There are two species of mice, which can be found in houses, garages and in warm buildings commonly house mice and field mice.
Mice cause problems in houses because of gnawing through food containers and electric cables but also from spreading diseases by eating and excreting over human food.
Common signs of mice in your home:
- Droppings which resemble small, black grains of rice
- Smell (which can indicate a large population living in a small space)
- Damage to food containers and other items in your home
- Nests where material has been made into a ball
- Noises in between walls, in lofts or underneath flooring
- Smears and footprints in food products, or across work surfaces
Mice can be excluded from your home by repairing external structural faults, such as:
- Gaps beneath external doors - use draught excluders or bristles on the bottom of doors to prevent mice entering
- Climbing wall plants that hide holes in walls or if the plants reach the roof, they can provide access into the loft
- Air vents that are old or damaged should be replaced with fine mesh that measures less than 0.6cm, but do not block air vents
- Holes surrounding pipes should be blocked with wire wool or mesh with cement or expanding foam
There are also measures you can implement in the house to make it less attractive to mice:
- Food spillages should be cleaned up immediately and make sure that the rubbish is moved outside regularly to covered bins
- Soft furnishings such as mattresses and sofas should be moved away from the outside of the house and disposed of as soon as possible. If you need help in disposing of these items, please follow the link to learn more about our bulky waste collection service.
- Food should be stored off the ground and all open packets should be kept in sealed containers
- Overgrown gardens can attract mice for nesting sites, especially if there is a nearby food source. Make sure that gardens are maintained regularly and large accumulations of rubbish or unwanted junk are disposed of at a local civic amenity site or through a bulky waste collection
Ways to control mice infestation
There are several ways in which to control mice:
These come in two types; those that capture live mice which allow them to be released and break back traps which kill the mice. Traps can be bought from garden centres and DIY stores.
The traps should be placed in corners, cupboards and next to walls where mice run. Food types in which to bait the traps with include peanut butter, caramel or marzipan work better than the conventional cheese option. Use several traps and make sure they are kept away from pets and children and checked regularly (daily).
If you continue to catch mice or you do not catch any, it may indicate more of a problem and a professional pest controller may have to be called.
If you catch a live mouse, you may have to release it quite a way from your home, as it may find its way back. If you catch a dead mouse, it can be buried or bagged up and disposed of in your grey wheelie bin.
Rodenticides can be bought from garden centres and DIY stores and should be laid in similar locations to traps i.e. in cupboards, corners of rooms and along walls. You must make sure that children or pets cannot reach the poison.
Replenish the poison as frequently as needed, but if the problem persists after 3 weeks or no poison is taken at all, you may need professional help.
When using traps or poison, please refer to the label and instructions at all times.