What do they look like?

The mouse found commonly in buildings is the house mouse. The fur colour varies between light brown and grey. Body length varies between 60-90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. Often the droppings found are black, rod-shaped and 3-6mm long.

Where do they live?

The house mouse can be found in a wide range of urban and rural buildings, although it may live for part of the year outdoors. Mice live in nests, which are often built inside houses, especially during the winter. Nests are built wherever there is access to a good source of food. Spaces under the floor and lofts are favoured places for nests, which are built out of cloth, wool and paper. Mouse holes are normally 20-30mm in diameter. Mice are mainly active at night and can be heard running about as they search for food. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm.

What do they eat?

 Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything. Most of the damage they do is by gnawing and ripping open packets. They also foul food with urine and droppings. Mice will gnaw their way through wood to get to sources of food.

Why are they pests?

Mice numbers need to be controlled because: They eat and can contaminate all types of food. They can damage and destroy property They carry diseases that are hazardous to both humans and animals. Diseases include typhus, trichinosis, and jaundice (Weils disease)

 How can I tell whether my house is infested with mice?

Signs of a mouse infestation can include the presence of droppings, footprints in damp soil or dust, and burrows in the ground. Indications of an infestation can include signs of gnawing.

How can I get rid of mice?

It is important to get rid of mice quickly before they damage pipe cables and insulation. Exterminator Pest Control provides a pest control service for the treatment of mice in domestic properties, but it is also possible to carry out the work yourself.

To get rid of mice yourself you should do either of the following:

Set traps

 ... break-back traps may be used and these should be placed next to walls where mice tend to travel

 ... the trap should be baited with chocolate, biscuit or cereal use several traps and examine them daily, removing dead mice as soon as they are discovered

 ... all traps should be handled with care

Lay poison

... mouse poison can be bought from hardware stores and most garden centres. Always select the most suitable type

... put the poison in a safe and secure place to ensure children and pets cannot get to it and eat it

... wash hands after use

 Note: when using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.

How can I prevent an infestation?

• Accumulations of waste materials and rubbish can attract rodents and makes a warm home. Ensure all waste - especially food waste - is disposed of promptly and appropriately.

• Stored materials should ideally be at least 18 inches off the ground to make access harder and identification of an infestation easier. Products should also be kept away from walls.

• Food and food waste should be stored in sealed containers, including compost bins.