When heading into the kitchen for a late-night snack, you catch sight of the dreaded tail slipping beneath the counter. You take a deep breath, tell yourself it’s only one tiny mouse. Shrug and go back to bed.
A week later and you are finding droppings in your cutlery drawer and a baby mouse curled up in your wine glass – it’s official, the rodents have taken over.
For centuries mice have been invading homes across the world, often creeping in when the weather changes and they want somewhere warm to nest.
While softer souls may feel tempted to let these squatters stay - mice and rodents can cause chaos in the home.
Mice are smart, sassy, and breed at an alarming rate – they are also super resourceful, they will tear your place apart to make a bed and find food, and getting on top of the problem can quickly spiral into an endless battle.
A mouse in the house may seem harmless, but these fuzzy creatures carry disease, chew electrical wires, steal insulation, and won’t think twice about urinating on all your stuff.
In short, a mouse problem is exactly that - a problem, and any unsuspecting home can fall victim to an invasion of the four-legged kind.
Green thumbed homeowners may find that while the mice steer clear of the house, they have set up camp in the garden. From the flowerbeds to the vegetable patch, or even the dry warmth of the garage and shed – the garden offers plenty of prime real estate for a gang of mice.
Early morning and late at night are the most common times to catch sight of these courtyard creepers. You may also find signs in the cold light of day – teeth marks in your pumpkins, nibble holes in your lettuce, or chunks missing from your corn.
They make burrows in your woodpile and the scent attracts foxes and other predators who come in for the hunt – causing even more damage to your carefully cultivated lawn.
Not only are mice havoc wreaking for your plants and vegetables, but when the winter creeps in – you can be sure that the mice will find their way into the warmth of your home, opening a whole new Pandora’s box of problems.
While mice in the home and garden can turn into a riot, the sight of them in offices and commercial space is most certainly bad for business. With plenty of commercial spaces linked by pipes and cables – these places become highways for mice to travel from destination to destination.
Once in your space, they go to work – happily munching through your precious firewire cables, rummaging in the tea cupboard, and defecating on your keyboard. Even worse, if you are in a business that deals with food and drink, before you know it – environmental health could be banging down your door.
From losing work before you have had the chance to hit save, to colleagues catching nasty diseases – if you have rodents running around your commercial or office space – this is not the time to bury your head in reports.
We may have been naming and shaming the humble mouse, but he is not the only culprit in our cause. The one to send a shiver down your spine is the dreaded rat. Still carrying the bad name from delivering the plague – wild rats are the last lodger you want inside your home.
The most common rat in the UK is the Norwegian or brown rat. These larger than life rodents can grow up to 25cm not including the tail, and they will eat just about anything. While the plague days may be over, rats can still carry shudder worthy parasites and nasty diseases such as ringworm and Weil’s disease.
These rats can climb, swim, and love to gnaw on anything in sight to keep their long teeth in check. They also start producing babies at as little as 6 weeks and are capable of throwing out five litters a year. With between 6-14 babies in each litter, the numbers quickly spiral out of control.
The house mouse is another common foe for homeowners. As the name suggests, these critters like to stay and play indoors. The house mouse is something of a magician and can squeeze itself through a hole of less than a quarter inch. The house mouse likes to rampantly breed; often delivering a litter of 5-7 pups almost 10 times a year.
Countryside dwellers may stumble across the wood mouse in their garden. These little creatures are small and chunky with large eyes and ears. While they often set up shop in hedgerows and gardens, they are fickle beings simply searching a spot that offers the most food and warmth.
Even though the little mouse can be stealth, it cannot remove all traces of its stay. The first sign you have a problem is when you catch a glimpse of the furry ninjas coasting through your home. Don’t just depend on your eyes to do the detective work – things that go bump in the night can often mean a mouse invasion. You can sometimes hear them scuttling in the walls, clashing through the cupboards, and sometimes an occasional squeak will erupt.
Another sign of a small rodent invasion is the droppings. Mice will leave a hint of their existence in the form of small dark droppings wherever they have wandered. Take a close look in the pantry, the cupboards and the cutlery drawer. Newly formed droppings will be shiny, whereas older droppings will be dry and crumbly – helping you to identity whether you are dealing with a fresh problem or an old hand.
Next use your detective work to seek out gnaw marks – often found on food packaging and parts of the wall. Another telltale sign will be ripped up food wrappers. Shredded paper can also be a sign of a nest.
Active infestations may also have a nose wrinkling odor of musty unpleasantness.
You can check for mice in their favorite hiding spaces. Mice love to make a home in the loft and eaves. They will carry stashed fabrics up into the roof to make their bed and duck down in the night to search for food. They can also be found chilling out behind kitchen appliances – the back of the fridge has the same real estate value as a two-bed apartment for a mouse. They like to be close to pipes where they can scurry in and out at will. Cavity walls are another firm favorite, especially if they feel out of sight. Check closely all your small crawl spaces, suspended ceilings, airing cupboards and under the stairs.
The sight of a mouse darting through your house may not seem like time to panic, but it is a sign of bad times ahead. Mouse infestations are best dealt with quickly and effectively before the damage is done. Mice can cause structural damage to your home – they love to burrow through walls and steal insulation- in short, they can take your wall apart to set up their own comfortable stay.
They don’t just stop at walls either – wood, paper, cloth – whatever they can get their little paws on. They don’t care if that’s your precious antique tablecloth or the script for your new novel.
Mice will also chow down on insulation around wiring, which leads to a fire hazard within your walls. Speaking of wires, they may also build their nests in major electrical appliances which can lead to short circuiting your system.
Not only will a mouse happily destroy your home without a second thought, but they also aren’t polite enough to be toilet trained. Everywhere they go they leave a trail of urine and fecal droppings- across the floor, kitchen surfaces, cupboards, plates, food and upholstery. With this, they leave a scent that sends a message to other mice to come on in. This is where you run the risk of also spreading disease and getting sick.
It’s not a pretty picture. The mouse comes into your house, tears it apart to make a bed, steals all your food – leaving traces of salmonellosis behind, and then gets to work making babies. Before you know it – there’s a full-blown riot on your hands.
So, we’ve painted a vivid image of life with a mouse infestation – time to skip the horror and go straight to the solution. One of the most common methods for flushing out a mouse problem comes in the form of poison. If the word makes you wince, it should. Poison – while effective, is far from the most humane way.
A mouse can take 4 days to die after ingesting poison and there is a great deal of suffering involved. After ingesting poison, a mouse will crawl away to die, usually within your walls making it difficult to dispose of the aftermath. As time passes, unpleasant odors start to seep through and there is little you can do but wait for them to fade.
Pet owners may also feel uncomfortable with the idea of poison as it can potentially pose a threat to their beloved fur babies, through accidental ingestion or secondary poisoning. Fortunately, there is another solution…
At Project Multi Pest we employ a swift, safe and highly effective method for ridding your home of mice without the trauma. We believe in dealing with the problem as fast and kindly as possible, to reduce the suffering that poison can cause. Our method uses a combination of well trained dogs and traps to flush out the problem.
Our two beautiful dogs, a Parson’s Jack Russell called Gracie and a Parson’s Jack Russell mix called Monty have both been trained to the highest standard in the art of rodent hunting.
Monty and Gracie can flush the rodents out of the walls and cleanly dispatch of them in seconds, making our service one of the most humane ways to clear an infestation. Both dogs have lovely natures and are safe around children and other animals.
We cover areas all around Kent, the charming seaside locale where we live. Being beside the sea means we raise happy healthy dogs who enjoy a wonderful balance and business and play.
If you suspect your home may have fallen victim to a mouse invasion, then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us a line.
You can contact us via email or telephone to discuss your needs, and together we can put together a plan of action.