The House Mouse (Mus Domesticus)

Originated in Central Asia. Believed to have been present in Britain from as early as the 9th Century.

Rodents

  • The word rodent is derived from the Latin word 'rodere' which means to gnaw.
  • Rodents gnaw with their paired incisor teeth which continually grow at a rate of about 5'' per annum.
  • Rats and mice are called commensal rodents, a term meaning they they share our homes and food.

Description

  • Adult weight: 15gram
  • Length of tail : 80-100mm (usually longer than head and body)
  • Fur, colour: Brownish grey, though may be lighter.
  • Ears, hearing: Large with some hair. Excellent sense of hearing.
  • Eyes, sight: Small eyes. Poor sight, colour blind.
  • Snout, smell and taste: Pointed.
  • Smell and taste: Excellent sense of smell and taste
  • Droppings: Scattered. Rod shaped 3-6mm long ( normally about the size of a grain of rice.)

Habitat

The House mouse lives both indoors and outdoors, and occasionally burrows. In this country they need to find shelter from cold and wet in order to survive as they soon lose their body heat. They normally enter buildings during cooler weather and make their home there. Being very good climbers and having an excellent sense of balance, means they can very quickly become established throughout buildings. Climbing walls and running along pipe work, ducting etc, allows them to explore their habitat fully. Mice can survive on a relatively poor diet as they eat only 3 to 4 grams per day and can survive without water provided their food supply contains some moisture. In an environment where food, water and warmth are present mice will normally breed rapidly if left unchecked.

Food

House mice are very inquisitive in their behaviour exploring everything they come up against. Being sporadic feeders they eat very little in each feeding session preferring to nibble a little from each food source they may find. Because mice feed in such a way their presence in food premises can be devastating -damaging, spoiling and contaminating food over a short period of time -.e.g... just one nibble from several packs of food can prove wasteful and costly as well as the added risk of food poisoning. Having vermin on your premises means you are breaking the law If it occurs on a regular basis - it can also lose you customers very quickly! PEST CONTROL CONTRACTS ensure premises are kept free from such occurrences! Mice are generally omnivorous, this means they will eat anything if they are desperate, but they do prefer cereal based foods in particular as well as canary seed, grass seed and chocolate. Surprisingly though cheese is not their favourite food as we are led to believe from certain quarters. Mice will adapt to a particular food source depending on their environment, which can sometimes create problems when laying baits. In order to encourage them to feed, the bait should have a similar base to their existing food source wherever possible.

Reproduction

There is no doubt that house mice have the potential to breed rapidly . In optimum conditions the female house mouse can become sexually mature at only six weeks old ( later where conditions are less favourable) with gestation lasting between 19 and 21 days. Mating is possible almost immediately after the birth of each litter, and in ideal conditions the female can give birth to a litter about every 25 days.

In urban environments mice can continue to breed throughout the year each producing between 6 and 10 litters containing anything up to 8 young.

Commensal house mice can live for over two years if conditions are favourable, though their average life span is about ten months.

Life Cycle

  • Average span: between 8 and 12 months.
  • Sexual maturity: six weeks.
  • Litter size: 4 to 8 offspring.
  • Reproduction rate: 6 to 8 litters per year

Reason for control

Mice have an ability to adapt themselves to almost any environment. Their great reproduction potential and their ability to survive on the minimum of food makes them extremely successful animals. Their capability in exploiting man's environment means they can in many ways cause adverse effects on our health and welfare.

Mice carry pathogenic (harmful) organisms such as Salmonella bacteria which when deposited on food preparation surfaces or on food itself can cause food poisoning.

Food which mice have been in contact with will no longer be fit for human consumption due to the possibility of contamination and needs to be destroyed.

Mice can cause serious damage to property through their constant gnawing. As well as damaging consumable and non-consumable goods, they can also cause serious fires and flooding by gnawing through wiring, cables and pipe work.

As well the nuisance factor, some people consider the presence of rats and mice as the most terrifying experience imaginable and will not tolerate them in their homes and workplace. Such occurrences can contribute to lost working days due to the effect on the health of some individuals.

Employers can soon lose employees, customers and business (rodent damage can be considerable) as well as risking possible prosecution where rodents are present in the workplace.

Control Methods

The conventional mouse trap or snap trap is a fairly straight forward piece of equipment, but there are a couple of tips which may help in its use. Placing the platform end of the trap up against a wall or solid object will certainly reduce the chances of the mouse using its lightning reflexes to escape. Baiting the trap should be done with a minimum amount of food, the less the better, it makes it more difficult for mousey to get at it. without triggering the trap. Believe it or not some experts will even advocate the 'no bait on trap' method, the theory being that the shear inquisitiveness of the mouse will lure it on to the trap - not recommended by us !

Rodenticides We believe rodenticides are the best method for controlling mice (nowadays, the majority of these being anti-coagulants) but in saying that, using a rodenticide to treat mice is a little like becoming ill. You can go to a shop and buy something you think may help, maybe you have just got a headache, and a couple of painkillers will do the trick, but supposing the pills you are taking don't resolve your problem, do you just keep taking them, or do you visit your doctor for advice in case your condition is something more serious? Buying a rodenticide may or may not resolve your problem, sometimes there is much more to dealing with mice than just putting down a pot of poison and hoping that the it does the trick -you may get it right- but if you do not your problem could get a great deal worse before it gets better. There are a number of very good rodenticides available to the general public but any particular problem may dictate which is the best one to use, and to ensure they work safely and effectively always follow the instructions supplied- and proceed with caution!. Remember you get what you pay for in this world so if in doubt call in the professionals, or at least seek their advice.

Prevention is better than cure. 'If only it was that easy!' There are, however, a number of things you can do which will reduce the chances of mice entering your property. External rodent proofing will reduce the chances of rodents entering the inside of buildings. Sealing unnecessary holes and gaps on the outside may be sufficient to send them next door. Finally should you be unfortunate enough to get a visitation - remember this- good housekeeping is the best way of making them work for survival, eliminating food and shelter reduces their chances of breeding and increases the chance of trapping or poisoning them.

 

Created by DS Creative