Rats can carry serious diseases, cause damage to buildings and furnishings and are able to gnaw through lead and aluminium sheeting. Find out how to eradicate rats from your property.

What signs indicate that rats or mice may be present?

The following points are a good indication that rats or mice are present or nearby:

  • Droppings (12mm to 18mm long).
  • Debris such as snail shells with the sides eaten out, almond shells, cape lilac berries, chop bones, etc. left in the corners of sheds, under homes and other secluded spots.
  • Signs of fruit and vegetables having been eaten.
  • Greasy rub marks along paths they travel.
  • Burrow holes around buildings.
  • Signs of gnawing damage.
  • Pet dogs, cats, birds being more excitable than usual.
  • Squeaking, gnawing or movement noises in walls, cupboard and ceilings and under floors.
How do I prevent or control a rat problem?

Rats can be discouraged and controlled by denying them food and shelter. A few simple precautions will prevent rodents or help get rid of them:

  • Store firewood away from the sides of sheds and fences and keep it well clear (40cm) of the ground
  • Regularly remove or limit garden waste or other disused material in sheds or around your yard
  • Remove fruit and nuts from trees or vines at the end of the season.
  • Block holes and other potential access points around all buildings.
  • Keep pet food dishes clean and store bulk pet food supplies in a manner which denies access to rats.
  • Rubbish bins and compost containers should be well maintained and free from holes. Meat scraps must never be composted.
  • Clean up food scraps around fowl yards and remove all poultry feed at the end of each day
  • Keep poultry feed, bird seed and similar material in rat proof bins
  • Rat proof all bird aviaries and remove any bird seed from the surrounds
  • Prune back overgrown shrubs and cut back growth from fences and buildings, cut long grass and avoid "undergrowth" as far as possible

Methods to eradicate rats


The spring "back break" trap is the best for home use. Try out different types of bait, for example nuts, peanut butter, apple, bacon or sausage.


Baiting, in particular, poison baits are the most successful way of destroying rats. Many brands are available in retail shops. It is important to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and check baits regularly to ensure they are not accessible to children or pets and to see whether rats have been eating them. Remember to always read the safety instructions and keep all bait out of reach of children, family pets and wildlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City provide pest control services to residents experiencing a pest problem on private property?
No, the City does not provide pest control services for rodent problems on privately owned property. If you require professional pest control services, the best method of finding these services is via the Web or White Pages.

Does the City provide rodent baits to residents in the City of Stirling?
The City of Stirling supplies 2-4 poison rat bait sachets free of charge to their ratepayers. If you are experiencing a rat problem, you may come to the front counter at the Main Building entrance and ask for some sachets of rat bait.

Can the City assist if a resident is complaining about a rodent problem?
The City's Environmental Health Officer's may send an advice letter to properties surrounding the problem area. This letter is an information letter only, highlighting to residents there is an alleged rodent sighting in the area and what they can do help control this alleged problem.

Important Note to Remember

*Remember - Occupiers and owners of premises are required by law to prevent harbourage of rats and secure their destruction.

If you wish to seek further information you may speak with the City's Environmental Health Officer or complete the Health Service Request.

For further information regarding the eradication of rats please contact the City's Environmental Health Business Unit via email (stirling@stirling.wa.gov.au) or by phone on (08) 9205 8555.