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Kiwicare’s Easy 1-2-3 Steps to Rodent Control

Posted in Pest Advice on January 04, 2023

A simple guide to dealing with rats and mice

Getting rid of rats and mice can be an uphill battle, particularly if you’re squeamish or don’t understand rodent behaviour and how to get rid of them. As pest and rodent experts, Kiwicare has done the research for you and pulled together an easy to follow three step plan, to help you rid your home and garden of rats and mice.


Why you should get rid of rats and mice

Don’t let those fuzzy little faces fool you. Rodents pose more danger than just making noises in the roof and walls that disturb your sleep. They are well known for causing electrical shorting, fire, leaks, and structural damage to properties.

Worse still, rodents transmit disease by continually dribbling urine and leaving droppings where they travel. In addition they have a tendency to move from sewers to food preparation and storage areas.

Also, did you know that every year in New Zealand, around 25 million native birds are killed by introduced predators like rats, mice and possums?


Prevent rodent problems before they start 

Rodents tend to be most active during autumn when they’re gathering food and heading indoors in preparation for the winter. So, it’s best to start preventative action in late summer/early autumn. 

Stop rats and mice entering your buildings. Rats and mice can squeeze through any gaps that they can get their head through. This can be as narrow as a pencil. Look around your buildings and seal gaps under doors, around pipes, cables and broken vents, etc. 

Rats and mice are good climbers and often enter at eaves, so cut vegetation away from the eaves and roof. Vines and creeping plants should be cut well below eaves and overhanging trees should be cut back 2 metres from the roof. 

Restrict food sources that may attract rats and mice. Pick up fallen fruit in the garden, remove pet food bowls after pets have fed, sweep up spills in kitchens and put food in sealed containers or refrigerators, and do not leave seeds exposed in sheds and garages. 

Kiwicare’s 3 easy steps to rodent control

For best results

Remove other food sources: If other food sources like pet food, fruit from trees, rubbish etc is freely available, rodents will be less likely to interact with baits and traps, as they’ll go for the tastier, less risky options. By removing other food sources, traps and baits will become more attractive and rodents’ primary food source.

Wear gloves: When handling rodenticide baits, bait stations and rodent traps; gloves protect the wearers and also prevent baits and traps from acquiring human scent which might deter rodents.

Pulse your Baits: Rodents are smarter than we give them credit for. If they’ve seen other rats or mice eat your bait and then die, they may steer clear of it. If you find that you’ve removed all other easy food sources and rodents are still active but your bait isn’t being eaten, it’s time to switch to another type of bait. There are two key types of bait; a single feed rodenticide that kills a rodent after one feed and multi-feed rodenticides. Multi-feeds tend to be more palatable but require a rodent to consume bait a number of times before the rodent is killed. Switching to a different type of bait and moving its location can help trick the rodents into thinking the new bait is a safer food alternative.

Check and replenish bait stations and baiting points regularly: If all bait has been eaten replace it with double the bait used previously; bait should always be available to the rodents.

Rodent Bait Station PlacementPlacement: Rodents prefer to stay under cover and are reluctant to move into open spaces. They stay close to walls and upright surfaces. Bait stations and traps should be placed where rodents will encounter them and feel safe.

Traps: Snap traps with strong springs are the most effective and humane. They should have a platform trigger. Set correctly perpendicular to a wall or other place rodents are running it is not necessary to use bait. If bait is used the best are peanut butter or chocolate.

Mice: Are nibble feeders, they eat a little and move on. So, place many small amounts of bait and many traps.

Rats: Will stop and feed for longer. Roof rats store food and will take bait away if they can, so be sure to fix baits in place.


Still need some help eradicating rodents?

Watch our Rodent Control How-to Videos. They’re jam packed with useful tips and information on how to make your home and property rodent free.

Looking for something specific? Contact us for more help.

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