On private property, the owner and occupier are responsible for taking action to get rid of any rats and mice and to avoid conditions which are likely to encourage these pests. Find out how to bait for rats and mice at your property.

The City Council baits Council property and waterways.

Rat and mice bait

Rat and mice bait can be purchased from supermarkets or hardware stores. Alternatively a pest control firm (listed in the Yellow Pages) can be engaged to eradicate the pests.

You should wear gloves when handling the bait. It is important to read the directions and precautions on the label before use.

For best results, have a good look at the infested area to find the location of entry, nesting and feeding areas before laying the bait . Rodents are nocturnal and so are rarely seen during the day, but you can look for signs that they are around:

  • droppings
  • footprints
  • structural damage to buildings
  • damage to stored grain or other foods
  • tooth marks
  • burrows and holes.

Baiting techniques are different for rats and mice. Normally only three to four baiting rounds are required.

Baiting for rats

Rats are creatures of habit. They follow well defined paths or tracks between feeding, drinking and living areas. Inside buildings they tend to move close to walls rather than along an open floor. They like to feed under cover, safe from predators.

Check overgrown areas. Try to find where pests are living and remove any rubbish. Try to cut off normal food supplies and deny them access to water.

  • Choose bait locations between feeding and nesting areas
  • Only place baits in areas frequented by the target pests and that can't be accessed by domestic animals, children, pets and wildlife and are not liable to flooding
  • Choose suitable bait locations, such as in active rat holes, along runs and under rubbish. Place baits inside a short length of pipe with a diameter small enough so that only rodents can get at the bait. Otherwise place baits under a tile or board against a wall or fence, inaccessible to children and pets.
  • Fix the bait block with a nail or wire at the bait station to prevent the bait being dislodged from the bait station or taken away to be stored and not consumed
  • Put a fresh block in each active rat hole. Close the hole after baiting.
  • Check your bait locations every 7 days, and put fresh blocks out only when blocks have been eaten.

Baiting for mice

Mice usually cover very limited areas and, unlike rats, don’t need to drink. They are more difficult to control than rats, as their feeding patterns are more erratic. It is even more
important with mice than it is with rats to look for where they are living and feeding.

Have a good look around using a torch, especially inside cupboards, also check service pipe entries, hot water cylinder cupboards, under ovens and refrigerators.

  • Put baiting blocks two metres apart in areas where you have seen signs of mice
  • When laying bait in homes put baits in places such as under flooring, inside ceiling cavities, under cupboards and bulky appliances such as a refrigerator, freezer and ovens
    or in hot water cupboards. Remember to keep baits out of reach of young children and pets.
  • Check your bait locations every 7 days, and put fresh blocks out only when blocks have been eaten

Preventing rats and mice

Look for and rodent-proof any places where rats or mice are getting in to the premises. Common entry points are openings around service pipes, gaps near wall skirtings, broken
under-floor ventilation grates, missing drainage grates, gaps under doors and trees against buildings giving access to roof spaces.

You can block up access point using:

  • light sheet iron or tin,
  • rolled up chicken netting and mortar made of sand and cement.

Bags of mortar mix, (just add water) can be purchased from major hardware stores.

Prune back branches near roof spouting to prevent rats gaining access to roof spaces.

Carefully check likely areas for signs of rodent activity every 2–3 months.

Clear overgrown areas and regularly remove rubbish and old building materials to prevent rodents living on your property.