An uninvited winter guest soon becomes a winter pest!
I am slightly late to the party with this newest blog post – having meant to post at the beginning of the winter months but, rather ironically, the very pest I am going to discuss is the one which has kept us so busy recently. It is of course the mouse!
Small and furry – some may think they are endearing whilst others hate them however, regardless of your feelings towards these tiny intruders, the fact remains that they are incredibly destructive and are considered a public health risk.
Throughout the cold, wet winter months mice are drawn to the warm comfort of our homes, sheds, out houses and offices. This can cause many problems. For example, as mice are incontinent they pose a significant hygiene risk, especially when they gain access to kitchen, canteen and other food preparation areas. Mouse droppings are often the first sign of a problem for many. Mouse droppings are small, typically pointed at each end and dark in colour and several droppings are usually found within the one area. Mouse urine and faeces harbour various bacteria and disease such as salmonella, listeria and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) to name a few. They often build nests near to food sources which puts anyone in the vicinity at risk of food poisoning and illness.
Mice are also very destructive as they are sporadic feeders with continuously growing incisor teeth which means they feed from multiple sources and they will also gnaw at various items to keep their teeth at a reasonable length. This results in widespread damage to furnishings, stored items, wood, plastic, cardboard and anything else you can think of. Most dangerously, they will happily gnaw at pipework and cables which can lead to serious damage and in turn presents a serious flood and fire risk.
Many people are surprised to find out that mice can squeeze through an exceptionally small area of 5mm which means they can gain access to your homes and offices through the smallest gaps and cracks.
It is always advisable to ensure good housekeeping both inside and outside by keeping food items (including pet and animal feed) stored in air-tight containers and bins and compost heaps securely covered. You should also consider removing potential nesting sites such as stacks of firewood or overgrown garden areas.
If you discover you have a mouse problem it is imperative you deal with the issue promptly as mice breed rapidly. You can purchase traps and poison from various hardware stores and supermarkets however we would advise you to be exceptionally careful when using such items around children and pets without professional guidance.
When dealing with a mouse problem, we undertake a full risk assessment of the infested area and the circumstances prior to any treatment being implemented to ensure that the safest and most effective method is always utilised for our clients. We also provide proofing advice on your specific premise to help guard against future invaders.
Some properties, especially older properties, may find that it is physically impossible to proof against these cunning pests and in such cases we can provide a rolling pest control programme to monitor and manage any issues which may arise.
We hope you are staying safe, well and pest free this winter. If you have any issues please get in touch and we would be happy to discuss matters with you.
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