Rats are treated as a serious pest because they carry and transmit diseases. If they get in and around your home they can also:
- contaminate your food and utensils
- eat and damage fruit and other crops growing in your garden
- damage your doors, skirting boards, furniture, pipes, wiring and cables.
Find out more about feral rodents.
Signs that you have a rat problem
If you have a rat problem the first sign is usually droppings about 10 mm in length which are thin, black and have fur intertwined in them. Other common signs are:
- a beaten path where they have developed a ‘run’ that leads to their shelter
- greasy marks along the paths they travel
- burrow holes around buildings
- damage caused by gnawing
- fruit and vegetables that have been eaten
- pets that are more excitable than usual
- squeaking, gnawing or movement noises in the walls, cupboards, and ceilings and under floors.
Avoiding rat problems
Deny rats food.
Rake up any fallen fruit and nuts from the ground and put them in your organic waste bin.
Keep chicken coops and bird aviaries clean and make sure extra seed or food is not left lying around.
Place household food scraps in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Make sure that compost bins are rat proof and that scraps are not left where rats can get to them.
Do not compost meat scraps.
Keep animal food in rat proof containers.
Wash pet food bowls after your pets have finished eating.
Deny rats shelter.
Clear your house and land of all rubbish, timber, building material or stack it at least 30cm off the ground and away from fences.
Keep plants, shrubs, vines and other vegetation around your home under control.
Keep your lawns short all year.
Remove garden waste.
Keep your garage and shed neat and tidy.
Repair any holes or other access points around buildings, fences and concrete slabs.
Dealing with rats
Poison baits are the most common and successful way of destroying rats.
You can get rodent bait from the Service Centre at minimal cost. Always follow the manufacturers instructions when using rodent bait.
If poisoning occurs contact a doctor or Poisons Information Centre on 131 126.
Other control methods
- sticky pads
- live traps
- electronic devices
- licensed pest control companies.
Find out more about dealing with rats pdf (122KB).
We investigate situations where properties are attracting rats. If a complaint is justified appropriate action is taken.
Email the Service Centre or call 8416 6333.