Generally the mouse
species that can cause problems in the UK is the House Mouse.
Other species such as the
Wood Mouse and Field Mouse sometimes enter houses, but
are more common in sheds
and garages. .
Mouse (Mus domesticus)
The Mouse’s colouring can
vary, but is usually brown or grey with a light underside. The ears
are large in comparison to
the body and the tail is slightly shorter than the body length and is
thinner than a rat’s tail.
Total length including the tail is up to 90mm. The house mouse
usually lives for less
than a year but is sexually mature at 2 – 3 months old and can breed
every 28 days with between
4 – 8 young per litter.
Mice share some
characteristics with rats, such as having to gnaw to keep their teeth down
so they can damage things
like wiring. However they are much smaller than rats, being able
to squeeze through a gap
of only 6mm. This makes it easy for them to spread throughout a
building. They are not
associated with sewerage systems.
Mice can get most of the
moisture they need from their food, so they are not as dependent on
water as the Brown Rat.
They are also quite tolerant of low temperatures and they can even
survive in cold stores.
Mice can contaminate
foodstuffs through their droppings, and they also constantly urinate.
They are also carriers of
disease. They have a tendency to nibble at food objects, causing a
lot of damage. Unlike
Brown Rats, the House Mouse will readily explore new objects and
areas after an initial
period of investigation, although their interest in new things generally
doesn’t last too long.
Mice are good climbers but
are not keen swimmers although they will swim if necessary.
They spend a considerable
amount of time on personal grooming.
· Mouse droppings
are smaller than those of the Brown Rat. They are dark in colour
and are approximately the
size of a grain of rice.
can be seen where mice have been running through dust or spilt flour.
· Mice will
brush their fur against objects they have been running close to, and dark,
greasy ‘smears’ can
sometimes be seen.
· Damage to
packets of food, electrical cables, woodwork. Shredded paper used for
nesting can also be found.
· Any areas
where evidence of mice is found must be free from all food sources. This
will involve the thorough
cleaning of all food equipment and surfaces, including floors
where food debris may have
· Make sure
that foodstuffs are positioned where mice can’t reach them and if
necessary store them in
lidded, preferably metal containers.
· Make sure
any gaps where mice could get in to your home are repaired. Remember
mice are small and only
need a gap of around 6mm to enter. As a guide a mouse
could get through a gap in
which you can fit a biro type pen. For gaps under doors
use a brush/bristle door