Did you know that many of the rodents currently plaguing our country are not Australian natives? It’s true and a lot of them hitched rides here aboard the 18th century ships of our ancestors. A prime example is the Rattus norvegicus or brown rat. Believed to have originated on the continents of Asia and Antarctica, they have a long history of sneaking onto seafaring vessels and heavily colonizing numerous ports of call along the way. Unfortunately for us, the hairy invaders took a great shine to our country’s natural resources and various climatic zones.
Known carriers of disease causing parasites and pathogens, these destructive creatures frequently reach 20 cm in length. And if the food is plentiful, the males may grow to weigh more than 250 grams! Despite being a bit smaller, the females are quite adept at producing offspring. As soon as they reach three months of age, most are capable of reproducing up to a dozen live offspring with each successful mating. And for the most part, they are able to get pregnant five times a year. So for every one fertile female, Aussies may expect to be faced with roughly 60 babies per year.
Of course these rodents are social creatures. Thus, there is generally more than just one female that ends up calling an Aussie’s residence or business home sweet home. Therein is the chief reason why it’s important to launch an aggressive, rodent management plan as soon as the creatures show up in a home or business. Signs to look for are gnawed bags of grain or damaged cereal boxes, small piles of feces and an abundance of nocturnal noises (e.g. scratching).
To uncover more facts about Australia’s rats, please contact us at Compass Pest Management. We welcome all inquires about our firm’s rodent management services from those living in North-East Victoria and Southern New South Wales.