Ides of March- autumn warning
Autumn warning Pest invaders
Autumn warning pest invaders: We all know the story of Julius Caesar and the Ides of March. The 15th of March or the Ides of March is the day when debts were settled in the Roman world. The plotters had debt they wanted to settle with Julius’s hubris to be a King. Being a Republic, Roman’s detested Kings. Caesar having fought and won many battles, often perilously close death was dismissive of the constant warnings of his pending doom. Plutarch tells of his reply to a direct warning by a soothsayer. Julius retorting by saying “the ides of March had arrived and I am still here”.
Seemed like everyone knew of the plot except for Julius.
In 2023 as our Autumn brings cooler temperatures to Auckland, pest controllers are seeing an increase in call out for rodents. While our warnings aren’t as dire as the one for Julius, they should be listened to too. The cold snaps of autumn cause rodents living outside your home or business to look for a warmer home. The first group to start this annual invasion is mice. Mice have a small body size and lose heat quickly. As the temperature drops further in April and May they are followed by rats. Mainly roof rats, but sewer rats less commonly found in Auckland, can also be on the move for a warmer home.
Mice are not too smart and very predictable. In homes they invade in mainly two ways. For Villas and Bungalows, they come up from under the house around the pipes and services. For modern homes on a concrete slab, they come in under the attached garage door. The least common way they gain access is through trees touching the tree line.
Mostly these shy roof rats do anything to avoid you and prefer to enter your roof space from trees touching the roof line. Once on the roof they get inside the structure from corners of the roof. Uncommonly the can follow services ( cables and pipes) that go through walls up to the ceiling space.
Described as gregarious, these sewer rats mistakenly think you want to meet them. Thankfully they are relatively uncommon in Auckland, but still present. They are poor climbers and can’t make it up a tree to the roof line. Mostly they have burrow under your home/ business and due to the cold snaps they may nest in the insulation under the structure. If you have burrows under your home, look for holes in the ground that have fresh excavations. That is dirt that has been freshly thrown out of their burrow hole (s).
Preventive advice for rodents April 2023
Here are some inexpensive tips to reduce the chance of an invasion
(i) Trim trees from the roof line to 500-1000cm gap.
(ii) Reduce gaps around pipes/wires under the house to the size of your little finger.
(iii) Restrict food to rodents, in particular pet food. Pick up fruit on the ground.
(iv) Install excluded controls outside your home or business.
(v) Identify sources of constant heat and use excluded controls around/on them
It’s not rocket science and takes very little of your time. Walk around, look under your home and business with the above tips in mind.
If you already have rodents inside the structure of your home or business, it is too late for preventative measures. It’s time to contact an exterminator.
While the consequences for not heeding this advice aren’t as dire as they were for Julius, you can reduce the chance of having to pay for the services of an exterminator. Additionally, no one likes an invasion of uninvited furry guests that’s stressful.