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Did you know that we have rats living in the City of Rockdale? I'm sure most of you answered yes! But, did you know that they are not all pests? We also have native rats living in the City of Rockdale.
Rockdale City Council is well aware that rats inhabit the City of Rockdale. Council is constantly working in various ways to reduce numbers of introduced rodent species in our City, without harming our native friends. Under NSW legislation we cannot harm or kill our native rodents, so controlling introduced rodents is not as simple and straightforward as you may think.
The Black Rat, Brown Rat and House Mouse are the introduced rodents and they have successfully colonised all over the world and Australia, including Rockdale. They are a common resident in urban and rural areas. Increases in population numbers naturally occur as a result of increased rainfall and plant cover. They are generalist feeders, fast breeders and are tolerant of a large range of habitats making them a very adaptable animal. As such, it is likely that they will always be a part of the Rockdale environment.
Council has recently produced an information brochure about the different species of rodents, both good and bad, that reside in the City of Rockdale. The brochure describes each type of rodent and some of its characteristics to help with identification.
Did You Know Rats Can:
- fall 15m without injuring themselves
- jump vertically 1m
- jump horizontally 1.2m
- swim 800m
- climb extremely well, including up wires
- tread water for 3 days
- gnaw through lead, aluminium, timber, electrical wires and improperly cured concrete
- squeeze through a hole one quarter of the rats size
- produce 15,000 babies a year
- contaminate food and water
- spread human disease through fleas and mites
How You Can Help
Rockdale City Council is committed to helping control number of introduced rodents within our City to help minimise detrimental effects to the environment, native wildlife, human health and property.
Numerous studies have indicated that the most effective way to reduce numbers is to eliminate their food source and eliminate their habitat.
You can do the following to help minimise Black Rat, Brown Rat and House Mouse populations around your home.
Eliminate Food Sources
- Do not leave food scraps or spilled rubbish outside
- Do not leave bags of rubbish lying around
- Keep lids firmly closed on your bins to avoid access
- Do not leave excess animal food outside
- Ensure cat food, dog food, birdseed and other animal feed is stored in sealed containers
- Clean up around pet cages and bowls after feeding
- Keep houses as dry as possible to deny rats access to water
- Clean up fruit and nuts from trees that drop to the ground, these are a good food source for rats
- Regularly turn compost heaps and use rodent proof compost bins where possible
- Limit rodent entrances to houses by blocking any holes or gaps in and around pipes, roof cavities and other parts of buildings
- Place metal gauze over the end of open pipes
- Make sure your windows have screens and there are no holes in them
- Use metal trims on the bottom of external doors to prevent rodents from gnawing and getting in
- Keep your house and land clean and tidy of all rubbish and free of clutter including timber
- Store items, such as timber, at least 300m off the ground
- Keep all grass cut short around your property and remove weeds near your house
- Minimise branches and vegetation such as vines around downpipes, guttering and wires
- Minimise dense vegetation around external walls and fences
What the Council is Doing
Council is minimising rodent populations in our City through a variety of methods.
- A study has been undertaken to assess the extent and composition of rat populations.
- We are putting into place numerous procedures to help minimise rodent populations which were identified in the report, including a trapping program, baiting program and management options to help reduce food sources and habitat for the introduced rodents.
But Council can only do so much. We need your help.
You can help firstly by implementing some of the actions outlined above. These methods are seen as the most successful and long term as they reduce food sources and habitat needed by the rats to survive.
Council also has a limited number of bait stations available for residents to loan if they are particularly concerned with rats in their yard.
For further information call Council's Cleansing Services Unit on 9562 1500.