February Pest of the Month: Mice
Mice can be a common pest for many homes and businesses all year long, but with the sudden weather changes and drop in temperatures mice can be particularly pesky in February due to their need to stay warm and near a food source. The most common breed of mouse in the UK is the field mouse, also known as a wood mouse. They are typically found near agricultural land but during winter they tend to venture into out-houses and barns. Another breed found in rural areas that you may be familiar with is the yellow-necked mouse. Usually found in woodland habitat, these rodents will occasionally make their way into homes and other buildings during the cold months.
But while field mice and yellow-necked mice may cause you some issues, the most common complaint the specialists at Urban Pest Control receive is about Mus musculus domesticus, known as the house mouse. As their name suggests, these mice are often found in homes across the country and can cause damage, make a mess and be quite noisy.
Identification is key to providing a suitable solution for your pest issue as it is illegal in the UK to use rodenticides on field mice. At Urban Pest Control our rodent experts are always happy to offer advice over the phone or to carry out a free site survey to help you with your pest control needs. Our comprehensive range of mice control services are effective and can deliver the perfect solution for your home or business property.
Interesting facts about mice:
- Mice eat up to 15-20 times a day.
- Mice spread diseases such as hantavirus, salmonella, listeria and can carry up to 200 human pathogens.
- Mice can flatten their heads to enable them to squeeze through gaps as small as 6mm.
- Mouse urine is fluorescent.
- Mice constantly gnaw due to their ever-growing incisors; their teeth can grow 0.3 mm each day.
- Mice breed rapidly. A female mouse has a gestation period of 19-21 days and may have between 5-10 litters per year leading to an infestation quickly getting out of hand.
How to recognise you have a mice issue:
- Firstly, identify if mice are the issue – Mice are smaller than rats, have hair on their tails and have larger ears.
- Mouse droppings – Mice often scatter their droppings, which measure approximately 3-6mm long and look like black grains of rice.
- Smear marks – Mice leave dark brown/black grease marks from their fur.
- Gnaw marks – Mice constantly gnaw due to their teeth, leaving damaging marks on wood, carpets, pipes and electrical cables. Mice cause damage to homes through gnawing, especially roof insulation, plaster boards, water pipes and electrical wires. This is one of the most common causes of power cuts and water leaks.
- Noises – You may hear mice scratching or squeaking in roofs or wall cavities.
- Nests – Mice will build their nests in warm, soft spaces. Finding shredded material is a sign that a nest may be nearby.
- Strong smell – Mice urinate frequently which gives off a strong ammonia smell and urine pillars (urine mixed with grease and dirt to form mounds) may be present.
How to prevent mice:
- Contact a professional pest controller – By getting in touch with a professional pest control company you can ensure you receive an effective solution. At Urban Pest Control, as Dorset’s leading pest control specialists we have the knowledge, skills and equipment to identify, monitor and tackle your mice problems. Qualified to RSPH level 2 in pest management, our pest technicians have access to a range of professional rodenticides and understand how to use them to full effect.
- Manage harbourage sites – Block any visible access points and remove nesting sites.
- Mouse proof air bricks – Urban Pest Control are happy to supply our mouse control vents which is a tough solution as mice can chew the plastic from standard air bricks.
- Remove potential food sources – Store any food in cupboards in airtight containers and clean up any food mess.
Mice can cause issues at all types of residential and commercial properties. Landlords have a legal obligation to rectify mice issues under the Damage of Pests Act 1949 and food business owners also have an obligation to quickly resolve pest problems under the Food Safety Act due to their capabilities of spreading food poisoning diseases. Whether you find signs of mice in your home or at your business premises, at Urban Pest Control we are on hand to provide a quick and effective solution to your pest problem.
Should you require more information on mice control or any other type of pest control in Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Dorchester, Weymouth and all surrounding areas please do not hesitate to contact us.
Image credit: Bruno_il_segretario