Mice are one of the most common pest species in the UK. Mice Pest Control
Mice spread dangerous diseases through urine and droppings The diseases include some deadly to humans such as Salmonella and Listeria
Mice will mark their territory with their urine and due to their sporadic eating habits, build nests near food sources. This puts anyone with an infestation at risk of food poisoning.
Mice in the workplace
Property and landowners have a legal obligation under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep premises rodent free, or, if rodents pose a threat to health or property, to report infestations to the local authority.
Mice also cause a lot of property damage, due to their compulsive need to gnaw. They do this to maintain the optimal level, for them, of their teeth. Electric cables, water and gas pipes, packaging and woodwork may all be seriously damaged by mice..
Owners of food businesses also have obligations to keep premises pest-free under the Food Safety Act 1990.
Environmental Health Officers or General Enforcement Officers can issue enforcement notices to business owners who don’t have adequate pest management procedures in place.
Failure to comply may lead to fines or even a criminal record. But perhaps worse is the damage to reputation. Bad news spreads like wildfire or as fast as breeding mice.
How to tell if you have a mouse problem
Their presence is usually detected from one or more of the following signs:
Mice droppings – these are often black, and about the size and shape of a grain of rice. Fresh droppings will be soft and moist. Each mouse can leave approximately 80 droppings per day. Common places to find mouse droppings are under the kitchen sink, around central heating boilers and in roof spaces
Strong ammonia smell – mice urinate frequently
Smear marks – these are dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils in mouse fur
Nests – sometimes nests can be found indoors for example in lofts, under floorboards or in airing cupboards
Damage to stored food in cupboards and pantries
Gnaw marks on materials such as wood, carpets, paper, pipe cables and furniture.
21 days later
Why mice can take over in just 21 days
Mice have a very easy-to-remember rule around breeding cycles: 21 days.
When a female mouse is impregnated, the gestation period lasts for around 21 days.
Mice are mammals and so they give birth to live young. On average this is between five and seven pups, but can be anywhere up to 12.
It then takes 21 days to wean those pups, who will then reach full maturity in another 21-38 days.
During this time the female mouse can become pregnant almost immediately after giving birth, which is one of the reasons that a mouse infestation can grow quickly out of control.
A female mouse can produce anywhere between 5 and 10 litters a year.
That’s 70 mice per female per year. Do the math! It’s scary.
What do mice eat?
Mice are erratic, sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item.
They can make as many as 30 trips a night to different food sources, taking tiny amounts from each.
This can make them more difficult to control with toxic baits than a rat, which will happily gorge on one food source.
Their favourite foods are cereal products, although as omnivores they will eat almost anything.
They do not need free water to drink as they generally obtain sufficient moisture from their food.
How to prevent mice the DIY approach
It’s lot of work and needs to be done thoroughly for best results. Not everyone’s idea of a fun pastime but here’s what you need to do.
Mice only need a gap of 5mm to gain entry (roughly the diameter of the blunt end of a pencil).
You will need to search for any potential entry points and seal these up with wire wool embedded in quick-setting cement.
You should focus on low-level gaps first as these are the most likely areas for mice to enter. You can then consider any higher up vents or gaps.
Check around pipes and windows, and double-check the basement.
Proofing all means of entry as much as possible will help to prevent an infestation.
Other steps you should take are:
Remove potential nesting sites by keeping gardens clean and tidy, cutting back overgrown areas and clearing any piles of wood/debris
Cover any household waste where mice can get access to it, close dustbin lids and cover compost heaps
Store food in airtight containers and make sure any food debris is cleaned up straight away
Install door sweeps or door brush strip on exterior doors, if the gap is larger than 4mm.
Good hygiene practices won’t eliminate a mouse problem, but poor practices will attract them.
Why DIY mouse control isn’t always a good idea
It is important to get rid of mice quickly, as mice are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly – this combination can make mouse control a difficult task for the untrained individual.
If you decide to carry out the work yourself, then you can buy amateur use poisons and traps from a hardware store or garden centre. It is crucial that you read the label fully before use.
Amateur poisons available from hardware stores frequently do not work. This is due to their habits so a combination of rodenticides may be necessary.
It is common knowledge in the pest control industry that almost all house mouse populations in London (and possibly other cities) are resistant to traditional rodenticides.
Amateur use products are restricted and it is likely that you won’t be able to purchase the necessary poison.
An alternative to using poisons are break-back traps but they need to be emptied – not everyone’s favourite job
Dead rodents should be disposed of safely. Leaving these in the open can result in primary and secondary poisoning of non target animals, such as birds scavenging on the carcass.
Additionally, thought needs to be taken when placing poison or traps to ensure they are in a safe and secure place out of reach of non-target animals, children and pets.
Professional pest control
We are trained in mouse control and will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.
Knowing how much, where, and when to deploy products is where professionals are able to take control of situations efficiently.
We take an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to tackle your infestation and have access to monitoring equipment, which we use to confirm entry points into your property, the size of the infestation and to track the mouse to its source.
We will also recommend a proofing strategy and decide on the best course of action in terms of control; this could be traps, rodenticides or a combination of both. Contact us today for best advice