House mice, as indicated by the name, have always had a close link with man. These fury creatures live in nests, which are often built in homes especially in the winter months. Our comfortable houses provide mice with the three essential elements they need to survive – food, water and warmth.
House mice breed fairly rapidly throughout the year, producing between 5 and 10 litters each of between 4-8 young, so you can see how you would soon have a worrisome pest control problem. Their body length is between 6.5 – 10 cm. They generally have brown-grey fur with lighter under parts.
There are many reasons why we do not wish to share our home with house mice, predominately:
- Food contamination – mice will contaminate their environment with urine, droppings and hair.
- Damage to property – may cause fire hazard by gnawing through cables.
- Health risk – Serious health risk including Typhus, Jaundice and Salmonella.
If there is any doubt as to whether you have a pest control problem, there are a few signs that can be observed:
- Mouse droppings – may be found in places where you store your food, like drawers and cupboards. May also be found in mouse runs, for example along beams, tops of walls, or behind sinks.
- Signs of nests – may find balls of shredded paper, fabric or furniture stuffing. These may be discovered under dressers, behind kitchen appliances or inside furniture.
- Nibbled food or food boxes
- Evidence of gnawing – mice will gnaw just about anything. Their teeth grow continuously therefore in an effort to keep them short you may find gnaw marks on hard materials such as chair legs!
- Odour – In a closed-up room you may detect a strong musty smell
- Scratching sound – Mice are normally most active at night. You may hear scratching sounds in the walls or ceilings but may never actually see anything unless you have a particularly large infestation.
There are various ways to get rid of mice which can be found in the marketplace today. Traditional mouse traps, although undoubtedly effective, can cause injury and therefore unnecessary suffering to the animal. Various poisons are also available but similarly these cause suffering to the animal an can also be a hazard to family pets and children if accidentally digested.
Humane mouse traps provide a way to get rid of mice without causing injury so that they can be released in the wild away from the home. These have the added bonus that you do not have to handle the animal or come in contact with it in any way! It should be noted that obviously these are live animal traps and do need to be checked often otherwise they stop being humane traps and become instruments of torture.