Rats and mice can:
- give diseases to humans
- contaminate food and utensils
- damage buildings by chewing conduits and wiring.
There are two common types of rats in Australia:
- the Roof rat (also known as black rat, rattus rattus)
- the Norway rat (also known as brown rat, rattus norvegicus).
Roof rats have:
- large ears and eyes
- pointed nose
- heavy set body
- a tail longer than its body.
Norway rats have:
- small ears and eyes
- blunt nose
- heavy set body
- a tail shorter than its body.
House mice (Mus musculus) have:
- one pair of distinctive chisel-shaped incisors
- bulging eyes in a small head
- large rounded ears
- soft, dense fur that is brownish-grey, white to grey or pale yellow
- scaly tail, about the same length as its body.
They are 60-100mm in size.
Rats and mice can live and nest within buildings indefinitely, as long as they have access to food and water.
They are most active at night. They often travel the same routes to food sources.
These signs can indicate rodents in your property:
- droppings found near shelters or nests, feeding areas or travel paths
- travel paths: greasy markings found on surfaces
- burrows along walls, under buildings, in stacked materials and roof insulation
- gnawed materials such as woodwork, electrical cables and food containers
- scratching, fighting, squeaking, clawing and gnawing noises.
Rats and mice will always have a presence in urban areas.
Make your property less appealing for them by:
- placing bait or traps in your house along common travel routes
- not leaving exposed food out
- sealing gaps and holes under eaves, roof tiles and in external walls
- keeping your garden well maintained, grass mown and trees and vines trimmed
- storing food securely in containers, including pet food
- not composting meat scraps.
Use rodenticides (chemical baits) in your roof only, not in open areas where pets or native animals can find them.
For guidance on using rodenticides visit:
You can also contact a licensed pest controller for removal services.
If you see rats or mice coming from a neighbouring property you should speak to the property owner.
For advice on approaching your neighbour, visit the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.
If the property owner doesn't organise to remove the mice or rats, you can contact us:
If you see evidence of rats or mice in food premises in Boroondara, you can make a complaint about a food premises.