Australia has a history of rodent plagues. Not long ago, we had mice and rat plagues roaming through Australia, seeking out food, because drought had destroyed much of their natural food sources. Now, we have rats and mice fleeing flood waters, creating the same kind of rodent plagues we saw during the drought and in previous floods.
These rodent plagues are nothing new. The La Nina weather cycle has always led to plagues or rodents. We have documented evidence of rat swarms invading the camp at Cooper Creek 160 years ago, and historical stories of swarms predating European colonization of Australia.
The native Australian long-haired rat has a history of swarming after floods. Non-native house mice have also developed swarming behavior in response to floods. They leave their traditional outdoor homes, seeking refuge in homes and outbuildings.
Why are rodents such a problem if they invade your home? Well, rodents are known carriers of a variety of different diseases. The most common diseases you can get from mice or rats include:
- Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause fever, headaches, sore muscles, vomiting, chills, and red eyes.
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, a viral infection that can cause headache and meningism and fetal death if a pregnant woman is infected.
- Rat bit fever, a bacterial illness that causes muscle pain, fever, joint pain, rash, headaches, and vomiting. It can also lead to sepsis if left untreated.
- Gastrointestinal infections like cryptosporidiosis, salmonellosis, and campylobacteriosis which cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, body aches, fever, and lethargy.
In addition, rodents can really damage your property. They eat food stores, damage wood, leave trails of feces and urine, and damage furniture.
Getting rid of them can be challenging. People used to rely solely on poisons to kill rodents. While poison was an effective way to kill rodents, it had some serious drawbacks. The main drawback was that it was toxic to a wide variety of animals, including people. Accidental poisoning from rodent poisons was relatively common, especially for children and pets. In addition, if predators ate poisoned rodents, they could die. This could put endangered species at risk. In addition, if you poisoned rodents and they died in the walls of your home, you had to deal with the smell of decomposition.
At Flick, we have better ways of dealing with rodent invasions. If you are struggling to deal with rodent swarms from the floods, contact us. We can develop a personalized plan, including using our non-toxic SMART system to target rodents.
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