If you own or occupy a property in Redland City you are required under the Public Health Act 2005 to manage rats and mice on your property.
Council offers advice to help you:
- prevent rats and mice from breeding on your property
- reducing harbourage and controlling infestations
- identify native and introduced species of rats and mice.
Council officers may also investigate situations where rat and mice infestations present a public health risk. For further information see our Rats and Mice fact sheet.
Managing rats and mice
The following methods may help manage rats and mice.
To prevent or reduce rat and mice infestations on your property:
- vermin-proof your premises. Block all cracks, crevices, holes and other potential access points on your premises using sturdy, durable materials such as cast iron grills, heavy-guage sheet metal or rich cement mortar/concrete. Don't use plastic, wood or materials that rodents can gnaw through
- trim vegetation. Trim trees, plants, weeds and long grass. Tidy up overgrown gardens, timber, sheet metal, cluttered sheds and junk piles that rodents like to nest in
- store food securely. Store food in secure, rodent-proof containers with tight-fitting lids. Make sure rodents can't chew through containers. Do this with any food, animal feed, seed and food waste
- maintain hygiene. Dispose of food scraps and domestic waste in proper containers. Clean all pet areas, including aviaries and chicken pens. Remove overgrown vegetation, leaf piles and grass clippings
- restrict water access. Remove access to water sources – rats drink about three times as much as they eat. Cover or remove water fountains, pet water bowls and ponds
- store building materials above ground level. Store building materials and other items in stacks above the ground. Check regularly for evidence of rat or mice droppings.
Once mice or rats are present on your property it is recommended you maintain a management strategy, for example baiting or trapping year round.
Live trapping is useful for small infestations of vermin and in situations where you wouldn't use poison.
Set traps in a safe, sheltered place located along the rodent's path of movement. Make sure they can't injure children, pets and wildlife.
Effective baits include peanut butter, dried fruit, chocolate, thin slices of meat such as bacon or sausages and cereal/oats.
Rodents are often wary of new traps. If you use snap traps, place a baited (but unset) trap in position for a few days before setting it. This will increase your chance of catching the rodent.
Chemicals and rodenticides are available in bait, powder or water form to control rats and mice. Common types use anticoagulant poisons which reduce the clotting power of blood, killing the rodent in seven to 14 days.
To set a bait, place bait in a box close to the source of infestation, in a covered, dark position. Regularly inspect and top up the baits.
When setting baits:
- make sure children and pets can't access or ingest the bait
- read the label and follow instructions
- properly dispose of anything in contact with the poison, including packaging, dead animals, and gloves
- contact a doctor or vet immediately if poison is ingested by a human, pet or other animal.
It may take around seven to 14 days for a rodent to eat the poison. If the bait is untouched after one week, move the box to a new location and repeat until the bait is taken.
Prior to baiting it should be noted that poisoned rats or mice may die in areas of your house you can't access. If this happens you may notice an unpleasant odour for a number of days.
If you have a rat or mouse infestation you can't manage, contact a licensed pest control operator.
Types of rats and mice
You don't need to control native rats and mice; however, introduced species should be controlled immediately.
See the following information about three species of introduced rodents that are common to urban areas:
- The Norway Rat (Brown or Sewer Rat) usually lives in burrows beneath buildings, and can be found in sewers and around rubbish dumps. This rat prefers to eat plant, animal and meat material, and usually remains close to their nest when scavenging for food. It is the most common and destructive introduced rat species in Australia.
- The Roof Rat (Black Rat) is an excellent climber and jumper. It nests in the upper parts of dwellings such as rooftops, walls and furniture. This rat prefers to eat fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. It tends to roam to find food, but usually returns to its existing nest.
- The House Mouse will live anywhere with shelter, warmth, food and nesting materials, including areas in and around houses, buildings and structures. It prefers to eat cereal grains and does not roam far in search of food.
Resolving an issue
If rats or mice are an issue on surrounding properties, raise the alleged issue directly with the person responsible and give them a reasonable timeframe to resolve it.
If the person does not resolve the issue after that time, contact us to report the problem on (07) 3829 8999. To make a complaint you must be able to verify the source of the vermin.