The most common mouse found in buildings is the house mouse, weighing less than 25g. The fur colour varies between light brown and grey. Body length ranges between 60-90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. Mice have and acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and are particularly sensitive to any sudden noise. In more rural areas field mice and wood mice are also frequent visitors.
Mice live in nests that they build out of cloth, wool and paper. Nests are often built inside houses, in places such as roof spaces, under floors or in wall cavities, and wherever there is access to a good source of food, especially during the winter. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm but mouse holes are normally 20-30mm in diameter. Mice are mainly active at night and can often be heard running about as they search for food.
Their 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 spoil food with urine and droppings. Mice will gnaw their way through wood to get to sources of food.
Droppings are often black, rod shaped and 3-6mm long. 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.
Sometimes nests can be found indoors for example in lofts, under floorboards or in airing cupboards. In addition to the damage caused through gnawing, mice have been known to spread diseases such as Salmonella and listeria, which leads to food poisoning and stomach upsets.
- It is important to get rid of mice quickly, as house mice reproduce rapidly. To prevent mice infestation householders can take a number of simple precautions:
- Keep your home in good repair. Mice only need a hole the size of a pencil to gain entry.
- Remove potential nesting sites by keeping yards and gardens clean and tidy, and by cutting back overgrown areas.
- Seal gaps around heating and water pipes.
- Ventilation bricks and slots should already have a fine wire mesh incorporated. If this is worn, replace it externally with 3.15mm insect mesh.
- Do not leave household waste where mice can get access to it, close dustbin lids and composters and do not feed wild birds to excess – you may be feeding mice as well.
Clear Round Pest Services has effective treatments for mice in all situations using rodenticides and/or traditional methods after a thorough survey of the affected area.