Rats and mice (rodents)
These rodents are a major threat to our region's biodiversity. They prey on birds’ eggs and young birds, eat seeds, fruits and seedlings and kill native lizards and invertebrates.
Rodents are also a common problem for people and businesses. They eat and damage crops, contaminate and damage human and animal food, damage buildings and carry diseases such as leptospirosis.
Rats and mice defecate and urinate as they travel, leaving urine stains and droppings.
In New Zealand we have these rodents:
Norway rats are the largest, usually inhabiting waterways and coastal areas. They will also occupy buildings where there are suitable nesting conditions and an adequate food supply.
The ship rat and house mouse are the most common rodents in the Wellington region. They prefer drier habitats and forested areas including forests, dunes, rivers, lagoons and estuaries.
Rats and mice are prolific breeders. Each year a rat can produce up to 48 young, and a mouse up to 60 young.
Cats and dogs will not usually solve a rat or mouse problem and may only be successful in catching the odd one or two.
Effective rodent control needs to be continual and should begin with prevention such as removing their food source and nesting grounds.
The presence of rodents can be a sign that a clean up of the house, shed, garage or section is needed.
Rats and mice can be controlled by trapping or poisoning. You can contact a commercial pest control operator or: