There can be little doubt about it — rats are becoming an increasing problem in much of Australia. During the country's lockdown, rat numbers appeared to surge, especially in eastern cities, such as Sydney. That said, homeowners or business premises managers anywhere in the country should remain vigilant for signs of rodent life. If you can spot rat activity at an early enough stage, then the pest control measures you will need to put into place are likely to be that much more effective. This is so much better than trying to handle a full-blown infestation that has got out of control. What are the telltale signs that rats are present on your property?
Partially Eaten Food
If you spot the sort of things that rats eat around your garden or yard, then it is highly likely that you have at least some of these creatures living nearby. Typically, rats will discard damaged fruit and nuts they have scavenged if they have had their fill. Of course, they will also go after any food that has been left in bins, another sign of their presence.
If you notice things like snail shells close to your property, then it could be birds that have been at play. That said, if they turn up under bushes or parked cars, where birds are much less likely to feed, then it is probable that rats are the culprits and you may need to call in pest control professionals, as a result.
Evidence of Gnawing
Look around your property at a low level — the sort of place a rat could reach — and look out for gouge-like marks. If you see them in plastic fascias or wooden weatherboards, for example, then it is likely to be from rodent activity. Anything made from rubber will often attract rats, too, since they can chew their way through this material surprisingly easily.
Holes in the Ground
Many species of rats like to burrow underground as a way of protecting themselves from humans and other predators. Therefore, inspecting your property for disturbed earth where they might be sheltering is a good idea if you want to prevent their numbers from growing. They tend to burrow in places where there is a watercourse, such as a sewer, a drain or a culvert.
Finally, it is worth mentioning rat droppings as another obvious sign of their presence. Rat faeces are usually between half and three-quarters of an inch long. These are larger droppings than mice make so it is fairly easy to identify when rats are involved.
If you have further questions, reach out to a local rat control service.