The Pests Mice
The House Mouse (Mus Domesticus) has been identified from pre-Roman Iron Age deposits and is thought to have arrived in Britain during the 10th century B.C. It is thought that it probably lived in the wild somewhere near to the modern day borders of Iran and Russia and spread across Europe with agricultural practices, it is now believed that the House Mouse is the most common mammal on earth.
The House Mouse is a small rodent with grey/brown fur, usually less than 90mm in length & weighing less than 20 grams.
They are omnivourous & are good at adapting to local environments but generally eat cereals, seeds etc. They will drink water but are able to survive without it, obtaining enough moisture from their foodstuffs. Mice typically live up to a year,
reach sexual maturity at 6 weeks, and can, under the right conditions, have as many as 8 litters with up to 5 young in each.
Mice feed in numerous places and the key to successful control is to have lots of bait stations usually containing anti coagulant bait. They will also enter traps freely & these can be used to quickly reduce large numbers of mice.
Lots of people ask me about so called "humane" live-catch mouse traps but as mice are fiercely territorial, along with most other rodents, to catch a mouse, keep it prisoner in a trap, stress it out and then take it away from its home range and dump it in a strange place is to condemn it to a certain death at the hands (or paws) of the local mice - not that humane.
The Wood Mouse or Long Tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus Sylvaticus) is slightly larger than the House Mouse, has light brown fur & a pale belly. They have a similar life-cycle to the House Mouse but are more generally found outdoors, entering houses & outbuildings for shelter and food but nesting mainly in the open. Calls from clients in the autumn complaining of mice are usually Wood Mice moving in with the onset of colder weather, proofing any gaps to prevent entry should be looked at,as mice will get in anywhere a normal ball-point pen can be pushed!!
If you have a problem with mice or need advice (poetry there!!)
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