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Mice Fact Sheet

Pest biology

There are two principle species of mice that invade buildings: the house mouse, which is more prevalent in urban areas; and the wood mouse that is more common in rural areas. They can both survive without free water to drink so long as there is some moisture in the food. They will eat a wide variety of foods. Wood mice will hoard food whereas house mice search daily. Mice reach sexual maturity within six weeks of birth, and they can produce a litter of up to 12 offspring around every 3 weeks; so an infestation can rapidly escalate out of control.

Key Facts

  • Mice like to nest in protected areas such as underneath cupboards, in wall cavities and lofts, and in undisturbed stored goods and possessions
  • They are active at night, but they rarely travel more than 20 feet from their nest
  • As they are able to collapse their ribs, mice can squeeze through gaps just 6mm high X 9.5mm wide
  • They are excellent climbers and can scale relatively smooth walls

Problems they cause

Mice like to feed on little bits of food from multiple locations, so they damage and contaminate a lot more food than they actually eat. They are a public health hazard as they can transmit pathogenic organisms such as Salmonella bacteria and Hantavirus to foods and surfaces.

Mice need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth in good condition. They like to gnaw on materials such as PVC electric cables and can expose the wires, leading to risk of shorts and fires. And they can do a lot of damage to stored possessions as they shred materials to make their nests.

Commercial control methods

  • A skilled pest control technician will identify species and determine areas of infestation
  • The technician will advise on hygiene measures that will be needed to help eliminate the infestation and proofing methods necessary to prevent access to the building or to harbourage areas
  • Traps and/or rodenticide will be employed at strategic points within areas of activity to kill the mice. A succession of visits might be needed to monitor and reset traps/top up rodenticide
  • On completion of the treatment, the technician will advise on housekeeping measures to help you prevent future infestations

What you can do to help

  • Seal up the most common entry points like gaps around pipes, cables and underneath doorways
  • Make sure pet foods are not left out overnight to attract rodents
  • Store possessions in stout containers to minimise the likelihood of mouse infestation


Mouse damaging cables

Mouse damaging concrete