Residents encouraged to take steps to discourage rodents

Published on Monday, 21 March 2022 at 11:52:00 AM

Shire of Mundaring residents are being advised of a reported rise in rodent activity across Perth, including within the shire. 

As the cooler weather sets in, rodents are out and about seeking shelter. Residents are encouraged to take steps to stop them from using their property.

The Shire’s Coordinator Health Services Martin Shurlock said the Shire typically received an increase in rodent enquiries in April.

However, this year there had been a spike in rodent reports across Perth during summer.

“Firstly, we want to be sure that they are introduced rodents and not native wildlife, such as quenda. If they are rats then people have a responsibility to control them,” he said.

“Under the Health (miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, property owners and occupiers are required to prevent rats harbouring on their property as they pose a risk to human health.”

Mr Shurlock said one way of discouraging rats and mice from accessing a property was to control access to food, water and shelter.

“This could be as simple as storing firewood 40cm off the ground, removing garden waste or other material in sheds, or around the yard, and ensuring rubbish and compost bins are free from holes,” he said. “Remember not to include meat scraps in compost.

“You can also remove fruit and nuts from trees at the end of the season and keep pet and bird food in sealed containers that rats can’t enter or chew through.”

Residents and occupiers can also speak to their neighbours to see if they have a problem and work together to eradicate it on their properties.

One way to eradicate rodents is to maintain a baiting or trapping program, being careful not to leave baits where other animals can get to them.

However, there are baits which contain slow acting, Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) which are higher risk for secondary poisoning. 

Secondary poisoning occurs when pets or other animals such as owls, eat the poisoned rodents and become poisoned.

Mr Shurlock said it was recommended to use baits containing Warfarin or Coumatetralyl as the active ingredient would reduce the

risk of secondary poisoning in pets and native animals.

“The old-fashioned spring back-break trap is a non-toxic alternative. Occupiers can bait the traps with bacon, fish, nuts, peanut butter, apple, pumpkin seed or sausage,” he said.

For more information see the Pests and Vermin page.

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