Welcome to your Kiwicare guide to identifying rodents. The first sign that you have a rodent infestation might be you hear a scurrying or gnawing in your roof void or sub-floor, or you might find a bar of chocolate
half-eaten in the cupboard. There are several reasons that rodents are considered pests. They carry diseases including human food poisoning diseases. They’ll leave droppings and urine wherever they travel. They often move from compost heaps and sewers to food storage and preparation areas, risking contamination of the food. And their incisor teeth are continually growing, so they need to gnaw and they’ll gnaw
electric cables, pipes and structural timbers; risking fire, flood and other damage. In New Zealand there are 3 pest rodent species: The Norway rat is the larger of the 3. Its tail is shorter than its body. It usually builds its nest underground and it’s usually found on the ground as doesn’t climb as often as the roof rat. The roof rat has a tail it’s longer than
the body. It’s very agile and spends most of its
time in trees or high places such as roofs. Its nests will be found in trees and roof voids. The house mouse is a lot smaller; about half the body length of a rat. Mice will nest in small holes. Mice mostly live on the ground but are
good climbers. A young rat can be a similar size to a mouse but will have a larger head in proportion to its body. Often you won’t see the rodents so the only way you’ll be able to identify them is by their droppings. Norway rat droppings are between 14 – 19 mm long with rounded ends. Roof rat droppings are between 7 -14 mm long with pointed ends. House mouse droppings are much smaller, only 4 – 7 mm with pointed ends. Now that you’ve identified your rodent problem, take a look at our video on the best products to get rid of rats and mice around your home.