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Mice

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Signs of Mice

Mice are one of the most common pests affecting homes across the UK. They are known to spread diseases such as salmonella and listeria in their urine, droppings and bedding. The risk of food contamination with these pests is high due to their nature of marking their runs with urine. If you think you may have a mouse infestation, these most common signs of mice will help you know where to look.

8 Signs of Mice in your Home

1. Scratching sounds in walls or cavities

Your first step to getting a mouse-free home is to get your Sherlock Holmes hat on try and work out where the mice are getting in from. Mice only need a 5mm gap to gain Mice are often heard at night when they are most active, you may find you can hear scratching sounds from wall voids, under floorboards, basements or lofts. This is a tell-tale sign you may have mice in your home.

2. Mice Droppings

Mice will leave around 80 droppings per night. These will be small, black and a similar size to basmati rice. The most common places to find mouse droppings will be under the kitchen sink/cupboards, around boilers and in roof spaces. Droppings are one of the easiest ways to differentiate between rodents and tell whether it is in fact mice rather than rats.

mice, rice rat droppings

3. Urine pillars

Heavy infestations of mice can result in urine pillars being created. This is when grease, dirt and urine build up over time and combine into a urine pillar. These pillars can be up to 4cm high and 1cm wide. 

4. Strong Smell

Mice urinate frequently and their urine has a strong smell like ammonia. This is often one of the first signs people notice when they have a mouse infestation, particularly in the mornings. This smell can linger even after the infestation has cleared.

5. Smear Marks

Sometimes referred to as grease marks; mice will leave behind grease-like marks on walls or pipes where they are frequently using the route and rubbing against the sides. Mouse fur contains oil to keep their coats in good condition, this is mixed with the dirt in their environment and often gets transferred onto surfaces they rub against often leaving behind dark grey marks.

6. Damage to furniture or food

Mice are continually gnawing to keep their teeth from growing too long. You will often find gnaw marks on materials such as wood, carpets, pipes, electrical cables, paper and furniture. This can cause damage to your property and can be a fire hazard if left unchecked. Mice will also use their teeth to gnaw holes in boxes in order to obtain food like cereals.

mouse damage to food pest control

7. Nest

Mice will create nests using materials such as cloth, paper, and wool. You may find a nest in a roof space, under floorboards or in wall cavities. Mice will look for a location that is safe, warm and with a good source of food nearby.

8. Sightings or track prints

If you spot a mouse, especially during the daytime, this could be a signal of a heavy mouse infestation. You may also see tracks of footprints or tail marks in hard-to-reach places that have accumulated dust and dirt. 

How to get rid of mice?

If you think you have mice in your home, and you have one or more of these signs of mice, you may be wondering what to do next. Our helpful, friendly teams are here to help you at each step of your journey to a pest-free home. Contact us today at 0208 355 3443 and one of our dedicated customer service team can give you advice and book a local technician to clear your mouse infestation.

House mouse inside a house eating food

How to get rid of mice? 7 Step Guide to Mouse Control

Having mice in your home can be a very distressing and difficult time for anyone. Mice are known to carry and spread diseases such as Salmonella and Listeria through their urine, droppings and bedding. If you have noticed signs of a mouse infestation, it’s important to act quickly. Mice are prolific breeders and can have up to 12 pups each breeding cycle which can make clearing an infestation tricky. Use our 7-step guide to mouse control to help you regain control of your home and learn the best way to get rid of mice. If you’re facing a persistent mouse problem that seems impossible to tackle on your own, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional mouse exterminator.

Our 7 Step Guide to Mouse Control

1. Identify the Source of Your Mouse Problem

Your first step to getting a mouse-free home is to get your Sherlock Holmes hat on try and work out where the mice are getting in from. Mice only need a 5mm gap to gain entry, as a rule of thumb, if you can fit a pencil through the gap, a mouse can get through. It is also important to identify the pest to ensure you are in fact dealing with a house mouse. Use our helpful rodent identification tool to help. 

2. Seal holes and entry points

Prevention is better than a cure so even if you don’t have a current mouse infestation, we always recommend homeowners and tenants carry out proofing to prevent entry to mice. Sealing holes with wire wool and quick-setting cement is the most effective form of pest prevention. Proofing is a long-lasting solution for mouse control and can be undertaken at any time. Focus on low-level holes or gaps first as these are the most likely culprits for mouse ingress. If these are all sealed and you still have ongoing mice ingress then consider higher-up vents or gaps.

Mouse mesh and vent covers are well used in pest control and building maintenance, particularly in urban areas like London where pest infestations are common.

Mouse mesh, also known as wire mesh or wire netting, is a finely woven metal screen typically made from materials like stainless steel or aluminium. They are designed to prevent rodents and other pests from entering buildings through small openings such as gaps in walls, vents, or pipes. Mouse mesh is highly effective because it’s durable, resistant to corrosion.

3. Restrict access to harbourage

Mice will build nests near food sources and will mark their territory leaving a strong smell. This means removing nesting materials is important to prevent mice from making themselves comfortable in your home. Clearing overgrowth and piles of wood or debris from your garden and making sure the mice can’t access your bins will help. Ensure your bins have tight-fitting lids and there are no holes in the base.

4. Remove food sources

Mice will eat almost any human food but prefer grain-based products. Mice are reliant on food and, if necessary, can go a month or more without water by extracting water from food sources. Whilst restricting access to food and water may not kill off the mice infestation, your home will be much less inviting for the mice. Mice will eat little and often so sweeping up crumbs from the floor and under cabinets is important. 

5. Install door sweeps or bristle strips

If your external doors have a 4mm gap, it would be a good idea to have bristle strips installed to prevent mice from gaining entry through the door. 

6. Use traps

If you have mice inside your home, you will need to still use mouse traps or poison to prevent the population from growing and eradicate the infestation. We recommend for amateur use; break back traps. 

*Use of over-the-counter poisons is restricted, and we know from ongoing research that mouse populations in London and some other cities are showing resistance to traditional rodenticides making these poisons ineffective. There is also a risk of secondary poisoning of birds and other creatures if used incorrectly. 

Break-back mouse traps should be placed near the mice activity (where you have seen the mice or found droppings). Ironically, cheese is not the best bait for most mice. We find mice prefer peanut butter, nutty chocolate, raisins or similar attractive foods. 

WARNING: When placing traps be sure to place them out of reach of non-target animals, children and pets.

7. Call the professionals

We always recommend using a professional pest controller to get your problem dealt with quickly, effectively and safely. Our local technicians have vast experience in dealing with mice in homes and can support you in clearing your mouse infestation and will give you advice and recommendations to prevent future mouse ingress. Our technicians have access to commercial-grade rodenticides if necessary which are effective for mouse extermination. They are trained to ensure the baits are placed in a safe way to protect non-target species, children and pets. 

Contact us today at 0208 3553 3443 to book a technician and resolve your mouse problem once and for all

rat control London

Signs of Mice in Your Home

Do you have mice in your home? Look out for these signs of mice and be in control of your home.

Mice tend to come out when it is quiet resulting in them being more active at night. They live for around 12 months, are pregnant for only 3 weeks and a single pair can be responsible for producing hundreds of mice within one year. As they produce around eighty droppings in a day and urinate wherever they run they can soon contaminate a large area. Like rats, they have teeth that continually grow and need to gnaw to wear these down in size resulting in a lot of damage.

1. Droppings
You are likely to see dark brown droppings, approximately the size of a grain of rice. A mouse can leave up to 80 droppings a day so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of droppings. Places to check are under kitchen kick plates, in the cupboards under the sink, and in corners.

2. Smear marks
These marks are harder to identify if you are not sure what you are looking for. Smear marks are a build-up of grease, hair and body fat which a mouse will leave as they travel around. They look like dirty smears and are normally signs of a heavy or prolonged infestation.

3. Damage
Rodents have to continually chew to keep the size of their incisors down to a manageable size. This means they will chew through packaging, wood, plaster, and cables. This chewing can be a serious risk as chewing cables has resulted in fires.

4. Noise
You may hear rustling noises in the walls, under the floors or in the ceilings. Once in a property mice will travel around the building looking for food and nesting materials. They quite often use the pipework for water and gas as a run. This enables them to travel under flooring and above in ceiling voids.

5. Nests
Mice use easy-to-shred materials such as cardboard, paper and tissue to make their nests. The nests will be un-disturbed areas so if you are having a spring clear-out and come across a pile of shredded paper it could be mice.

If you think you have these signs of mice in your home then call a professional pest control company. Although you can do it yourself, a professional pest control company will help you identify the entry points to prevent re-occurrences in the future.

rats in library

Preventing mice by proofing

The best way of preventing mice is to stop them from entering the building in the first place. Mice can get through extraordinarily small holes, some not much bigger than the width of a pen. Mouse proofing is a quick and effective way to stop mice entering the building.

So how can you stop them from coming in?

The trick is to understand how mice move around a building and what is likely to attract them. Preventing mice will help reduce the risk of damage to your building.

The first thing to do is to check the outside of the building. Air vents and holes in brickwork can all be access points.  Mice can climb rough brickwork so even if the hole is above ground level there is a risk that it could be used. Block broken vents with vent covers or mesh. If using mesh make sure it is small gauge mesh.

If you are in a block or a terrace of buildings it may be that the mice are entering your building via another building in the same block.

Mice are likely to be drawn to areas where food is available. To proof these areas will mean removing kickboards and potentially appliances. Mice usually travel via the holes made for the pipework. Pipework will normally travel through the entire building and sometimes connects to other buildings. In these cases block proofing will become necessary.

If you have large holes you will probably need a builder to work in conjunction with a pest control company for the pest result. Smaller holes can be filled by your pest control company. It is better to use a specialist as they will have access to specialist materials. Mice can easily chew through expanding foam so this on its own is not usually good enough.

Mouse proofing is not as expensive as you may think and will go a long way to keep pests out. If you don’t proof then you are likely to have reoccurring problems.

For free advice on proofing contact the proofing team on 02083553443.

Beaver 24/7: Digital Rodent Monitoring

About Beaver 24/7

Beaver 24/7 is a brand new digital remote monitoring service offered by Beaver Pest Control to detect rodents quickly and efficiently. Remote monitoring uses traps connected via a network to produce alerts of rodent activity on a particular site. Expert pest professionals cannot be replaced as rodents may avoid traps and other pest problems would remain undetected, However, the technology from automated monitoring systems is invaluable for providing an alert system that works all day, 365 days a year. Together, the result is a faster response to potential infestations.

Data provided by the monitors serve as an indication to areas of significant activity across your site. When paired with a live capture trap, technician response time can be reduced enabling swift and humane rodent control. Check out our case study for more information.

Our Service

  • Electronic control of traps available 24/7 online through the portal either via desktop or app
  • In addition to your regular technical visits, Beaver 24/7 will help you comply to your required auditing standards
  • Trend mapping of site to locate problems areas for more efficient and long-lasting solutions
  • Ability to detect false-positive catches to limit unnecessary callouts resulting in potential savings
  • Non-toxic digital trapping provides intergrated and sustainable pest control solutions

Contact us today to see if Beaver 24/7 can help you maintain a pest-free environment in your workplace! Digital remote monitoring is an innovative approach to pest control that lets us sort any ingress before it becomes an infestation.

mouse control london

Humane Rodent Control

In the UK there are four species of rodents which can be commonly found within homes and gardens: the House Mouse, Wood Mouse, Yellow-Necked Mouse and Brown Rat. Though they can cause problems within dwellings, there are a number of humane rodent control methods we can use to keep your home safe.

What do they look like?

House Mice are small rodents (between 7-9cm) and can be found in dwellings any time of the year. They often range from light to dark brown shades and can be distinguished by their almost hairless tail. By comparison the Wood Mouse (also known as a Field Mouse) is slightly larger at 8-10cm. These are the mice most commonly found across the UK. They can be distinguished by their sandy brown fur, white or grey underside, very large ears and long tail. Wood Mice are not usually found in buildings, except during winter. 

Yellow-Necked Mice are restricted to rural areas in central and southern Wales and England. They are much bigger than other species of mice, ranging from 9-12cm. Despite looking similar to Wood Mice, Yellow-Neck Mice can be distinguished by a distinctive band of yellow/orange fur around the neck area, forming a bib on the chest. 

Lastly, the Brown Rat (also known as the common or sewer rat) can grow between 15-27cm. Greyish-brown in colour, they have a large, slanted head with relatively small ears and an almost hairless tail.

Humane Rodent Control

Within homes and gardens rodents are attracted to food sources and shelter. Mice and rats will eat almost anything, therefore bird seed, pet food, rubbish piles, bins and compost heaps attract these rodents. However, there are ways you can humanely deter rodents from accessing your property:

  • Reduce access to food sources by clearing away crumbs, putting away pet food at night, sealing food (particularly foods like cereal, bread, pasta and dried pet foods) and ensuring bins/food containers are rodent-proof.
  • Block holes with either a strong, quick-hardening sealant or mouse mesh. Caulk, rubber and plastic fillers won’t work as rodents can easily chew through them.
  • Rodents are deterred by smells such as peppermint and eucalyptus, therefore by soaking cotton balls in these oils and placing them at key points (under cupboards, along work surfaces, along beams) it will help to discourage rats and mice. Remember to keep replacing the oils.
  • If you feed wildlife, ensure that the food is gone by the evening as rats and mice tend to be most active at night.
  • Remove harbourage that can provide shelter to rodents such as overgrown grass or bushes, wood piles or general clutter.
  • As rats and mice are neophobic (a deep fear of new things or changes), move garden furniture or other objects around your garden; new obstacles will confuse and alarm rodents used to a ‘static habitat’.

What if I continue to have rodent problems?

Sometimes, despite taking all the right precautions, people continue to have problems with mice and rats. However there a plenty of non-toxic solutions that can be opted for in lieu of traditional baiting. At Beaver Pest Control, we practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This is a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimises economic, health, and environmental risks.

Proofing and Exclusion

The most effective use of a technician’s time is to provide proofing to close off entry points which stops pests from entering the premises. Quite often the access holes for mice and rats are hidden behind kitchen and bathroom units, but with the necessary expertise and tools, our specialist technicians can get to those difficult to reach holes.

Remote Rodent Monitoring

Remote monitoring services such as Beaver 24/7 detect rodents quickly and efficiently by using traps connected to a network to produce alerts when there is activity. As the system rely on sensors supplemented by UV tracking dust and hotspot maps, it does not require the use of toxic baiting. This reduces potential harm to non-target species.

Mechanical Trapping

Good quality break-back traps are often considered a humane form of rodent control as it kills the pest instantly, rather than prolonging any suffering. To minimise the risk to non-target animals, where possible, livestock and pets are excluded from the trapping area and the traps are set in natural or artificial tunnels. 

For further advice regarding rodents in the UK, prevention, treatments and regulations surrounding rodent control, please click here: RSPCA Living with Rats & Mice

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