R ats in the roof cannot be ignored.
The recent cold snap has driven plagues of rats into the warm areas of suburban homes, particularly the warm cosy roof void.
Glenn DuBois of FUMAPEST Pest Control in Sydney said they have recently been inundated with calls for rodent control.
"Rats are in plague proportions due to their near perfect breeding conditions over the extended summer and the recent cold snap which has caused large numbers of these rodent pests to inhabit suburban homes particularly roof voids - the warmest place in the home at night," he said.
"Rats have chisel-like incisor teeth that never stop growing.
"They must constantly gnaw on hard objects, like electrical junction boxes inside the home, which can easily short circuit and start a fire."
Australia has three main species of rodents which include the sewer rat, black rat and house mice — and these are all prolific breeders.
A female rat can have eight litters a year with 12 in each litter.
Pest control measures should be taken when the problem is first noticed.
Droppings and squealing and bumping noises are the most obvious giveaways.
Another sign is their bite marks on lead and aluminium sheeting, bricks, wood, most plastics and electrical junction boxes and telephone cables.
"The home owner or pest controller should locate and close off all rodent access holes, where practicable," Mr DuBois said. "A rat can squeeze its rib cage down to the size of its head to fit through holes and gain access to kitchen areas.
"Skilled pest controllers have the knowledge, equipment and latest generation rodenticides to rid homes and businesses of rodents in a safe and effective manner, including the use of specially engineered child proof rat bait stations.
"Rats have developed an immunity to many of the old style rat baits," Mr DuBois said. "We are just feeding them is a constant complaint from the general public who attempt DIY rodent control."
¦ Details: Call FUMAPEST Pest Control 1300 241 500 or Australian Pest Controllers Association 1300 660 200.