Hidden highways for mice

Thinkstock79167086mouse-keyboardMice and rats will not discriminate; any business, whatever its size or location can be vulnerable to the activities of these rodents. Architects and engineers will design buildings for people, not for mice or rats – yet these are tenacious creatures, who make the most of any opportunities available.

Things such as false floors, cable passages, ceiling vents, dry risers, internet ducts, suspended ceilings and even routing wires, can all serve as hidden areas and “rodent highways”, particularly for mice, enabling them to gain easy access into a property and it gives them the ability to spread quietly (from floor to floor, building to building) unseen, unheard and the signs of mice can go undetected.

Any building with nooks and crannies, forgotten debris under desks, stacks of papers and left over crumbs from desk lunches, snacks and unfinished Birthday cakes left lying around overnight will entice mice. You can also have the smartest looking and efficient office, shop or business premise with ergonomic chairs, inspiring interior design and state of the art equipment, but inquisitive mice will still nibble crumbs on desks or floors and gnaw corners of furniture and potentially cabling too.

Mice have flexible skeletons, so they only need a gap the width of a pen or pencil, to be able to squeeze through and sneak into buildings. They also have the advantage of not necessarily needing to drink water, unless their food source is particularly dry, and even then they only need up to 3ml of water a day – a few drips from a leaky tap. Mice are known to be inquisitive, wanting to investigate new areas and objects in their environment. They will sample anything of interest as they forage for food, nibbling in up to 30 different locations during one night’s sporadic feeding even though they only need around 3g of food each day.

ThinkstockPhotos-525023417While feeding and exploring mice will leave behind ‘dabs’ of urine everywhere, using the odours contained within the urine to communicate to other mice within the group. Mice will also randomly deposit around 50 – 80 droppings during a night as they move from one feeding spot to another. Faeces and urine from mice contain pathogens that spread diseases such as Salmonella, Lyme disease and Hantavirus. These pathogens can easily be spread throughout premises through contact with urine or faeces or inadvertent consumption of contaminated food or water. A professional pest disinfection service can effectively treat areas affected by a rodent infestation to remove these pathogens once the infestation has been controlled.

To get rid of an infestation of mice everyone in the premises needs to co-operate, from premises management and building occupants to the pest control professionals. Managing, preventing and deterring mice from a property will require:

  • Food waste – to be emptied every evening and rubbish stored in sturdy bins with tight fitting lids. Avoid storing food in desk draws and use sturdy containers to store food stuffs in canteen or kitchen areas.
  • Keep tidy – remove debris and accumulated items stored in ‘out of the way’ corners, so that mice do not have locations in which to nest and materials with which to build them.
  • Mice proofing premises - seal any holes and gaps that mice could use to enter. You will need to identify any gaps located higher up the building, or on your rooftop, not just those near the ground, as mice are agile climbers.
  • Mouse monitoring – routine inspections of the building by qualified pest control professionals will help with early identification of a potential pest problem, so swift action can be taken to prevent it spreading.

mouse-radar-bait-freeAn alternative solution you might briefly consider is an office cat. They may sit on your keyboard and purr contentedly, whether they actually catch any mice, or prefer to eat the left-over cake and biscuits maybe difficult to tell. If you decide that investing in an office cat is not a practical option for your premises then there are effective solutions such as the RADAR mouse trap. A bait-free, humane mouse trap, it is the perfect option for areas where the use of rodenticide bait is not an option.

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