Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mice. Show all posts

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Get of Rats and Mice

I have recently completed a series of videos describing how to identify rodent infestations, what products to use to get rid of rats and mice, how to use those products, safe use of and disposal of rodenticides and how to prevent rodent infestations.

Q: Where do mice park their boats?
A: At the hickory dickory dock.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What to do on ANZAC Day

ANZAC day tomorrow! Let’s hope the weather remains good. We have been having something of an Indian summer this autumn and this has meant ongoing, or even increased, problems for some people with insect pests.

The weather has been warm during the day but clear skies at night have meant low temperatures and even a frost this morning in the fields around my home. This time of the year is normally when rats and mice move indoors to find fresh sources of food and shelter from the cold. Perhaps a good use of your time would be to take 30 minutes of your ANZAC day off and look around your home for places that rats and mice could enter.

It is almost impossible to make any building 100% proofed against rats and mice but 95% makes having an infestation 20 times less likely. Setting out some rodenticide baits and traps would add to the protection; controlling any rodents that find their way in.

What do you get if you try to cross a rat with a skunk?
Dirty looks from the rat! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Autumn – Time to Stop Rats and Mice

This autumn could see a larger than usual influx of rats and mice into our homes, offices, shops, factories and farms. We haven’t had much of a summer in New Zealand but the wetter than usual weather has been good for the growth of plants and their production of fruit, seeds and nuts. The abundance of food this provides for rats and mice means that rodent numbers are likely to be high in the bush, parks and gardens of the country.
At this time each year pest rodents move into our buildings. When autumn gets colder and the fruits, seeds and nuts diminish the rats and mice seek shelter and alternative food sources. When they find a nice dry insulated sheltered attic with food to be found in the kitchen below they will quickly build a nest, and continue breeding. Timely action now to prevent rats and mice getting inside and to deal with them quickly if they gain entry, will save time and effort later during winter.
I have discussed proofing in a previous blog postingHere is my 3 point plan for proofing your building against rats and mice:
  1. Deny rodents entry – Go outside and examine your buildings for possible entry points. A mouse can squeeze beneath a door if there is a gap large enough to fit a pencil a young rat is only a little larger than a mouse! Draft excluding brush strips, are an ideal method of proofing such gaps. You might also consider placing some rodenticide around the exterior of the house to reduce the numbers that might find their way in.
  2. Deny rodents food – Take 10 minutes to look around your kitchen and check that should a mouse or rat get in that there is no food behind the fridge, or spilled down the side of the cooker. Check that dried good such as cereals are in sealed, preferably metal, containers. Make sure butter and even bars of soap are out of the reach of rodents. Remember, rats and mice are excellent climbers and just putting food high on a shelf may not be out of their reach.
  3. Be ready for rodent entry – No matter how carefully you find and seal possible entry points if you can get into a building through and open door so can a rat or mouse. They may also get in carried in a box of goods and there are almost always other possible entry points around any building. So it is always wise to keep fresh rodenticide bait in place in safe places such as the roof void so that any rodents that get in are dealt with before you know about them.
    1. Put bait in safe places NOW. Don’t wait for signs of their entry. Place the bait where rodents might encounter it but where pets and children cannot. Set traps as well.
    2. Rodenticide baits are more effective than traps but once a rodent has taken some bait it is more likely to get caught in a trap and body can then be removed.
    3. Particularly if dealing with roof rats block baits should be fixed in place so that the rats cannot take it away and store it. Some baits have holes so that they can be nailed in place in voids and fixed by use of a wire. Block baits without holes can be put in a plastic bag and the bag fixed in place.
Carry out this rodent proofing now and you give yourself the best chance of staying free from pest rats and mice this winter.

Three rats are sitting at the bar bragging about their bravery and toughness.

The first says, “I’m so tough, once I ate a whole bagful of rat poison!”

The second says, “Well I’m so tough, once I was caught in a rat trap and I gnawed it apart!”

Then the third rat gets up and says, “Later guys, I’m off home to beat up the cat.”

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Zoonoses from Pest Rodents

    Rodent droppings and urine can carry serious disease
    Zoonoses are diseases caught from animals. Wild rats and mice carry several diseases that can be passed on to humans. The most famous epidemic caused by close association of rats with people is the Black Death which caused the death of millions in 14th century Europe. The disease was the plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis


    Plague still infects and kills people world wide but thankfully not in New Zealand. But there are other serious diseases that can be caught from wild (and pet) rodents in New Zealand.

    Leptospirosis – Wiel’s Disease

    Leptospirosis, also known as Wiel’s disease, is caused by  the bacteria Leptospira. It is carried by rodents, and other wild animals.  Infection is through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from an infected animal.  Cuts or breaks in the skin will also allow in infection.     Infected people experience a range of symptoms from mild or no illness to severe or life-threatening meningitis, liver damage and kidney failure.  Infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with water that might be contaminated with animal urine.


    Salmonellosos is commonly associated with poor hygiene or inadequately cooked food, but can also be acquired from rodents.  Salmonella bacteria may be found in the feces of many animals including wild and pet rodents. Infection can be contracted by people who do not wash their hands after contact with rodent droppings or if food, drink or eating utensils are contaminated with rodent droppings.

    Rat Bite Fever (RBF)

    Rat Bite Fever is caused by Streptobacillus bacteria that is found in the mouth of apparently healthy rats and mice.  People are infected through bites or scratches from rodents or may also become ill after eating contaminated food or drink or through close contact with rodents.  In cases of bites and scratches, the wound often has healed before symptoms begin (2-10 days after the bite).  Antibiotic treatment for this disease is very effective.  Illness in those who do not seek medical attention and treatment can be very serious and result in death; therefore it is important to immediately clean and disinfect wounds and promptly seek medical attention after any rodent bite or scratch.

    How to Prevent Infections from Rats and Mice

    • Wear gloves when carrying out pest control against rodents or working in areas where there are signs rats or mice a have been active. Wash hands after handling anything that rats or mice may have urinated on. Rodents continually dribble urine where ever they travel.
    • In roof voids and other enclosed spaces where rodents have been it is sensible to wear a mask as dust may carry disease organisms.
    • Clean up rodent droppings where ever they are found and disinfect surfaces where rodents could have travelled. 
    • Dispose of any food that have been eaten or may have been contaminated by rodents.
    • If biten or scratched by rodents always clean and disinfect wounds and seek medical attention immediately.

    Two rats are in a bar. One turns to the other and in a drunken slurr says “I slept with your mother thats right your mother” the other just looked at him and said “Dad go home your drunk.”

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Snow Blizzards Stop Flights

    With snow falling around me I was on my way to Christchurch Airport early yesterday morning. When I heard on the radio the airport was closed I checked and found that my flight and all those in the morning were cancelled. I re-booked for an evening flight and was confident that the runway would be cleared by then. False confidence as it turned out. I have had to cancel my trip to Auckland to attend the Bunnings Expo where I was to be the ‘expert’ for pest control questions. I am sure that Kiwicare Sales Manager Neil Martin and garden expert Ben Adams will be able to hold the fort.

    Working from home yesterday I watched the snow continue to fall and considered what such a widespread cold snap might mean for pest issues around New Zealand.

    Cold is the enemy of insects and small mammals. The smaller a creature the more affected by temperature they tend to be. Insects may be able to survive cold conditions by being in a state similar to ‘hibernation.’ Their metabolisms are slowed and energy reserved. Small mammals will seek shelter and use energy reserves to keep their bodies at a temperature that will sustain their lives. If they have sufficient reserves built up through plentiful times in autumn they will survive, if not, they die.

    Some insects are adapted to survive freezing for short periods, but few can survive for extended periods. Some insects survive as grubs or adults deep in the soil where they are less affected by cold. Short cold snaps of a few days will not penetrate more than a few inches into the soil. Those insects or small mammals such as rats and mice that take refuge in heated homes can survive easily through the coldest periods. Not only are they protected from severe temperatures but they often find access to food supplies that sustain through the winter.

    In consequence the short cold snap and snow will reduce both insect and rodent numbers in the wild, it will drive more to seek refuge in homes and other buildings, but it will not affect better adapted insects such as grass grub or sheltering pests such as cluster flies or rodents that enter our buildings.

    What do snowmen wear on their heads?
    Ice caps.
    It snow joke!

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Mild Weather Leaves Rats and Mice Out

    In April I predicted that rodents would be a problem of larger than normal proportions this winter, particularly in quake damaged Christchurch. See here.

    Rats Surviving Outside This Winter
    I am happy to say that this prediction has not come to pass yet. Rats and mice have been able to survive outside due to the mild weather that New Zealand has experienced so far this winter. While many rats and mice have invaded homes in search of food and shelter, this has, so far, been in the normal range and not been a plague.

    The unseasonably mild weather has had implications for ski fields and the lack of snow has meant resorts like Queenstown have not been able to start the ski season leaving many ski field employees without work and skiers seeking alternative entertainment.

    For animals in the wild it has meant that more food is available to them and less food is needed to keep warm. The result is a high survival rate but less movement of rodent pests indoors. However, if a cold snap does come along there is still a likelihood that rodents will move indoors to escape the cold. So it is important to be proactive and be prepared.

    What did the lab rat say his mate?
    "I've got my scientist so well trained that every time I ring the bell, she brings me a snack."

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    The Mars Bar Mice

    In my blog of on catching rats and mice alive on Monday July 19th 2010 I ended by saying I would tell the story of the Mars Bar mice. It has taken me a long time to get round to it, but a comment on that article has reminded me of my promise.

    Some years ago, back in Ireland, I was contacted by the owner of a business located in the same business centre as my pest control company. We’ll call him Paddy which wasn’t his name, but it suits the story. Paddy told me that he was having terrible problems with mice at home. He said he was catching as many as 20 every night. Now, I have seen some heavily infested homes, but never one where that many were caught every night.

    I queried these numbers and it transpired that Paddy had purchased 20 live capture mouse traps; his wife was “dead set against using poison, even if the mice were eating her cashmere sweaters to make a nest.” Paddy had  been setting the traps all in his roof voids and around the house, baited with Mars Bar. Each morning every trap had caught a mouse. “Big fat healthy mice!” said Paddy.

    I asked Paddy what he did with the caught mice. “Oh. I take them way across the field and let them go.” said Paddy.

    I suggested that that night he set the traps again as usual. But next morning, mark each mouse with a dab of correction fluid before releasing them. And set the traps again for the following night.

    Sure enough the second morning 20 ‘corrected’ mice had been caught in the traps.

    The mice were fat from Mars Bar and fit from the exercise and fresh air they got each day making their way back across the fields to the house for another Mars feed.

    This wasn’t quite the end of the story however. There was still the question of how the mice were getting back into the house. Paddy insisted that he had put much effort into finding and sealing all possible entry points. I agreed to visit the house and take a look.

    It doesn’t take much of a gap for a mouse to enter a building; a gap as narrow as a pencil is all they need, even well fed Mars mice. I was confident I would find a broken air vent, gap under a door, ill fitting pipe, or climbing plant leading up to the eaves. But when I checked the house I could find no possible entry. It was unlikely that all the mice would be able to sneak in an open door when Paddy or his wife opened and closed them after themselves.

    How could they be getting in?

    A common entry point for rats and mice is via the garage if the garage is attached to the house. But Paddy’s garage was 15 metres from the house. But I did find a gap under the garage door and I found little ‘messages’ letting me know that mice were getting into the garage.

    In Ireland and the UK central heating is common in most homes to combat the cold, wind and rain. Rats and mice love the heat from central heating boilers and the pipes carrying hot water to radiators. The pipes can often provide highways for mice to travel around a building as the holes on walls and joists are rarely sealed tightly. And this was how the mice were getting into the house. Paddy’s central heating boiler was in the garage and the pipes ran underground to the house. the mice had followed the pipes, eating their way through the insulation around the pipes.

    Once I sealed up the gaps around the pipes, and Paddy had caught and released the mice a long way (over 2km) away from the house, the problem was solved.

    There are several messages from this story:

    • Mars Bars and regular exercise make for big healthy mice
    • You can train mice to get caught in traps
    • Mice will find a way in if there is one
    • Mice often follow pipes and cables
    • You can keep mice out if you find and seal all the entry points
    • Mice will find their way back to a home from over a kilometer away
    • If releasing mice that you have caught in live capture traps, release them more than 2 km away
    • Mice like Mars bars
    A mouse walks into a bar and says to the barman “I’ll have a Milk ‘n’ way and two Moro a Mars.”

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Do Rats and Mice Need Water With Their Bait?

    This week I have received several queries from people asking whether it is necessary to place water out with rodent baits. They have been told, or have read, that poison baits make rats and mice thirsty and that they will gnaw pipes to get at water to drink; so that placing water with the bait means they are less likely to gnaw pipes.

    This is one of those stories that has some truth and sounds plausible but but comes to the wrong conclusions.

    Damage to cables from gnawing rats 
    Almost all rodent baits contain an anti-coagulant toxin* such as the coumatetralyl used in NO Rats & Mice. Anti-coagulants do indeed have a slight tendency to make the rats and mice thirsty, but the rodents are likely to find water in their usual places if they are able.

    Rodents do indeed often gnaw at pipework and cables causing considerable damage. But they do this because their incisor (front) teeth grow continually throughout their life and must be kept worn down and sharp by regular gnawing. This is why rats and mice gnaw things other than their food. Plastics, including plastic pipes and cable covering, seem to be of a consistency that they get ‘pleasure’ from gnawing.

    Placing water alongside baits is unlikely to influence the likelihood of them gnawing pipes. Anti-coagulant poisons take several days to begin to take effect. So the rats and mice are likely to be some other place when they begin to feel ill and thirsty. In most cases they fall ill and die in their nest.

    The delayed action of anti-coagulants is very important for their effectiveness and in making anti-coagulants a safe type of poison for use in homes.

    If a poison makes a rat or mouse feel ill quickly, they will associate the illness with the bait and will avoid eating any more. If they have not yet consumed a lethal dose they can recover and will be ‘bait shy’ meaning baits will no longer be effective. With ant-coagulants the delayed onset of illness means they do not associate the illness with the bait and they have already taken several feeds of bait ensuring they have taken a lethal dose from which there is no recovery.

    The slow onset of illness also has the advantage of giving plenty of time to administer the antidote to any non-target animal, such as a pet,  that accidentally takes bait. Vitamin K is a fast and effective antidote for anti-coagulant poisoning.

    Another interesting fact about mice is that they can obtain all their water from their food and may live their lives without ever needing a drink.

    In conclusion, there is no need to leave water out with rat and mouse bait. But it is important to control rats and mice promptly to reduce the risk of damage to pipes and cables caused by their gnawing habits.

    *Kiwicare Natural NO Rats is a novel rodent bait that does not contain an anti-coagulant poison. It does not contain any poison! Instead it works by physical action. Rodents do not posses the enzymes in their gut necessary to break down the cellulose in the bait. Rodents cannot vomit and so the bait remains in the alimentary canal where it prevents feeding and causes dehydration and death by heart attack. The bait is safe for other animals.

    Who is the king rat in Rome?
    Julius Cheeser.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Alpha Rateo Damage

    I was in Mitre10 Mega yesterday picking up some things for my bathroom and went along to the Garden and Pest Control isle to check out the Kiwicare products; as I often do. A lady was examining rodenticide bait on the shelves. I introduced myself and asked if I could be of help. She related a story of how she was hearing mice scurrying and gnawing in the walls of her house. She had used traps and caught some but the noise was continuing. She was particularly worried about possible damage to the wiring in her house as her neighbour had just had to pay an electrician $1,500 for repairing damage to wiring caused by mice. I was able to advise her to use Kiwicare NO Rats & Mice Bait Blocks in several safe places around the home such as the roof voids, garage, under kitchen cupboards, hot water tank and sub-floor.

    I told her the story of a house I was called to recently where neither of the cars in the garage would start when the owners returned after a couple of weeks away. When we opened the bonnet of the Alpha Romeo it was found that rats had made ‘minced meat’ of the wiring and plastic cover of the engine. The Toyota had been similarly attacked and on a full inspection of the house I found that the rats had gained entry to the home via the integral garage and had destroyed the pump for the spa bath.

    The lady in Mitre10 returned to the isle and bought three times as much bait saying “my husband has two vintage cars in the garage. If he thinks his ‘babies’ could be damaged he’ll want to put bait everywhere.”

    Much of the physical damage caused by rodents results from the fact that their incisor teeth are continually growing and they must gnaw to keep them sharp and worn down. They gnaw not just food, but objects that bar their way such as joists, beams, walls and doors. They also gnaw things that seem to give them ‘pleasure’ in gnawing, including plastics such as cables, with consequences of electrical failure and shorting, and pipes with consequences of flooding and water damage.

    Also rats and mice carry disease. Their habits of continually dribbling urine, leaving droppings wherever they go, and travelling from sewers and compost heaps onto fruit and vegetables in the garden and, if they gain access to the house, onto kitchen surfaces and food, mean that there is a risk of infection and food poisoning where rodents are present.

    So don’t underestimate the risks involved in rats and mice being in your home. Luckily there are simple and effective ways to get rid of infestations and keep them away. For advice on getting rid of rats and mice and keeping them away go to or contact Kiwicare on 03 3890778.

    How do you know a smart rat?
    He’s the one in the maze with a GPS.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    What is the Scratching I Hear in My Roof?

    I get questioned occasionally about how to tell what it is that is making a scratching noise in a roof. “Is it rats, mice or birds……..or elephants?”

    If you are hearing scratching or gnawing sounds in your roof void it is unlikely to be elephants (well, not fully grown ones) but what ever it is can sound ‘pretty big.’ Ceilings amplify sound like the sounding boards of musical instruments. And if the noises are heard at night when there is little other sound our ears are more sensitive and amplify the noise in our minds.

    A good guide to deciding whether the noise is caused by birds, rodents or other animals is the timing of the noises. If you are hearing the noise predominantly in the middle of the night, you almost certainly are sharing your home with rats or mice. If the noises are only occurring during the day or at dusk and dawn check around the eaves for birds entering and leaving.

    OK. So you are hearing the noises in the middle of the night. Is it rats or mice? Rats are larger and do make louder noise but that is little help if you have nothing to compare with. Listen instead for the frequency of the scurrying feet. Mice make a sound where their paw sounds follow each other so quickly it is very difficult to separate them, so the sound is almost continuous. The sound of rats running displays a more definite sound of their individual paws.

    Rats and mice have incisor teeth (front two teeth of each jaw) that are large and continually growing. The teeth have hard enamel on the front surface and softer dentine behind. As rats and mice gnaw they wear the teeth down and sharpen them into chisel like implements through uneven wearing. Rats and mice gnaw things other than food to keep their teeth worn down and sharp. Unfortunately for us they often choose to gnaw wiring, plumbing, joists and items stored where they are.

    If rats and mice regularly use a hole or gap to pass through they will gnaw around the gap to open it up and make it easier to enter or exit. They will gnaw wood, plastic, metal and even concrete if they need to. The sound of rats or mice gnawing can can be distinguished by the rate of biting. Mice gnaw at about 4-5 per second, rats 1-3 per second.

    A simpler way of determining which rodents you have in your roof is to enter the void (if possible) and look for evidence in the form of droppings. Mice produce small black-grey droppings approximately the size of a large grain of rice. Rat droppings are much larger, 1-2cm long.

    In New Zealand the other animal that can be a cause of noises in the roof is the possum (Australian Brushtail Possum). This is a much larger animal than a rat or bird and it usually easy to tell its presence from the much heavier and slower footfalls and they don’t gnaw wood like the rodents will.

    Other causes of sounds in a roof can be tree branches rubbing on the roof or eaves; usually heard only when the wind is blowing, or expansion and contraction of timbers and gutters as the roof warms up during the day or cools down at night.

    Why did the rats move into the roof?
    Because they heard the people say the cheese was high.

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    Kiwicare Success at Fieldays

    There was success at the National Fieldays for Kiwicare. The Kiwicare display won a Valued Exhibitor Award for the display and the friendly, professional and informative advice freely given to visitors to the exhibit.

    Thank you to all of you that came along to visit us. We enjoyed providing help and advice if you had a particular pest or garden care problem to solve and we enjoyed having a chat with those that just came along for a chat.

    The most common problems that visitors asked for advice on were rats and mice followed by possums, ants and cockroaches. It is interesting that at almost mid winter two insect pests should still be a problem to many. This is a symptom of what has been a mild autumn and start to the winter. If you are having a problem with these or any other pest in your home workplace or garden check out the Kiwicare website or contact us directly for help on 03 389 0778.

    What do you call a cow with no legs?
    Ground beef.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Mice Eat Cluster Flies

    The recent deluge in many parts of the country and the cold snap on its way is driving mice (and rats) into our homes and buildings seeking shelter.

    Food sources in the wild are also dwindling and if they find food in or around buildings they will not only survive, they will continue breeding.

    It is an important part of preventing infestations of rats or mice that potential food sources are removed. So in your house, put away food in sealed containers. Don’t leave food or food scraps over night. Vacuum up spilled crumbs of food. Make sure your rubbish bins are tightly shutting. Outside, make sure animal feed is kept in sealed containers. When feeding animals don’t put more out than the animals will eat. If possible place feeders where rats or mice will not easily reach the food. There may be natural sources of food outside that you can reduce. Rats in particular like to collect nuts such as walnuts and store them. Collect the nuts yourself and sweep up those that fall.

    One source of food, for mice in particular, that you may not think of is cluster flies. Mice love to eat cluster flies and ‘good’ sized clusters will provide fresh food for mice through the winter. Deal with the cluster flies and sweep up the flies.
    What has no wings but will fly?
    A maggot.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Wet Weather Drives Rats and Mice to Seek Shelter

    I think we can say winter has arrived. The wet weather across the country today and forecast for the next few days is likely to induce rats and mice to move indoors seeking shelter and food.

    The long mild autumn has allowed rodent numbers to remain high and take advantage of the fruit, grain and nuts available. As these food sources dwindle and the wet and cool weather takes hold, rodents must find warmth, shelter and a new food source to survive. All too often they find their way into our homes, offices, farms and factories. Here they find shelter and access to food that we have spilt or not sealed out of their reach.

    Take 10 minutes to look around your kitchen and check that should a mouse or rat get in that there is no food behind the fridge, or spilled down the side of the cooker. Check that dried good such as cereals are in sealed, preferably metal, containers. Make sure butter and even bars of soap are out of the reach of rodents. Remember, rats and mice are excellent climbers and just putting food high on a shelf may not be out of their reach.

    Put bait in safe places NOW. Don’t wait for signs of their entry. Place the bait where rodents might encounter it but where pets and children cannot. Set traps as well. Baits such as NO Rats & Mice blocks or bait and tracking powder are more effective than traps but once a rodent has taken some bait it is more likely to get caught in a trap and body can then be removed.

    When the rain stops go outside and examine your buildings for possible entry points. I have discussed proofing in a previous blog posting. You might also consider placing some rodenticide around the exterior of the house to reduce the numbers that might fins their way in.

    What is a mouse’s favourite game?
    Hide and squeak.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Where Do Rats and Mice Go to Die?

    I am often asked by worried enquirers “where will the rats and mice killed with poisons go to die?” The worry is they “don’t want a bad smell from dead rodents in the house”.

    Almost all rodenticides are anti-coagulants. An often perpetuated ‘old wives tale’ is that anti-coagulant poisons like NO Rats and Mice make the rats and mice thirsty and they go outside in search of water and die there. There is a little truth in this, there is a slightly increased likelihood of the rodents dying outside, but in the vast majority of cases they will go to their nest and die there. Often the nest is inside.

    However, even if the rats or mice die inside there is little likelihood of a bad smell. Bad smells are only a problem if the rodent dies somewhere very warm and un-ventilated. In 99% of cases there is not a problem. In order to prevent bad smells it is more important to deal with the infestation as the pests will be dying of natural causes and there is a higher chance of a bad smell. Rodenticide baits are the most efficient and effective way to deal with rat and mouse infestations.

    I suggest to worried enquirers that they use traps in conjunction with rodenticides. When a rat or mouse has taken some poison it is more likely to be caught in a trap and then the body can be removed and the risk of bad odours reduced.

    Once the infestation is eradicated then I suggest paying attention to proofing the house to prevent further infestation. You can get more information on how to prevent rats and mice getting in on the Kiwicare website.

    A drunk walks into a bar with a rat and a frog. The drunk asks the barman if he can have a free drink if he shows him something amazing. “OK” says the barman, “But it must be truly amazing.”
    The drunk puts the frog on the bar piano and the frog begins to play the most amazing jazz.
    “Wow!” says the barman. “That WAS truly amazing. Have a drink on me.”
    On finishing his drink the drunk asks “Can I have another drink if I show you something even more amazing?”
    “OK.” Says the barman. “If it is better than before, you can drink all night.”
    The drunk then sets the rat on the bar. The frog starts playing the piano and the rat sings along.”
    “Drinks all night for you.” says the barman impressed.
    An agent who has watched all this comes up to the drunk and says “I pay $1,000,000 for the frog and the rat.”
    “No deal” says the drunk.
    “OK. What about $1,000 for the singing rat?”
    “Done!” says the drunk.
    “Are you mad?” says the barman to the drunk when the deal is done and the agent has left.
    “Relax” says the drunk. “The frog is a ventriloquist.”

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Rat and Mouse Numbers Explode

    It is normal for the numbers of both rats and mice to increase over summer months to a peak in the autumn. But judging by the continued high sales of Kiwicare rodenticides there are more rats and mice about in homes and workplaces than usual at this time of year. It is not clear what the reasons for this greater than usual explosion of number is, but it is reasonable to assume that the weather conditions over this summer have been suitable for both the breeding of rodents and the food which they eat.

    What will this mean for the annual autumn invasion of rodents?
    I think it is likely to mean more rats and mice than usual invading our homes looking for food and shelter this autumn and winter.

    How to Stop Rats and Mice
    1. If you have seen rats or mice, or evidence of them around your property, the most efficient and effective way to get rid of them is to use rodenticide baits sometimes in conjunction with simple traps and proofing.
    2. NO Rats & Mice rodenticide bait is placed at strategic, safe points, inside and outside the buildings, in order to reduce populations around the building and to deal with individuals that enter, before an infestation can take hold. The NO Rats & Mice Weatherproof Blocks is a rat bait well suited to using outside or in damp areas while NO Rats & Mice with Tracking Powder is ideal for use in dry areas inside the house. If you do not wish to use toxic rodenticide bait, Kiwicare Natural NO Rats is a bait that is harmful only to rodents. However it should only be used in dry areas where other food sources can be controlled.
    3. NO Rats and Mice Traps are useful to use where poison baits cannot be placed or as a helpful way of catching rodents that are ‘dopey’ from taking bait. The rodents can then be removed without risk of causing an unpleasant smell.
    4. Prevent the rats or mice getting in. A mouse can squeeze beneath a door if there is a gap large enough to fit a pencil a young rat is only a little larger than a mouse! Draft excluding brush strips, are an ideal method of proofing such gaps. However, there are almost always other possible entry points around any building. So it is always wise to keep fresh rodenticide bait in place in safe places such as the roof void so that any rodents that get in are dealt with before you know about them.
    5. This is an important and often overlooked aspect of controlling pests. For example, rodents are what we would call agoraphobic, they fear open spaces, and like to be under cover. A wide clear area around a building will deter rodents from reaching and entering the building. And the removal of available food and shelter from within a building can have a powerful deterrent effect.
    Stay rodent free this winter.

    What is the difference between rats and mice?
    The difference is in their size or the size of their incisors.