House and Field Mice

About House and Field Mice in Great Britain

Mice, love them or hate them they can be a real nuisance and a health risk pest, causing damage to food, furnishings and the fabric of buildings whilst carrying and spreading various pathogens, helped by the fact that they urinate almost constantly as they move through your property. Here are a few facts that will help you have an awareness of their presence in your property.

Identify the type of mouse I have?

Wood Mouse: Large Eyes, ears and hind feet with a longish tail and the tell-tale yellowish mark on their chest. They tend to stay in gardens and woodland areas but also in sand banks etc. Mainly Nocturnal.

House Mouse: Smaller eyes but large ears, pointed nose Browny Grey in colour. Found in most areas and are more active after dark.

Harvest Mouse: Quite small with hairy ears colour is a Golden Brown with a white underbelly. Found in fields along the margins, in reed beds and in grassy meadows.

Dormouse: Characteristically attractive with a short nose, large eyes, and bushy tail with light brown fur and pale under-body. Often found in hedgerows and woodland. Renowned for its hibernation during Autumn to Spring.

Yellow Necked Wood Mouse: Large red/ brown furred Mouse with large ears and hind feet, also often has a yellow/cream band across chest and normally nocturnal in habit.

How do I know if I have mice?

The first indication of the presence of Mice is often a sighting of one running across the floor, droppings on a work top, chewed cardboard, wiring or clothes etc. Droppings are 3 to 6 mm in length, they are granular in shape and dark in color and often found near chewed cardboard, in drawers and close to damaged electrical wiring. Do not confuse mouse droppings with with Bat droppings which will often be found in attics, they are generally in large amounts, often in a line along the middle of the attic floor, they are similar to Mouse droppings but longer and often accompanied by the presence of moth, fly and butterfly wings.

Do Mice carry germs and disease?

Yes, Salmonella, Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Tapeworms are just some of the diseases that may be carried by mice, although may sound quite alarming it is not a bad thing to be aware of these threats to human health, understanding that good standards of housekeeping go a long way in protecting you and your family.

How many Mice will I have?

You will have anywhere from a couple to a couple of hundred! House mice are able to breed throughout the year, producing between 5 and 10 litters each of approximately 5 to 8 young (that’s one mouse producing up to 80 young per year).

What do Mice eat?

They will feed on almost anything, but prefer cereal-based foods such as biscuits, rice, pasta, pet foods etc.

How long do Mice Live?

Mice live up to 18 months.

Do Mice bite?

Certainly do but not enough to inflict a particularly painful wound.

Can I stop Mice getting in my house?

Considering the extremely small gaps they can get through and their ability to climb and chew through nearly anything It is almost impossible to totally mouse proof your property but checking for holes in vents, unsealed old pipe runs holes your property and sealing or covering with mesh will help your cause as will your housekeeping standards such as cleaning up excess bird food, general waste and other rubbish, keep all food products, animal or human in sealed containers.

How can I identify Mouse droppings?

Droppings are approximately 3 to 6 mm in length, they are granular in shape and black in color. They can be found nearly anywhere including in bedroom and kitchen drawers, in airing cupboards, garages, loft spaces etc etc. Mice have 5 to 10 litters a year and breed throughout the year. The young are born blind and without fur they are weaned at around 20 days. The females reach sexual maturity at about six weeks and males at about eight, but can start to breed as early as five weeks.

How to trap Mice

There are many types of trap on the market and all have varying degrees of success depending on the location they are placed in, patterns of activity, preferred food source etc. You can bait the traps with almost anything and even with no bait as it is often a case of relying on the mouse actually running over the traps, check the traps regularly to ensure that no live mice remain in them. Ultimately it is quite difficult to totally eradicate a mouse infestation without the use of rodenticides.

Poisoning and which products should I use to kill Mice

When using rodenticides for the control of mice extreme care should always be taken, and we would always recommend the services of a professional pest controller as rodenticides are very dangerous to children and pets when not used correctly.

Mice and children

Some people consider mice to be sweet little creatures, some consider them to be a health threat and some have a real phobia to them. Like all things an awareness of the dangers is never a bad thing and our children are our first concern and often most susceptible to the negative side of the animal ie the passage of Salmonella causing gastroenteritis, Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Tapeworms.

Mice and your pets

Pets are sometimes susceptible to similar things that humans are so again, housekeeping is essential in the protection of your pets.

What Organic Child & Pet safe products can I use to get rid of Mice

This is not generally a viable method of control, there are many products on the market such as Sonic Mouse Deterrents that plug in to the wall socket and emit a high frequency sound, Sprays, Dusts, Granular Formulations etc. We have tried and tested these and found all of them to be ineffective and there is no proof that any of have the claimed effect so usually a waste of money.

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