Mice - Biology & Control
Origins and distribution
Originated probably from the Central Asian steppes and now found worldwide on every continent.
The house mouse has a shorter tail than other mice and is slightly less than or same as its body length of approximately 5 – 6 cm. It can vary in colour from grey, brown and even black with a lighter underbelly. Its ears are large with small ears and a pointed snout with a weight of 10 – 25 grams. It is often shy with peak activity present at night.
Mice can have between 5 – 8 litters per year with a litter size of 4 – 16 young. The life span can be anything up to 12 months with sexual maturity reached at 6 – 9 weeks.
Mice are incontinent, urinating whilst they are running about and frequently marking its territory; they can produce up to 80 droppings in 24 hours dropping them anywhere. The word rodent originates from the verb rodere, which translated means to gnaw. This is exactly what they do often chewing to ensure that their incisor teeth are kept from growing too long, causing damage in the meantime.
Signs of activity
- Droppings and urine.
- Smear marks.
- Holes and gnawing.
- Nesting material.
Mice can cause damage to food and non perishable products often contaminating in the process with their urine and faeces. Through gnawing they can present a risk of damage to electrical cables sometimes resulting in a fire. The risk of transmission of salmonella is also present as they often climb onto food preparation areas. If any infestation is left it can quickly get out of control.
How we control Mice
Our control methods for mice prioritise exclusion as a first alternative such as proofing of holes around pipes, in brickwork and mesh covers over broken or inadequate air vents along with habitat management (clearing away clutter, debris, overgrown bushes etc.). We carry out rodenticide placement which is strategically placed and contained in lockable plastic or metal bait stations where necessary. Rodenticides come in many different formulations such as whole or cut grain, block, pasta or wax bait. These are very palatable and encourage the Mice to feed and are an anti-coagulant resulting in quick control. These are placed under floor spaces, roof voids, electrical, stair or riser cupboards, plant rooms, kitchens (particularly under cupboard units or behind fridge appliances).
Sometimes due to behavioural resistance, mice may not enter or feed within the bait stations; this is particularly prevalent in inner city environments. In these situations trapping may be required using fatal capture traps such as the traditional ‘snap’ trap. When using these we place these in strategic, discrete locations out of harm’s way. Depending upon legislative requirements, the environment and infestation levels we are able to tailor the service to the customer needs, this may result in a planned maintenance contract consisting of routine periodical inspections or a short intensive one off treatment.