Species: Rattus norvegicus
Origin: Europe

Breeding Cycle: Approx. 32 days
Diet: Birds, eggs, plants, invertebrates
Home Range (ha): 0.01 - 0.02
Body Length (mm): 184 - 192 mm
Average adult Weight (g): 150 - 300

The Ship Rat

Originating in India, the ship rat spread throughout Europe and the UK, making it’s way to New Zealand around 200 years ago with the arrival of Europeans. The ship rat quickly displaced the Norway rat as the most common and widespread rodent in New Zealand. Also known as black rats or roof rats, these pests are some of the most likely to invade your home. They range from 12cm to 18cm long, but including the tail can be up to 20cm long. They have scraggly fur that can be black or medium to light brown. One of their hallmarks is an underside that is lighter than the rest of their body.

"Rats are in direct competition with native birds, contributing to their decline."

Biology and Ecology

Ship rats spend a large amount of their time in trees, allowing easy access to birds' nests. They have a varied diet, eating a wide variety of native and introduced birds, plants and invertebrates. They're efficient swimmers, establishing populations on pest-free islands up to 750m away.

Why are Ship Rats pests?

Rats in New Zealand have been a factor in the extinction and decline of a large proportion of native bird species. The spread of ship rats in the North Island coincided with the declines of korimako (bellbird), toutouwai (robin), hihi (stichbird) , and tieke (saddleback). The inclusion of native plants and fruits in their diet also put rats in direct competition with native birds, contributing to their decline. Rats also can cause a lot of damage to property.

What you can do

Rat control can be done by everybody. Getting an understanding of rat feeding locations is important, so be sure to set out detector cards before setting your trap. By assessing, not guessing, where to put your trap you'll be set up to get on top of your rat population quickly. Be sure to place your traps away from food sources like compost.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap

$189.00

Species: Rattus norvegicus
Origin: Europe

Breeding Cycle: Approx. 32 days
Diet: Birds, eggs, plants, invertebrates
Home Range (ha): 0.01 - 0.02
Body Length (mm): 184 - 192 mm
Average adult Weight (g): 150 - 300

The Norway Rat

New Zealand was virtually mammal free around 700 years ago. Along with early Pacific Islander settlers came the Pacific rat or kiore. Nearly 250 years later, Europeans brought the Ship rat and the Norway rat. Of the three species, the Norway rat is the largest, often measuring up to 50cm, including the tail. They're most easily identified by their short tail and small ears . They can weigh twice as much as a black rat, and they dwarf the common house mouse. Their coarse fur is usually brown or dark grey, and they have a lighter underside.

"Norway rats are great swimmers and are sometimes referred to as the water rat."

Biology and Ecology

Commonly found in waterways and in urban areas, Norway rats are efficient swimmers and are sometimes referred to as the "water rat". They have been known to swim passages greater than 600m. Able to climb when required, they're more likely to be found in burrows around populated areas and buildings. These rats are omnivorous and opportunistic with food. The average adult Norway rat eats around 10% of their body weight per day!

Why are Norway Rats pests?

Rats in New Zealand have been a factor in the extinction and decline of many native bird species. Due to their size, the Norway rat is capable of targeting adult seabirds - like the southern New Zealand dotterel (tuturiwhatu), now only found on Stewart Island. The inclusion of native plants and fruits in their diet has also put these rats in direct competition and contributing to the decline of native birds. Around the home, Norway rats can cause damage to electrical wiring and get into food.

What you can do

Rat control is easy with the right tools. Using detector cards before installing your A24 is a great way to find the best locations to trap. A couple of A24's around the home and garage will provide continued suppression of rats and mice - remember to add a little pre-feed to get your rats hooked on the new food source in your trap.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap

$189.00

Species: Mus musculus
Origin: Europe via Australia

Breeding Cycle: 20 - 30 days
Diet: Omnivorous
Home Range (ha): Average 0.6
Average Body Length (mm): Max 115
Average weight (g): 15 - 20

Mice

Mice are small and nocturnal. They arrived in New Zealand on Ruapuke Island accidentally, with the grounding of the flax ship Henrietta, in 1824, and became known as Henriettas. Mice are well established across New Zealand, although not on Stewart Island. Also known as House Mice cause damage by gnawing, and eating or contaminating stored food. They can be identified by their small size, between 6-9cm in length, and smooth dusty grey fur.

"Mice are a significant threat to wrens in alpine regions."

Biology and Ecology

Mice rely heavily on their sense of smell and hearing to avoid predators. They tend to reach greatest densities in thick ground cover. The mouse diet of invertebrates and plants is seasonal. Mice are found throughout New Zealand, and are a significant threat to wrens in alpine regions in Fiordland and can be found in bush, pasture, farms and urban settings. They are incredibly common in urban environments, preferring the warmth indoors.

Why are Mice pests?

Mice deficate and urinate in food making it a health hazard for humans. They are generally opportunistic feeders and are the food staple of stoats and cats. Mice eat a lot. They need to consume around 4.4g of invertebrates, or 969 rimu seeds, daily. On sub-Antarctic Gough Island, mice have learned that petrel and albatross chicks are a good food source and will eat chicks alive on the nest.

What you can do

The most difficult part of mouse control is their small home range. To control mice in large land areas, a network with traps set at 25m intervals is needed. Around the home, a couple of traps will keep control of the little fellas coming inside at the start of the colder seasons. Keep their numbers low in summer and they are less likely to be a bother by winter.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap (also works on Mice)

$189.00

Species: Trichosurus vulpecula
Origin: Australia
Breeding Cycle: Mainly seasonal
Home Range (ha): 0.7 - 2.7
Adult Length (mm): Between 650 - 930
Adult Weight (g): Range from 1400 - 6400

The Possum

Introduced in 1837 from Australia to establish a fur trade, possums have thrived in a predator free New Zealand. In 1921 the New Zealand government declared it illegal to bring any more possums to New Zealand but by then, possums were already living in 450 different parts of New Zealand. In 1946, possums were officially declared a pest in the New Zealand environment. Their diet includes a wide range of native fauna and flora, and due to the abundance of food, they have become somewhat generalist in their food selection. This has had a massive impact on New Zealand's delicate ecosystems.

"Possums were introduced in 1837 from Australia to establish a fur trade."

Biology and Ecology

Possums have a diverse habitat, predominantly forests, but only sparsely found throughout the mountainous terrain of Fiordland. In their native environment of Australia, possums are said to spend 90% of their time eating and 10% socialising. In New Zealand, this is the inverse with such an abundance of food. Their diet mainly consists of leaves but they will eat whole plants, fungi, invertebrates, birds and eggs, snails and decaying animals. Possums use a range of scent glands to mark territory or to attract mates.

Why are Possums pests?

The browse feeding habits of possums cause damage to our native forests, killing trees and causing forest canopy collapse. This also reduces the availability of food for native fauna, contributing to the reduction of breeding success. Possums are also carriers of a range of diseases - like Bovine TB - transmitting the bacterial infection to livestock. This can have a severe economic impact on the deer, beef and dairy industries.

What you can do

Often possums will make their presence known with their raspy calls in the small hours of the night or by eating your roses or lemon tree. A good sign possums are around are their ‘runs’, scratch or bite marks on trees, and scattered branches at the base of trees. By putting a dab of possum lure at the base of a few trees and where you see the signs of their visits, you can get possums used to the new feed and prepare them to pop their head in an A12 trap.

A12 Possum Trap

$219.00

Species: Mustela erminea
Origin: Eurasia & North America
Breeding Cycle: Single litter yearly
Diet: Carnivore
Home Range (ha): 60 - 200
Average Length (mm): 256 - 284
Average Weight (g): Male: 324, female: 207

The Stoat

Stoats were introduced to New Zealand with ferrets and weasels in the mid 1870's to control rabbits, which had become major agricultural pests. They had legal protection until 1936. By the time it was removed they were abundant on the North and South Island. They are still absent from Stewart Island. Stoats have reddish-brown fur on their back, a white or cream coloured underbelly, and long tails, with a distinctive and obvious bushy black tip. An adult male can measure 390mm from nose to tail tip. They are often confused with weasels but adult stoats are longer and heavier than adult weasels and display a straight line along their sides where the brown fur meets the pale belly fur.

"No predator has had a bigger impact on native species in New Zealand than the stoat."

Biology and Ecology

Stoats have high metabolisms and a heart rate of up to 300bpm. They commonly raid nests while adults are absent and store in their den to consume over time. They're capable of carrying animals 10 times their own weight. Typically, all females of a litter are impregnated before dispersal meaning 90% of all females stoats are pregnant from December to September when they are likely to have a litter of 6-8 kits. The ability to delay impregnation is specific to stoats. Stoats are active day and night and are remarkable swimmers, capable of swimming 1.5 km.

Why are Stoats pests?

There are few predators that have had a bigger impact on native species in New Zealand than the stoat. North Island brown Kiwi have a 5% chance of survival in the wild due to stoats and feral cats resulting in a total population decline of nearly 2%. Stoats are directly implicated in the decline of the takahe, kaka, mohua and Whio but also dine on lizards and insects. Partial to chickens, stoats attack the neck and back of the head, often killing and leaving the bird.

What you can do

Because of a stoat's large home range, a good trap network is important to keep the population low. By placing traps at 100 m intervals on tracks up to 600 m apart, you can effectively maintain low stoat densities for sustained periods. Goodnature's A24 has passed the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee's standards for humanness and is one of the best ways to control stoats.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap

$189.00

Species: Mustela nivalis vulgaris
Origin: West & Central Europe

Breeding Cycle: Up to 3 yearly
Diet: Carnivore
Home Range (ha): Male: (5-25), female (1-10)
Average Length (mm): 182 - 217
Average Weight (g): Male: 128.8, female: 57.5

The Weasel

Weasels were imported with stoats and ferrets to control rabbits in the 1870's. The weasel has the distinction of being the smallest carnivore in the world and can be identified apart from stoats by their white tummy, small size and lack of black tip on the end of their short tails. Weasels were imported with stoats and ferrets to control rabbits in the 1870's.

"The weasel is the smallest carnivore in the world..."

Biology and Ecology

During the months between September and March, weasels can have up to three litters of 4-5 kits. If there is an abundance of food, weasels can breed in the year of their birth. They are opportunistic feeders eating insects, lizards, mice and small birds. Mice are their most common food source. Populations of weasels can be found throughout the country (with the exception of Stewart Island) but are far less common than stoats or ferrets.

Why are Weasels pests?

Weasels have had significant impacts on populations of the now nationally endangered Whittaker's skink in New Zealand. Like the stoat, they will attack prey much larger than themselves meaning nesting birds are easy targets. Because weasels are found in all areas of New Zealand, their diet is varied. They tend to exist in pockets of high population where they are many. There are also no weasels on Stewart or Great Barrier Island.

What you can do

Because the weasel has a relatively small home range, you can maintain the population to low levels with a simple network of traps. A well-placed A24 will keep populations to low numbers. Use detector cards prior to installing your A24 as a great way to find the best locations to trap.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap

$189.00

Species: Erinaceus europaeus
Origin:
Europe

Breeding Cycle: Average 2 litters a year
Diet: Mainly insects, small animals
Home Range (ha): Average 2 - 5
Average Length (mm): 150 - 266
Average Weight (g): Generally 620 - 700

The Hedgehog

Originally brought to New Zealand to remind European settlers of home, hedgehogs soon became successful predators of not only garden invertebrates but also native birds and insects.

"Hedgehogs were brought to New Zealand to remind European settlers of home."

Biology and Ecology

Abundant through lowland areas, braided riverbeds and coastal areas, hedgehogs are less likely to be found in hilly environments. They are excellent swimmers and climbers. Although they both hibernate during winter by building dens under tree roots or deep dry litter, males tend to be the first to settle in. These nocturnal animals remain solitary until they briefly pair for breeding. Hedgehogs are usually heard moving and snuffling before they are seen and if you get to close they roll tightly into a ball and use their spines for protection. Their droppings are black, and can contain tightly packed fragments of invertebrate exoskeletons.

Why are Hedgehogs pests?

Hedgehogs are mainly insectivorous, posing a threat to native weta. They often eat around 160 g invertebrates per day. They will however, eat animals such as mice, lizards, frogs. They have been proven to be a major predator of eggs of riverbed breeding birds such as banded dotterel and black-fronted tern, and have been known to kill and eat chicks of a variety of ground-nesting birds. Hedgehogs have been known to eat the native New Zealand snail Wainuia urnula. While not a host of bovine TB, TB is likely to be present in hedgehogs living in densely infected possum areas.

What you can do

Don't be afraid to control hedgehogs, they are an introduced pest to New Zealand and in many locations; they are the primary cause of decline of nesting birds. A well-placed A24 will keep populations to low numbers. Use detector cards prior to installing your A24 as a great way to find the best locations to trap.

A24 Rat & Stoat Trap (also work on Hedgehogs)

$189.00