There have been a surge of reports on rat plagues within metro cities in New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Victoria.

Residents living in metro/suburban areas might not be familiar with rodent plagues, but there are familiar occurrences in Australia’s grain belt. According to PestSmart, mouse plagues have been happening on Australian grain farms (on average) every four years since 1990. The worst ever mouse plague & record occurred in 1993, causing an estimated $96 million in damage.

To a certain degree, this level of damage could also be expected in metropolitan areas. Figures showed that in one year, ten black rats can produce approximately 146,000 droppings and 54 litres of urine. These are dangerous figures as rodent urine/droppings harbour diseases like leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM), and Salmonellosis. These diseases can spread by the simple act of inhaling dust contaminated with urine/droppings, or by ingesting food and/or water that has been contaminated by rat urine/droppings. Rodents also cause significant damage to property, chewing on electrical wiring, insulation, vehicle parts, and more.

During winter, pest experts attribute the increased rat activity due to the colder weather; however, there are other factors that have contributed to an increase in metro rodent activity. Review the list below and see whether you’re currently living in a rodent hot spot.