Getting Rid of Mice
Mice are a common pest in the UK. They are small, usually only six to nine centimetres in length with a long tail, which is often longer than their body. House mice and field mice are the most common mice pests. Mice are prolific breeders and this makes mice infestation particularly problematic. Mice are known disease vectors for food poisoning bacteria. They often live in dirty, bacteria ridden areas and transfer this to the food they scavenge. Humans eating any contaminated food may get food poisoning from salmonella and other bacteria.
Mice are mammals so they give birth to live young. A mouse is sexually mature and able to breed once it reaches ten weeks. A typical mouse litter is usually between four and sixteen babies, according to the favourability of the habitat and food source.
Mice prefer a warm habitat – the home, boiler cupboards, attics and basements are all popular nesting areas.
What to look for
Here are signs to look for to see if your home has a mouse infestation:
- Mouse droppings – these are black and small, typically less than 8 mm.
- A musty smell.
- Grease marks on skirting boards and cupboard doors, where the mice’s coats have brushed against them.
- Urine, which has a pungent ammonia smell.
- Nests made of shredded material in dark, warm places around the home. Under floor boards, attic spaces, wall cavities and behind white goods are possible sites.
- The appearance of live or dead mice during the day, mice are most active at night so daylight appearances may be due to lack of food or overcrowding.
Preventing mice infestation
Keeping mice out of your property is the only way to prevent a mice infestation successfully. Block up all possible entry points in your home, mice squeeze through the smallest spaces. Broken roof tiles or damaged roof timbers are another source of entry for mice that are capable of climbing. Cement round holes in a house, if you introduce new cables or pipe work into your home. Keep plants away from the fabric of your buildings as these are possible nest sites. Foraging mice use climbing plants as ladders.
Mice pest control
Cats will keep the mouse population down but they are unlikely to be able to control a large infestation. Mice breed rapidly and you would need many cats to effectively remove a mice infestation completely.
There are many do it yourself mice pest control solutions. Poisons and traps are two examples. Some traps are mice friendly allowing you to free the mice. Don’t release them too close to the house or they will return to the nest. Some traps kill the mice and seal the trap for hygienic disposal.
These methods are suitable for a small mice problem but a larger infestation or a commercial property requires expert help, as there will be large numbers of mice to trap, kill and safely dispose of. Treating a mice infestation safely around children and pets is a priority for a professional pest control expert.
Mice Pest Control
Mice are erratic, sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item.
Because of their habits, traditional baiting techniques and trapping frequently do not work, and a combination of rodenticides may be necessary – in addition to mouse-proofing, as far as possible, all means of entry e.g. by blocking holes with wire wool embedded in quick-setting cement, or by fitting metal strips to damaged wooden doors.