling.

South Coast Animal Rescue’s snake wrangler Dusty Jones said along with an increase in calls for snake rescues he’s had an increase in calls relating to rats.

“Rats are definitely on the move and I think that’s partly why we’re seeing more snakes getting into houses. Rats and mice are their basic food,” he said.

Retail outlets that sell rat traps and poison have also seen evidence that more rats are about.

Lindsey Higgins from Bishops produce store at South Nowra said rat traps have been popular this summer.

“Traps and baits have been popular, most people just want the rats dead,” he said.

“But the environmental, cage style traps are very successful and quite popular.”

Neville Strong from Berry Street Food and Produce said he, too, was seeing an increase in the number of people asking for solutions to rat problems.

“It has been a good season for rats,” he said.

“Being so dry out and about there’s no feed so they’re coming in looking for what you’ve got in the house.”

“A lot of people are worried about them being bush rats or antechinus so the environmental traps are becoming popular.

“That way people can have a look at the animal first and make sure of what it is,” he said.

Rat and mouse enthusiast Katy Jenkins said having rats in your home didn’t necessarily mean your house was dirty, only that there is food about.

“A rat won’t be in the house if there isn’t any food there. Just like any wild animal,” she said.

“That food can include cat and dog food in a bowl, people with chooks and chook food will find they are attracted to that.

“Also in the garden, growing vegies can attract them.” 

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