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“Where do Mice come from?” – Terminix UK
How long have mice been a pest species in the UK?
With rodent infestations in the UK continuing to grow, we wondered have mice always been in the UK?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the UK and the rest of the world we are seeing the impact of rodent call outs increasing – Terminix UK have seen an increase about 15% up on rodent call outs on 2019.
House mice, like most pest species, are readily able survive and thrive on the food of humans, and being able to live comfortably within our homes, vehicles, and places of work. It makes sense therefore to assume that as humans started to travel more extensively around the globe, so did the mice.
A look back through history and it is evident that the house mouse did not widely spread into Europe until the Iron Age period where it is understood that at this time they started to migrate through the Mediterranean and Western Europe.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the first settlements of any size in the UK were in southern England, and the emergence of later settlements being further north with the arrival of Roman towns. Interestingly, studies carried out on the DNA taken from mice across the UK today confirm a similar pattern of settlement which demonstrates their dependence on humans to be able to form a viable population.
Considering that Britain has had a complex history over the past 3,000 years with both Viking and Roman invasions, it is no wonder that DNA from British mice enable us to trace their origins to similar periods and regions of colonisation.
DNA tests show we have two different mice origins in the UK . Firstly mice whose origins are linked to those also discovered in Germany in the Iron Age and the second which are mainly in Orkney Isles, Northern Scotland and Ireland, came much later with the Vikings- nicknamed the Orkney mice.
Having been in the Britain now for over 2,000 years it is evident that they are very adaptable and have changed with the times. They are very capable of seeking and making the best of opportunities and have adapted their behaviour to enable them to invade our homes and get access to our food.
They will readily exploit any food source, breed quickly, live in any number of different harbourages, and move around by running, climbing, and swimming (you could say they build their own army of mice to invade homes and businesses alike). Something they learned from the Iron age travellers and the Vikings that brought them to our shores many years ago?
A sustainable food source, and suitable shelter is all mice need to thrive, so if you want to stop the march of an army of mice from getting in to your premises then you need to do the following:
- Cut off their supplies, by removing any food sources i.e. Clean up any spillage and make sure food is kept in sealed plastic containers (an adult mouse only needs 3 grams of food a day to survive)!
- Batten down the hatches, i.e. stop them gaining access – seal holes, gaps, and close door behind you. Gaps underneath the base of doors are a particularly common ingress point for mice.
Call for back up
It requires a skilled and battle-hardened pest controller who understands rodent behaviour to achieve fast and effective control should you ever become invaded by mice.
Terminix UK are on hand to provide you the support you need to identify any problems and provide solutions to resolve them quickly.
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