Gympie's rodent population is attracting attention with pest management services fielding increased calls for assistance from increasingly desperate homeowners.
Gympie's rodent population is attracting attention with pest management services fielding increased calls for assistance from increasingly desperate homeowners. Contributed

Oh Rats! Free monthly quota of bait for residents

UPDATE:

LISTEN closely at night and you may hear evidence of a growing invasion slowly taking hold of Gympie.

Rats and mice are on the march, taking up residence in roofs, walls and even the odd car engine bay.

But just who is winning the war?

Online, The Gympie Times Facebook followers reported mixed results fighting back against the pests.

Leanne Jones-pfitzner said her Tupperware was a casualty of the invasion.

"The buggers have chewed my Tupperware containers and pet food bucket lid," she said.

"Nothing seems to be working - traps baits used, even having a snake around the house didn't put them off."

Manda Devine had more success, catching 15 in a week.

"We just use traps and fixed any holes to stop them getting into the house," she said.

The problem is worsening as the weather finally begins to cool off and rodents look indoors for a cosy place to call home.

Gympie pest controller Garry Pratt earlier this week reported a spike in demand for his services as rodent populations were at their highest point in a long time.

A big breeding season last winter rolled over to the warmer months with January's high rainfall producing plenty of feed.

Gympie Regional Council said rodents were a designated pest under the Public Health Act and residents had access to a free monthly quota of bait which could be collected by leaving their details at the Gympie Town Hall or the council offices at 242 Mary St.

Tips for fighting back include keeping grass short, cleaning up around the house and not leaving pet food and water out.

Overgrown blocks in town are a big culprit as well and may be reported to Gympie Regional Council for investigation.

EARLIER:

A FLOURISHING rat population is giving Gympie residents a headache, chewing through electrical wiring in roofs and grounding vehicles by munching battery terminals and building nests in engine bays.

Garry Pratt has 25 years' experience with Amalgamated Pest Control and says the business has received "an extraordinary" level of inquiry for their services to deal with the rogue rodents.

"This is as bad as it has been for quite some time," Mr Pratt said.

"We had a bad winter in 2015.

"The rodents bred up and I think there was an overflow into the summer of 2015-2016."

Heavy rainfall in January has not helped the situation, either.

"The grass was able to grow and provide a lot of feed for rodents," Mr Pratt said.

The damage caused by the rodents is often what drives people to ring pest control businesses in a bid to regain control.

Are you experiencing problems with rodents at your home?

This poll ended on 21 April 2016.

Current Results

No. I haven't seen any rodents around my house.

31%

I have seen a few but it's not a big problem.

40%

Yes. I have seen many and having troubles getting rid of them.

27%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


Electrical wiring, car battery terminals and even nests in vehicle engine bays themselves have been reported as targets.

While the problems were more likely to present in vehicles used infrequently, the pest controller said motor vehicles driven daily were still vulnerable.

"It's not unheard of to have rats learn the car's movements," he said.

Mr Pratt said pest management "worth its salt" was a combination or addressing the environment and baiting.

Hard and soft baits are used and baiting stations are secured to buildings to avoid surprises.

"I've heard of rats that have dragged (unsecured) baits away to the other end of a property," he said.

It is crucial baits are inaccessible to children and pets and are tamper proof.
 

Follow these handy tips to avoid rolling out the welcome mat for rodents at your place:

  • Clean up around sheds and remove rubbish that may provide harbourage for rodents.
  • Ensure garage perimeters are clear of overgrown grass.
  • Don't leave pet food out in the open. "Keep food in sealed containers and don't leave it sitting about in pet bowls," Mr Pratt said.
  • It's not just pet food that is an attraction for rodents. Bowls of water are tempting for rodents looking for a new home. 
     

Gympie has a number of pest management services. As listed in order on Google, they include:

  • Richardson Pest Management 0428 864 230
  • Gympie Pest Control (07) 5482 6267
  • Natural Pest Control (07) 5483 6663
  • Aust Wide Termite Pest Management 0419 302 956
  • Promax Pest Control and Carpet Cleaning (07) 5482 6501
  • Amalgamated Pest Control Gympie (07) 5353 5029
  • By Lab Carpet Cleaning & Pest Control 0457 825 733
  • Natural Pest Control (07) 5483 6663
  • Gold City Pest Services (07) 5482 8244