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Information and Advice about Mice Control

Fact Sheet:  House Mouse (mus domesticus)

Description

The house mouse is believed to have arrived in Britain around the 10th Century BC. The mouse is common in a wide range of urban and rural buildings all over Britain. Although mainly an indoor dweller, mice may live outdoors for part of all of the year. Mice are not, however, found in sewers.

The mouse found commonly in buildings is the house mouse. The fur colour varies between light brown and grey. Body length varies between 60-90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. Often the droppings found are black, rod-shaped and 3-6mm long.

The house mouse can be found in a wide range of urban and rural buildings, although it may live for part of the year outdoors. Mice live in nests, which are often built inside houses, especially during the winter. Nests are built wherever there is access to a good source of food. Spaces under the floor and lofts are favoured places for nests, which are built out of cloth, wool and paper.

Mouse holes are normally 20-30mm in diameter. Mice are mainly active at night and can be heard running about as they search for food. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm.

The house mouse's favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything. Most of the damage they do is by gnawing and ripping open packets. They also foul food with urine and droppings. Mice will gnaw their way through wood to get to sources of food.

Pest Status

Mice numbers need to be controlled because:

  • They eat and can contaminate all types of food
  • They can damage and destroy property
  • They carry diseases that are hazardous to both humans and animals, including typhus, trichinosis, and jaundice

Signs of mouse infestation

  • How can I tell whether my house is infested with mice?
  • Signs of a mouse infestation can include the presence of droppings, footprints in damp soil or dust, and burrows in the ground.
  • Signs of gnawing, for example on food packets

Preventive measures

  • Accumulations of waste materials and rubbish can attract rodents and makes a warm home.  
  • Ensure all waste - especially food waste - is  disposed of promptly and appropriately.
  • Store food materials at least 18 inches off the ground to make access harder and identification of an infestation easier. Products should also be kept away from walls.
  • Food and food waste should be stored in sealed containers, including compost bins.  
  • Control methods

It is important to get rid of mice quickly before they damage pipe cables and insulation. There are several ways of controlling mice, including conventional methods of baiting and trapping, plus the new electronic alternatives.

1. Baiting

The PCP UK mouse control range includes baits identical to the ones used by professional pest controllers. Products such as Neosorexa Gold and Mouse Killer II are designed to be highly attractive to rodents specifically (although care should always be taken to place baits where they cannot be accessed by pets or children). The result of many years of research and development, they do not result in an instant kill, but rather the mouse will usually retreat to its burrow to die in its sleep. 
 
An all-natural alternative rodent bait is Eradimouse, which contains absolutely no toxic ingredients, and as such eliminates the risk of poisoning predators which may feed on rats, such as birds of prey. This method also causes extreme dehydration to the rodents, leading them to retreat to their burrows, where they lapse into a coma and die.

Rodent baiting guidelines

For most effective control, the baits must be the primary food source available to the rodent. 

  • Clear away all other food sources from the area to be treated. 
  • Foodstuffs should be securely contained in metal, glass, ceramic or hard plastic.
  • Bait all areas where rodent activity is seen - particularly along runs and around holes
  • Keep bait dry, as wetting may reduce effectiveness
  • Continue to bait until rodent activity has completely ceased
  • Place (and store) baits carefully, to ensure children and pets cannot get to it
  • Wash hands after use 
  • Always carefully read the label and any other information materials supplied with the baits

2. Traps

Large, robust rodent traps, can make short work of most mice, and make it easy to locate and dispose
of cadavers. 

  • Traps should be placed next to walls where mice tend to travel 
  • 'Break-back' traps such as the Power Cat can give a swift kill
  • For a humane, non-lethal alternative, live catch traps catch mice without harming them, for later release
  • Traps can be baited with chocolate, biscuit, cereal or peanut butter
  • Use several traps and examine them daily, removing dead mice immediately
  • Guidelines must be observed for the humane and responsible use of glue traps
  • Although the PCP range is selected for ease of use and reliability, all traps should be handled with care

3. Electronic Repellers

Electromagnetic repellers are a completely humane alternative, which can be effective in deterring mice from taking up residence within a home or premises. The range available from PCP UK is especially selected for high standards of effectiveness. In order to harness the deterrent power of electromagnetism against rodents, it is essential to carefully read and follow the instructions supplied. 
 
Images courtesy of the British Pest Control Association/Sorexa Limited