What do they look like?
The common mouse found 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.
Where do they live?
Mice live in nests, which are often built, especially during the Winter. Nests are built wherever there is access to a good source of food. Spaces under floors 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.
What do they eat?
Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything. Most of the damage they do is caused 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.
How can I get rid of mice?
Mice are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly. This can make successful mouse control a difficult task for the untrained individual.
Hygiene and housekeeping
Householders can assist in preventing infestation by simple measures:
Keeping your house and particularly the kitchen clean and tidy. Regularly cleaning up any food debris and crumbs from behind and underneath kitchen work surfaces, cupboards and appliances.
Keeping your home in good repair so that mice cannot gain access to it (mice can gain entry through the smallest of holes)
Fill in any gaps around any pipework to the outside of the building and cover any ventilation grilles or air-bricks with a fine metal mesh.
It is important to get rid of mice quickly, and it is sometimes possible to carry out the work by yourself using traps or poisons.
- Traps – a range of traps are available from hardware stores and most garden centres
- Poison – Mouse poison can be bought from hardware stores
If you are using such methods yourself you must be careful to follow all the safety instructions. If you are unsure at all, get professional contracts to do the work.