The House Mouse body length ranges between 60-90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. They weigh less than 25g, and their fur colour varies between light brown and grey.
Mice have an acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and are particularly sensitive to any sudden noise. Their presence is usually detected from their dark-coloured droppings or damage to stored foods in the larder, packaging or woodwork.
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.
Mice are erratic, sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item. They do not need free water to drink as they normally obtain sufficient moisture from their food. Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything.
Mice have been known to spread some nasty diseases to humans such as Salmonella, Listeria, which can cause food poisoning.
These nibbling nuisances have a compulsive need to gnaw in order to keep their incisor teeth worn down to a constant length. Electric cables, water and gas pipes, packaging and woodwork may all be seriously damaged by mice - many instances of electrical fires and floods have been attributed to them.
Mice can ruin an organisation's reputation. If clients and customers spot evidence of rodent infestation in the premises you manage, they are unlikely to want to do business with you.
It is important to get rid of mice quickly, as Mice are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly - this combination can make mouse control a difficult task for the untrained individual. For any mouse infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company, preferably a member of the BPCA. They are trained in mouse control and will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.
If you decide to carry out the work yourself then you can buy amateur use poisons and traps from a hardware store or garden centre. However, due to their habits, traditional baiting techniques and trapping frequently do not work, and a combination of rodenticides may be necessary. An alternative to using poisons are break-back traps. You may catch mice if baited with nutty chocolate, raisins or similar attractive food and placed close to signs of mouse activity. Ironically, cheese is a comparatively poor mouse-baiter. Place traps close to, and at right angles to, walls so the treadle may be activated from either direction. When placing poison or traps, make sure they are in a safe and secure place out of reach of children and pets.
In addition, proofing all means of entry as much possible will help to prevent entry. Blocking holes with wire wool embedded in quick-setting cement, and fit metal strips to doors to prevent mice from entering.
WARNING: When using rodenticides always follow the instructions on the label, and importantly search for and dispose of any dead rodents in a safe manner.
Use a professional pest controller.