CRITTERS: Mice and rats have the ability to fit into tight spaces, making them a nightmare in some cases to get rid of.
CRITTERS: Mice and rats have the ability to fit into tight spaces, making them a nightmare in some cases to get rid of. DamianKuzdak

Tips to keep vermin out after spottings in Warwick

THE sound of them is enough to make you shiver, and the unwanted pests have made a return.

Reports of increased numbers of mice in Warwick have surfaced over the last few weeks, prompting an increase in residents seeking pest control methods.

Ian Wallace, manager of Olsen's Produce, said the business has noticed more customers seeking help in relation to the issue.

"In the last two weeks, increased sales in rodenticides, as well as rat and mice control products," Mr Wallace said.

"When they've been coming in, they have more or less been saying seeing a few more mice."

Mr Wallace said there were a few practical ways of helping to rid rodents from a property.

"A combination of baits and traps is best to try and help stop the problem," he said.

"It's best to be careful when laying out baits, and to consider using bait stations to protect cats, dogs and even small children who go outside.

"Try and keep the area as tidy as possible, because they can scurry into messy areas, and tend to feed in those untidier areas."

Mice are currently identified as a public health risk under the Public Health Act 2005.

The act reads: "Rats and mice are not acceptable in the external environment where they could present a risk to public health."

Snowys Pest Management Services owner Garry Burraston said summer can result in more activity from the rodents.

"In the winter most things are dormitory. With the onset of spring, they are more active in the warmer weather," Mr Burraston said.

"It depends a lot on what they can harbour in.

"In a house with timber laying around, they can get under and nest. The problem can be bigger in a rural setting as opposed to urban."

Mr Burraston said cutting off viable food sources was a major way to reduce the problem.

"Mice and rats can build a nest into a haystack," he said. "Like anything, you have to try and remove the food source. In a situation where hay is stockpiled, they aren't going to go for baits when there is a permanent food source.

"They can also burrow under aviaries where food drops.

"When there is no other source, baiting is effective for them."

There are a number of signs of activity amongst rodents that people should look out for.

"Droppings, chewed wires, smell from nest and urine smells," Mr Burraston said.

"There have been instances in properties where I could smell them before I went into the place.

"A lot can get into walls, and people can hear them running around. I have seen them in the city getting through the weep holes in the bricks."