Rat control can pose a challenge in some parts of Australia, as native rat species are protected under Australian law. Understanding the difference between native rats and the rats considered pests will help you know what kind of rat you are dealing with and help you know how to handle it.
Norwegian rats also known as black and brown rats are considered pests. They can carry diseases and can also cause serious damage to homes and even crops. If you have spotted rats on your property or in your home there are a few things to consider. First of all a rat will be quite large averaging about 16 cm to 20 cm long. If it is smaller than 16 cm it is more than likely a mouse. Mice are much smaller than rats and will only be 7.5 cm to 10 cm. Other discerning details of Norwegian rats include a longer tail and a slanted nose. Norwegian rats also tend to be quite slender in body with a shiny coat. Both mice and rats will contaminate any food they come into contact with and this includes pet food, treats and snacks. If you suspect a rat or mouse has been in contact with food in your home you should dispose of it immediately. Brown rats will infest the foundation of your home whereas black rats tend to live in the attic coming in through the roof.
Rats native to Australia are far less common in suburban and urban areas. There are two common native rats: water rats and bush rats. Bush rats have shorter tails than Norwegian rats as well as rounder ears. They are gray in colour. Water rats can be quite large often reaching as long as 30 cm so they are quite distinct in their appearance. They also only live near water. Their tails are very long and have a white tip. Their whiskers are also quite long and they can vary in colour from gray and black to brown. Both water and bush rats are a protected species which means it is actually against the law to harm them. It is very important to contact a professional pest control company to identify what rats are in your home in order to be certain you are not killing off native rats.
Because Norwegian rats can spread disease as well as contaminate food determining what type of rats are in or around your home is important to the safety of your family.
If you are worried about rodents in your home the rat control experts at Rip Pest Control can help. Visit www.rippestcontrol.com.au for more information.