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Mice Problem

The house mouse is one of the most common pests found in the United Kingdom. Classed as a rodent, mice often live comfortably with humans and can spread disease through urination, droppings and foodstuffs. They are excellent climbers, and can swim if necessary but they do tend to avoid water when possible. They are primarily nocturnal creatures, preferring to move around in the dark using their acute hearing and excellent sense of smell.

By nature, mice are inquisitive and investigative. They are always looking for new sources of food and habitats. Mice can live comfortably both indoors and outdoors. They do favor warmer conditions but have been known to nest outside even during the winter months. Mice often contaminate fields, crops, and agricultural areas devastating gardens and polluting farmland. Mice are also a dangerous indoor pest causing considerable damage to any manner of buildings including offices, homes, barns, and other properties. They like to nest under woodpiles, in old appliances left outside, under buildings, in and around garbage bins, in wall insulation, under kitchen counters, or even in the small gaps in between walls.

Mice are capable of reproducing as early as 6-weeks old, and with a litter size of up to 16, and a life expectancy of 9-12 months, they can reach very large numbers in a short period of time. They live in large groups and it is often the case that where there is one mouse, there is likely to be many more.

In order to prevent their teeth from getting too long, mice need to constantly gnaw. Their very sharp teeth are capable of gnawing through wood, walls, doors, furniture, and electrical cables making them a potential flooding and fire hazard. Mice will eat almost anything, often gnawing through a wooden cupboard or door only to continue eating anything not sealed in an airtight container. Even so, mice are capable of chewing through cardboard, plastic, and many other food containers making prevention absolutely necessary for homeowners. They favor dried foods such as cereals, pasta, bread, and biscuits but do not underestimate their scope; they will eat anything that is available to them.

Mice are particularly dangerous as they contaminate everything they come in contact with through their droppings, urine, and fur. Mice do not have an efficient bladder control function and urinate almost constantly. They harbor diseases such as Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasmosis, to name only a few. They also produce very dangerous allergens for asthma sufferers, allergy sufferers, and pregnant women.

Mice populations are typically controlled through the use of traps, rodenticides (poision), bait blocks, and pest repellants (chemical or electronic). It is important to determine the scale of the infestation in order to control the population effectively. It may be necessary to use several types of pest control in one space to effectively reduce the numbers. Trapping poses several advantages as the results are quick and immediate, present a safer option to poison, and dead rodents can be easily disposed of in a trash container with a tight-fitting lid. Baiting may be appropriate when there is a large infestation or the mice have nested somewhere that is not accessible to traps. When baiting, be sure to take into consideration areas where small children, pets, or other animals may be present as rodenticides may present a danger to them. If you are using a baiting device, it national law to use tamper-resistant bait stations where it they may present a human health hazard.

The 1949 Prevention of Damage by Pests Act requires that all local authorities keep their districts free from rodents. The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 and Food Safety Act of 1990 also require that all work premises be kept free of all health hazards including those caused by mice. The British Pest Control Association considers the preservation of the public health of utmost importance and provides as many options as possible for rodent control. The BPCA Code of Practice requires the quick and humane disposal of pest rodents.

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