The house mouse came originally from south western Asia from whence it has spread all over the earth, mainly with the help of man. It has the amazing ability to adapt and it now occurs more or less where man has settled. In most cases the mouse is associated with buildings, often moving outside in the summer, but always retreating indoors come the autumn. In buildings mice will live anywhere and they are very difficult to keep out. If you can push a Biro (about 7mm) under a door then a mouse can get in...!! Mice are also totally omnivorous, in other words they will eat anything, even down to the soap in the bathroom or the candles you keep under the sink in case of a power cut, but their favourite foods are cereals and cereal products. For their size, they don't eat much but the damage that they can do, both with gnawing and soiling products with their urine and droppings is tremendous. The picture below shows major damage in a seed store.
Interesting facts about mice:-
The diseases carried by mice are as follows:-
How do we know that we have a problem, you may laugh, but lots of people have mice or rats, and don't even know it.
Listed below are a few indicators:
Finding droppings in your cupboards etc. As you can see from above, if they have been there for any length of time then there will be quite a few.
Smell, distasteful as this may be to some people, an infestation of rodents in say your roof space will be accompanied by quite a strong urine smell, especially if they've been there for some time.
Damage, in the form of chewed articles in your cupboards, chewed insulation on the wiring in your roof space, this latter one can be quite dangerous as it can be a fire risk. Really rodents will chew anything because their top and bottom incisor teeth grow like our finger nails do. Consequently rodents chew to wear them back to the correct length, otherwise they would eventually starve to death.
If there is a problem in your garden with rats, this will show up as runs along the edges through the vegetation, as rats usually use the same pathways.
If you find a hole and there is a build up of grease around it, this is known as a smear mark. Just as we have grease on our hair so do rodents and continual passage through the same hole will cause a build up.
Tracks are also an indicator, but a certain amount of expertise is required to fully interpret any findings. Great White Hunters us chaps you know..!!
Last of all is seeing actual live rodents. This when the husband stands on a chair and waits for the wife to come home from the office, or something like that.
OK!! so what can we do to help prevent our homes and businesses from being over-run with our furry friends?
Have a walk around the outside of your house and look for any holes around pipe work, door frames, window frames, also any air bricks which may be damaged but never block these up totally as air in the foundations helps prevent dry rot. If you live in the type of house that is found in the Lake District, i.e. the type built with dry walling or slate, then the solution is a bit more difficult as filling all the holes with mortar would be very time consuming and could also detract from the general look of the building. In this case perimeter bait points might have to be considered. These have to be secure so they would need to be fitted by a reputable company who would maintain them as well. You could also call somebody who works for a professional company. This is not as expensive as you might think, and will give complete cover 24 hours a day and seven days a week as someone is always on call. You can take out a contract for so many visits per year or just pay for one or two treatments, whatever it takes. You can email me, PiedPiper and I will answer any queries you may have. If I don't know, then I will jolly well find out. You can buy your own bait from farm supplies, chemists, or hardware stores. BUT BEWARE, some rodenticides are cumulative, this means that an animal can have a feed one day, then another feed say a week hence, and the dose will add up. So if you don't want to kill your £10,000 Crufts Champion, then better get somebody in who knows what they are doing. If you must do the job yourself, then make sure that you buy the correct bait for job in hand, and make sure that it is laid in such a way that none target species DO NOT have access to it otherwise litigation may ensue if you kill Auntie Maud. Seriously, BE VERY CAREFUL there are various regulations which apply to pesticides, these are as follows:-
The Environmental Protection Act.
Pretty heavy eh! all that above means watch it..! If the problem isn't too bad, then just use the good old mouse trap, but set it correctly this means at right angles to a wall/floor junction and not lengthways to it. If you are going to set a break back rat trap, then watch your fingers, if it goes off and they are in the way, it could break one or two of them.
N.B. Contrary to popular belief, mice are not overly fond of cheese, however, a bit of chocolate or bacon rind works wonders.
Don't go asking pest controllers for poisons, they can't give them to you, it is a sackable offence, and really, how the heck do they know what you are going to do with the stuff.
OK..! that's enough about Roland Rat and his compatriots, what do we think about Cockroaches. I think I felt just about everyone shiver, because as with rats, lots of people seem to have an aversion to Cockroaches, I think they are great, they keep me in work and they go crunch when you tread on them..! mind you so do all beetles. Anyway, go back to the main rodent page and click on the cockroach button and we'll get right into the subject
Lyme disease is a nonfatal bacterial infection that causes symptoms ranging from fever and headache to a painful swelling of the joints. First observed in 1975 in Lyme, Conn., the disease in the United States occurs mainly in the Northeast among people who frequent grassy or wooded areas. It is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by deer ticks, genus Ixodes, that live on deer, mice, dogs, and other animals. The bite of the tiny red and black tick injects the bacteria into the blood. A circular rash with a white centre develops, followed by flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, and painful joints). Most people are successfully treated with antibiotics. A small number develop chronic disease with neurological problems, memory loss, arthritis, and eye inflammation. A human vaccine for the prevention of Lyme disease was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999.