Despite their cute and fluffy appearance, a mouse infestation in your property is nothing to be enjoyed or encouraged. Similar in many ways to their cousin rodent, the rat, mice can cause significant damage through their gnawing and spread disease and parasites with ease. A feral mouse is a very different thing to a domesticated pet mouse and the impact on your health and property can be significant.
For commercial property and business owners, a mouse infestation is very bad news and can be disastrous, not only in terms of costs, damage and potential fines, but also in terms of your reputation – often the most important thing for any business. It is also important to consider the health hazards – all rodents and especially mice and rats carry flea, ticks and other parasites in addition to be carriers for numerous viruses and bacteria like Salmonella, E.Coli and Cryptosporidium. All of these can have serious harmful effects on the health of your staff and customers.
Mice have become a very common pest in the UK, especially in larger cities such as Manchester, and are well adapted to living amongst humans. Like rats, they thrive in human conditions and can be found anywhere they can find food and shelter from the cold and wet. Mice are prolific breeders and an infestation left unchecked can quickly spiral out of control as their numbers increase.
There are two main species of mouse found in homes – the most common is the house mouse, usually quite small and grey furred, found in cities, towns and villages. More rural areas may also find the orange-brown wood mouse. All mice have large ears and furred tails and are markedly smaller than rats.
Mice have excellent hearing but poor eyesight and whilst they prefer grain or cereal based foods, they will eat anything and will graze from a variety of sources and locations. They are naturally inquisitive and excellent climbers and will explore their surroundings. Mice are usually most active at night however you may spot some activity during the day. Due to their small size, mice can live in almost any available space but will naturally look for spaces under floors, in cavity walls or in lofts and attics. As excellent climbers, they will use pipes, walls and ducting to move around and spread throughout a property but will try to nest near food and water sources. They can cause extensive damage to wiring with their sharp teeth.
So what should you be looking for if you think you have a mice problem here in Manchester or Cheshire?
Well, there are 5 main signs to look for:
Noises. Scratching, nibbling, scrabbling and squeaking sounds coming from inside walls, under floorboards and behind furniture.
Droppings. They may be small, but mice produce a lot of droppings. In just a single day, an average adult mouse can produce around 50-75 pellets. Droppings tend to be concentrated around their nesting site, so if you see a lot of them in a small area the chances are you are close to the source of the infestation.
Evidence of gnawing. Mice gnaw constantly in order to keep their teeth sharp and to prevent them from growing too large. You’ll be able to spot holes in boxes, notches in furniture or skirting boards and damage to wires and walls as soon as mice are present in your premises.
Strong smell of ammonia. Mice will urinate as they move around rather than leaving puddles behind. This trail or urine, mixed with fur and dirt from their bodies, will leave dark smears along walls and skirting boards where mice travel frequently and will have a strong smell of ammonia, which will grow the closer you are to their nest.
To build their nests, mice will rip apart soft materials and shred them. In your premises, this could mean tearing holes out of furniture cushions or destroying other soft furnishings like carpets and curtains.
We know it can be tempting to try and deal with this problem yourself, but please do not try to clean up mouse faeces, urine or nesting material without the right equipment and training, or without getting professional advice. Contact with feral mice can cause potentially life-threatening infections and diseases such as Leptospirosis. Whilst you can purchase over-the-counter mouse poisons and traps, these are not always 100% effective and due to the time involved in using them can often cause an increase in the size of the problem. Contacting us as soon as possible will allow our trained technicians to begin treating the infestation quickly and efficiently.
So if you are in the Manchester or Cheshire areas and think you have a mouse problem, contact Manchester Pest Services as soon as possible and let a highly trained expert assess and resolve your problem once and for all.