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Rats in a huddle


Rodents, which includes rats and mice, are in plague proportions in Sunshine, a suburb in the heart of Melbourne’s western suburbs. Tim Clinnick of Pest Control Empire, says Sunshine, Footscray and Melton, all in Melbourne’s west, are rodent hot spots. Tim says, “While it has been a very busy season for rodents, the majority of call outs has been to homes and offices in Sunshine. This is closely followed by Footscray and Melton”. The common roof rat, the smaller of the two species in Melbourne (there is the roof or black rat and the Norway, sewer or brown rat), has been invading our homes in search of warmth and a comfortable place to breed. Tim continues, “The roof rat prefers to live at heights. When it gets colder they search for warmth. The roof void of our homes can become quite warm, particularly when we turn our heaters on or light the open fire. Where would you rather sleep – outside in the cold, or in a warm and cosy roof?”

A dead rat carcass
When you call Pest Control Empire for a rodent problem, this is the results we achieve – full elimination.

Tim has stated that clients often falsely think that they have a possum living in the roof. He says, “I’ll receive a call saying that they believe they have possums in the roof. When I arrive it won’t take long to confirm what is actually living in the roof. 90% of the time it turns out to be roof rats”. Tim says to listen out for the following sounds when you suspect a pest is living in your roof:

  • Scurrying;
  • Gnawing;
  • Scratching; &
  • Squeaking.

Possums thump around in the roof, as opposed to the fast scurry of a rat. Tim says, “It’s often joked that possums sound like an elephant in the roof. So it should be very easy to differentiate between the two animals. A thorough inspection of the roof for entry points will confirm what animal it is. A possum needs a hole the size of a fist to enter, whereas a rat requires a hole the size of a thumb. It’s usually quite simple to close off a possum entry point but rats are far more difficult to block out”.

Pest Control Empire specialises in rodent control. To prevent rodents, you should:

  • Inspect your property for possible entry points and block off as many as possible;
  • Improve sanitation;
  • Eliminate food and water sources;
  • Maintain gardens; &
  • Do not overfill bins and make sure the lids are tightly sealed.

Fully rodent proofing a home is not always possible. Quite often your roof is merely a place to sleep and breed due to easy access. Rats may more than likely be feeding and sourcing water in a neighbour’s property. In instances like this, the best course of action is to lay bait in the roof. Tim continues, “Rats are very cunning. As soon as something new enters their environment, such as poison bait, they are very sceptical. They will send a rat that is low in social order to sample the bait to see if it is poisonous. If that rat survives, they all in the colony will feed on it”.

Tim concludes, “That’s why I use a slow acting bait. If a rat dies shortly after consuming the product, no other member will eat it and the colony will continue to flourish. While one feed is enough to kill a rat, it will not die for at least 4-5 days. The other rats will assume the product is safe to eat and will do so, bringing about it’s their own demise. I guess you can say we outsmart rats in their own cunning game!”

If you suspect a rodent or even a possum is inside your roof or in your subfloor don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 665 573 or complete the very short Contact Us form to have a team member call you directly. We operate in Melbourne’s west and offer effective services at affordable prices.