Coming face to face with a mouse or a group of mice can be very disconcerting for some – especially when they're in the house!


Although mice are present all year round, their activity is usually first seen in the autumn when they are looking for a warm, dry shelter for the winter. Suitable places include attics, sheds, garages and other outbuildings.

They can cause serious damage to any materials they find that could be a food source or chewed up and used for creating their nests. They will also chew through plastic, wood and even electrical cables – creating a potential fire risk. They are also a potential human health threat due to the diseases they usually carry.

Mice in the garden itself are more of a nuisance than anything else – they will eat fruit, vegetables and seeds.

What to look for

Typical tell-tale signs include:

  • Droppings: Smooth with pointed ends, often found in groups of 4-6.
  • Musky odour: Mice leave a trail that has an ammonia-like smell.
  • Gnaw marks: Small and scratchy, usually on wood, wires or other household items.
  • Nibble marks: On packaged food or containers.
  • Scuff marks or greasy smears: Along skirting boards, base boards or around small openings.
  • Noise: Squeaks, rustling or scampering sounds in the walls or attics.
  • Upset pets: They become unsettled when they detect mice in the house.
Treatment and control

The first line of defence is to mouse-proof your home and buildings. Mice have soft skeletons and can get through the smallest of holes – even those the width of a pencil! So seal any holes to the exterior, such as around pipes for washing machines and dishwashers.

It is important not to attract mice with food – where possible, store food in strong plastic or, better still, metal containers.

Outdoor mice control starts with a good tidy up. Remove piles of debris where mice can hide and nest.

If left untreated, an infestation of mice can quickly spread.

Numerous traps and baits are available.

Live-capture mouse traps are a humane way of getting rid of mice than the more traditional mouse traps. Mouse traps need a bait; chocolate, chocolate spread and peanut butter work well.

With severe outbreaks, you may need to call in a professional pest control company.

If all else fails, get a good mousing cat!

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