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Our cooler weather has caused a surge in mice and rat numbers in the suburban areas, according to industry experts, Amalgamated Pest Control.




Structure, Appearance and Characteristics

  • Variable colour, mostly Brown or black with other markings such as yellow
  • Rounded body.
  • 2 sections: head and numerous abdominal segments.
  • Short antennae.
  • 25-50mm long (can be as long as 150mm)
  • Slow crawling.
  • 2 pairs of legs on each body segment, except for the first 3 segments which only have 1 pair of legs per segment.
  • Nocturnal.

Life Cycle

Fertilisation is internal. Eggs deposited in clusters of soil sometimes in a capsule. Probably 1 generation per year. First larvae have 3 pairs of legs. Larvae pass through 7-10 moults, number of legs and segments changing with each moult. Larval period: 4-5 years. Adult life span: several years.


Normally live outdoors. Can invade houses and basements but cannot survive indoors.


Feed on damp decaying wood, vegetable matter, roots and green leaves on the ground.

Pest Status

May enter homes or basements prior to hibernation or during wet weather. Secrete unpleasant odour as a protection. These secretions could cause an allergic reaction in some cases. Neither adult nor young are considered real pests.


Strengths include a wide variety of vegetable food matter available and long-lived. The fact that they cannot survive indoors is a weakness. Control measures apart from physical removal of premises are unnecessary. They will not breed or survive inside because their need for food and environmental factors cannot be met indoors.

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