House Mouse Control
The main reason to control infestations of mice, is because they pose a serious health and safety risk. This is especially relevant were food is handled as they can transmit and contaminate foods with various pathogens such as salmonella sp. and Typhus.
A secondary reason is because infestations can cause structural damage to buildings, fabrics and electrical wiring. The latter posing a serious fire risk which alone is an incentive to get rid of mice.
House Mouse Biology, Control of Mice & improvement of hygiene
The house mouse, a rodent, has been associated with human settlements since the development of agriculture in pre-historic times. Mice have been spreading from Northern India and the middle east throughout europe with the cultivation of cereals and the development of primitive granaries (~9000 BC).
Mice can breed fast. They reach sexual maturity in about 5 weeks, exhibit postpartum oestrus and the weaning period of average litter size of 6 is ~3 weeks. This means that, if food is abundant and conditions are right a few can result in a serious infestation in a relatively short time. This is an important reason why early interventions are important and to start a mouse control program at the first signs of mice, before the mouse problem gets extremely serious.
In addition, mouse infestations and any problems associated with control of mice will also have a negative impact on “scores on the doors” hygiene rating in premises were food is handled.
Mice are considerably smaller than rats; the length of their body can be up to 10 cm and their tail is on average 3/4 of the body length. Mice can can easily squeeze through gaps of 5mm in diameter. It is therefore essential to proof premises to prevent (re-) infestation of mice from outside.
Mouse eradication methods used by us:
The presence of mice is usually confirmed by their droppings (3-6 mm in length). They are spindle shaped and can easily be distinguished from bat droppings, if they are found in lofts: Mice droppings are quite hard and unlike bat dropping will not disintegrate when rubbed between fingers. Bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and cannot be interfered with in any way.
It is also important is to identify harbourage sites and rodent entry points for proofing. The reason why mouse control is often required is an abundance of food sources. These need to be removed or made inaccessible. Points of entry needs to be located and proofed.
Baiting with mouse poison (rodenticides) is done with health and safety and the environment in mind. Sturdy, anchored, inaccessible bait boxes are used if required. Rodent carcasses are frequently traced and removed to prevent secondary poisoning.
Environments usually dictate the type of bait, and the active ingredient used (indoors, outdoors, food processing environment etc.). Alternative mouse control methods available such as trapping, can be effective if the level of infestation is low. It is not advised if the mouse population is more substantial.
Mice are suspected as a vector to carry the Hanta Virus.
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