Auckland Council’s biosecurity team has noted that homeowners are reporting an increase in the numbers of mice and rats this winter.
The team says this is likely to be due to the recent cold snap and rain, which may have resulted in mice moving inside to look for warm more dry places to spend winter.
Potentially as food becomes more scarce in winter, mice will be looking for alternative sources to survive. Rats will also be looking for warmer places to spend winter.
This was a ‘mast year’, which can lead to an increase in rodent numbers. However, the influence of this on urban mice and rat populations is significantly less than in native forests.
Setting traps is still the best way to target these pests if they are becoming a problem. Keep an eye out for droppings and target control according to these locations, while placing traps out of reach of children and pets.
Traps and advice are also available from the local branch of Forest & Bird, email firstname.lastname@example.org