Although small, mice can cause enormous issues for property owners. The key, as with all pest control programs is to prevent initial ingress, restrict their ability to breed, react quickly to remove individuals and ensure monitoring and recording systems are in place to comply with regulations and help focus resources.
Below are 10 easy steps to take to protect your home or business from the negative impacts mice can have.
1. Check and seal gaps around pipes. Mice can squeeze through the smallest of gaps, anything wider than 6mm, approximately the diameter of a pen! Sealing gaps around cables, pipes, gaps in mortar and air vents helps to prevent access into the building. Mice are excellent climbers so ensure gaps above head height are identified and sealed as well. Rodent’s teeth grow continuously and are extremely tough, they are able to chew through many substances so careful choice of sealant should be made to avoid rodents chewing through. Professional proofing solutions are available but wire wool / cement can also be effective.
2. Fit brush strips to door bases. Gaps under door thresholds can allow mice to enter buildings to seek harbourage / food. A section of nylon brush strip fitted correctly to the door can prevent an easy way into properties. An added benefit of fitting brush strips leads to reducing heat loss from buildings so they can even save money
3. Review external waste storage areas. Waste bins represent the single biggest attraction for all pests to properties. Ensuring good waste storage and housekeeping will help prevent attraction to mice and prevent feeding behaviours from becoming established. Regular cleaning of bins, ensuring bungs are present and keeping lids closed are all simply but effective ways of preventing issues.
4. Conduct regular checks. Check quiet areas of the property such as lofts, behind fridges and under kitchen units. Mice breed quickly with a gestation period of 21 days and average litter sizes of 6-9 young, unchecked populations can quickly become established. Regular checks should be undertaken to all high risk areas ideally every 6-7 weeks. The effectiveness of these checks will be determined by the skill and experience of the inspector. It is recommended that regular monitoring in food premises be undertaken by a professional pest controller to help ensure risks are managed and businesses remain safe and legal whilst demonstrating due diligence.
5. Check deliveries. Regular checks of incoming high risk suppliers such as bread and pallets of goods. Mice can sometimes hitch a ride on or in stock. Inspection of high risk products looking for any evidence of mouse activity such as droppings, chewed boxes or smell may help prevent the introduction of mice into your property.
6. Keep a clear space around the perimetre. Installing a 1m void around the perimeter of your building will help deter rodents as rodents do not like open spaces. A void area around building will act as a barrier for rodents and will help prevent populations becoming established on or near the perimeter of the building thus reducing the risk of ingress.
7. De clutter inside and out. Remove un needed items in yards and outside storage areas, this will help reduce the risk of mice becoming established. Similarly removal of un needed items internally will help prevent harbourage, enable more effective cleaning and aid the effectiveness of inspections.
8. Maintain good door disciplines. Mice can squeeze through small gaps so open doors are an easy invitation for mice. Open doors are particularly problematic when left open at night or early / late in the day. Good door disciplines should be in place to help reduce the risk of any pest ingress
9. React to evidence. Should evidence of mouse activity be found swift, decisive action is necessary. A thorough Investigation is needed to establish the extent of the activity, possible route causes and solutions. Professional pest control companies will usually offer a free survey and at these times it is often a good idea to get professional help. The key is to react early. it is easier to deal with one mouse rather than 10, or 20!
10. Record and document findings – Regular checks even if completed in-house should be documented to help prove due diligence and help comply with food safety regulations. Recording information may also help establish trends and may be useful in the future if further review of control methods are needed to help control population.
For further advice or to request a free survey of your business within Sussex please feel free to get in touch.
(07827) 316287 or (01273) 381540