What do they look like?
The common mouse found in buildings is the house mouse. The fur colour varies between light brown and grey. Body length varies between 60 - 90mm and the tail can add an additional 100mm. Often, the droppings found are black, rod-shaped and 3 - 6mm long.
Where do they live?
Mice live in nests, which are often built inside houses, especially during the winter. Nests are built wherever there is access to a good source of food. Spaces under floors and lofts are favoured places for nests, which are built out of cloth, wool and paper.
Mouse holes are normally 20 - 30mm in diameter. Mice are mainly active at night and can be heard running about as they search for food.
Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm.
What do they eat?
Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything. Most of the damage they do is by gnawing and ripping open packets. They also foul food with urine and droppings. Mice will gnaw their way through wood to get to sources of food.
How can I get rid of mice?
It is important to get rid of mice quickly, before they damage pipes, cables and insulation. It is possible to carry out the work yourself.
To get rid of mice you should do either of the following:
1. Set traps
- Break-back traps may be used and these should be placed next to walls where mice tend to travel.
- The trap should be baited with chocolate, biscuit or cereal.
- Use several traps and examine them daily, removing dead mice as soon as they are discovered.
- All traps should be handled with care.
2. Lay poison
- Mouse poison can be bought from hardware stores and most garden centres. Always select the most suitable type.
- Put the poison in a safe and secure place to ensure children and pets cannot get to it and eat it.
- Wash hands after use.
- When using pesticides always follow the instructions on the label.