Signs of Rats and Mice

Mouse damage on stored wheat - droppings and "kibbled" grains are clearly visible.

Over the past few years, we've been noticing a serious influx of rats and mice. Several of the little pests have found our wheat store in an old farm outbuilding, and the characteristic signs of mouse droppings are now clearly visible all around the ripped feed bags.

Rats and mice feed very differently, and their leftovers also provide some important clues as to the identity of the robber. While rats chomp through entire grains and leave the occasional crumb, mice peel away the chaff and nibble out the heart of each seed, leaving what are known as "kibbled" grain in a messy heap mixed in with droppings.

Rats and mice can also be given away by the sounds they make; squeaks, the patter of feet and the odd sound of scraping or gnawing. If these sounds occur during the day; this is most likely mouse activity whereas if it occurs at night, this is probably rat activity. You may also notice pathways marked out by prints and grease between food sources, water and possible shelter.

Having spotted and identified the problem; set up traps to protect feed, birds and anything else that needs it.