There are many types of mice. The most common species to cause problems infesting buildings in Britain is the House mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and the Field mouse or wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus.) The house mouse is the one that will live in buildings all year round, whereas the field mouse lives outdoors, but can invade buildings looking for shelter as the weather becomes colder.
Most of the time any mouse found indoors is likely to be a house mouse, which is the world's most widespread land mammal after humans.
- Approx 6 - 10cm (without the tail)
- Uniform light brown to grey colour
- Tail same length as body
- Sharp snout
- Small feet, big eyes
House mice are found in and around human buildings as they rely on warmth and shelter for nesting sites, and our readily available food sources. They are inquisitive creatures that can squeeze through gaps 6mm wide, about the diameter of a pencil! Mice are also very agile, being good diggers and very good climbers. Once inside a building they will climb from top to bottom through wall spaces, along pipe work, under floors and in any small cavity they can find. They will infest a whole line of terraced houses, or a block of flats, easily moving between each address.
A female mouse can produce 5-10 litters a year, of 5-8 young, weaned at 23 days. A nursing female can go into postpartum estrus immediately after birth, which means it can become pregnant straight away. This is how mouse infestations can grow quickly.
Mice are omnivores, eating almost anything. They are erratic eaters, nibbling at food quickly and scurrying between different food sources. They can survive without drinking water if there is enough moisture in their food.
Why Mice Need Controlling
- Like rats, mice carry many infectious diseases harmful to humans such as Salmonella and Listeria. They mark their territory by frequently urinating wherever they are foraging and carry dirt and bacteria with them as they scurry around floors, counters, cupboards and worktops;
- Constant gnawing and nibbling causes serious damage to property. In a search for food, and in a need to keep their ever-growing front teeth short they will damage packaging, electric wires, water pipes, woodwork, bags, and most other things.
Signs To Look For
Mice droppings are cylindrical, 6-7mm long, about the size of a grain of rice. They can be any colour, but are usually dark. Often in groups, mixed with dirt, grease and urine.
A strong ammonia smell from their urine can often be detected.
Gnawed packaging or food in the kitchen cupboards and on the worktops. Also, damage to pipes, wires, skirting boards and cables.
- Smear marks.
Mice will leave a visible smear over well used surfaces, from the grease on their fur.
Often overnight, scratching and scuttling noises can sometimes be heard in the loft, ceilings, walls and under the floor.
Methods Of Control
Following a full survey our technician will employ the most effective and safest method to control the problem. This will involve searching for, and sealing any possible mice entry points. Steps can then be taken to make the area less attractive to mice, along with providing expert guidance on measures the occupant can take themselves. This will often be accompanied by a course of rodenticide baiting or trapping to remove any infestation. The process is a course of treatment over a series of visits to the property. We have access to a full range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.
Safety of people, pets and non target animals is paramount, so we only use the right equipment in the right location to make sure only unwanted mice are targeted.
Cats are natural hunters and will sometimes bring mice into the house. However, they should not be considered an effective way to control an infested building.