Pests

Rats and mice

Overview

Sometimes rats and mice can cause concern for residents.

There are some precautions that can be taken to prevent or deter rodents from your property.

Rats and mice have the potential to transmit diseases and contaminate food and utensils. They can also damage buildings by gnawing conduits and wiring.

Rodents are constantly looking for shelter and food sources. For this reason, they are not limited to any one area within the Northern Grampians municipality or one type of property.

Signs of mice or rats on your property:

  • droppings
  • evidence of fruit and vegetables having been eaten
  • greasy rub marks along paths they travel
  • burrow holes around buildings or in the side of embankments
  • signs of gnawing damage
  • pets – dogs, cats, birds being more excitable than usual
  • squeaking, gnawing and movement noises in walls, cupboards, ceilings, under floors and behind
  • piles of empty snail shells with holes chewed in

Prevention and control

Rats can be discouraged and controlled by denying them food and shelter.  This information is supplied to help residents assist council to reduce rodent activity. However, it does not guarantee the total elimination of rodents in the Northern Grampians Shire area.

These simple precautions will prevent or help get rid of rodents:

  • Regularly lay baits in your roof and check them for activity.
  • Use traps instead of baits inside the house.
  • Avoid leaving exposed food on benches, shelves or cupboards ensure gaps and holes under eaves, roof tiles and through external walls are sealed.
  • Ensure vegetation does not directly touch your house as rodents use trees and vines as ladders to your roof.
  • Avoid laying baits in open areas or under the house where pets or native animals roam – if necessary use lockable bait stations.
  • Encourage neighbours to remove excess rubbish from their property.
  • Don’t compost meat scraps.
  • Rubbish bins and compost containers should be well-maintained and free from holes.
  • Keep pet food dishes clean and store bulk pet food supplies in a manner that denies access to rats.
  • Block holes and other potential access points around all buildings.
  • Remove fruit and nuts from trees or vines at the end of the season.
  • Regularly remove garden waste or other disused materials.
  • Store firewood away from the sides of sheds and fences and keep it well clear of the ground.

If you have been baiting at your property and a problem continues for more than a couple of weeks, you may want to speak to adjoining property owners about this ongoing neighbourhood problem. If you are not sure how to approach your neighbour about this issue, there is helpful information at the Reaching Agreement website.

You may want to contact a pest control professional if you have an ongoing issue with rodents on your property.

How we can help

We can provide advice on how to reduce or treat a rodent problem on your property.

If the problem is ongoing and you can not reach an agreement with your neighbour, we can assist you.

For liability reasons we cannot provide bait to residents, and can not engage the services of a pest control contractor on private land.

If you wish to make a complaint regarding rodent activity please contact our environmental health team on 03 5358 8700

Beat the bite

 Beat The Bite

The Victorian Government and Northern Grampians Shire Council are working together to reduce mosquito numbers.

Council has joined 16 other higher risk and flood-affected councils across rural Victoria to combat the spread of mosquitoes this summer.

The councils have received a special funding package to expand mosquito control activities and help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

Heavy rainfall over the winter months creates ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes that can spread disease. High numbers of mosquitoes will continue over the summer months across rural Victoria.

Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) – all serious, infectious and potentially life-threatening in the case of MVE.

We are taking action to reduce mosquito numbers by expanding our annual surveillance and mosquito management activities and community education programs.

Northern Grampians Shire Council is conducting activities ranging from trapping mosquitoes to identify types and estimate numbers, to using control agents such as larvicides to stop mosquito larvae from growing.

The annual ‘Beat the Bite’ campaign urges all Victorians to take simple steps to protect themselves and their family from mosquito bites.

The campaign’s top tips to ‘Beat the Bite’ are:

  • Cover up. Wear long, loose fitting clothing because mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing.
  • Use effective mosquito repellents containing DEET or picaridin on all exposed skin.
  • Control mosquito numbers. There is a wide range of ‘knockdown sprays’ or vapourising devices for inside use, including caravans.
  • Install flywire screens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors.
  • Make sure mosquitoes can't breed around your property by removing stagnant water at least every week. This includes in flower pots, tyres, buckets, tins, bird baths and pet bowls.
  • Empty children’s wading pools when not being used and keep fish ponds stocked with fish.
  • Use screens when camping. Mosquito nets or screens will help keep mosquitoes out of tents and added protection can be provided by treating the nets with an appropriate insecticide.
  • Limit outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

If you have any concerns about your health, talk to your doctor or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 606 024. For more information visit, Better Health Channel.

 

Fruit fly awareness

Overview

Some information on fruit flies and how to avoid infestation.

Danger period

By summer (December to February), fruit flies are likely to be at their most active. In warmer regions, they might have already completed a full life cycle or more, while in cooler areas they might only just be becoming active.

On the hunt

At this time of year, adult flies are feeding, breeding, searching for suitable hosts and laying eggs in suitable host crops. If unabated, eggs are larvae develop in fruit and vegetables.

Bin the bad apples

Pick the fruit with maggots present and place them in a black plastic bag in the sun for two to three days.
Then dispose of the plastic bag in the general waste bin.

Taking action

Preventative measures may include purchasing traps or netting. Fruit fly or insect proof netting is much finer than bird netting and can be bought from some specialist garden centres and online retailers.

Get in early

Additionally, to stop the fruit flies from penetrating fruit it may be beneficial to pick the fruit a little unripe as it is much more difficult for the fruit to be penetrated and infested. Allow for the tomatoes/fruit to ripen inside.

More information

For more information please visit www.preventfruitfly.com.au 

Wasps

Wasps and bees on private land 

Wasps and bees can be a problem at certain times of the year. If they are on your private property then it is your responsibility to control or remove them. This usually requires engaging a private pest controller at your own expense.

Wasps and bees on public land

Once again, it is the responsibility of the land owner to control the problem and make the area safe.  Council monitors public areas for infestation of wasps and request that new swarms or nests be reported to us for monitoring and treatment.

Some seasons are worse than others and early reporting of infestations are critical for treatment to be administered. If you see any unusual activity on public land please report it to council's environmental health department to be followed up on 03 5358 8700 or by emailing health@ngshire.vic.gov.au.