Mice

Bradford Council offers a mice control service for domestic customers at a cost of £91.20 (includes £15.20 VAT).

This covers four visits, the first combining a survey and a treatment. All baits are removed on the last visit. If additional visits are required these will be charged for.

Commercial customers, please ask for a free survey and quotation.

Why mice are pests?

House mice can cause damage buildings structures including wood, cables, wire and pipe work. They continually gnaw to wear down their incisor teeth which grow very quickly. Mice can start fires by gnawing through electric wires and can spread diseases and damage food. They gnaw through food packaging and contaminate the contents with their urine, droppings and fur.

Where do mice live?

House mice can be found in houses, buildings, and other structures which give them shelter and protection such as sheds and garages. They nest in warm and dry places, near to a good food source and are commonly found in partition walls, under floors, behind wall boarding and skirting boards, and in lofts. They make nests from soft materials such as cloth, bits of paper and wool.

They don't need water as they get what they need from their food.

A mouse can get through a gap as small as the size of a ball point pen.

They don't like bright lights and are mostly active at dusk and night when they can often be heard as they move around in search of food.

They are good jumpers and climbers and can swim if they have to.

What do mice eat?

Mice will eat anything including anything humans eat. They are very fond of cereal products and prefer chocolate and biscuits to cheese. Mice gnaw through packaging to get to food and can survive on 3-4 g of food a day. They are sporadic feeders and will take a little food from lots of different places, urinating and depositing their droppings as they go.

You can tell if you have mice by:

  • Regular sightings in the house, shed or garage
  • Droppings (like black grains of rice)
  • Gnawed holes in skirting boards or around pipes or food packaging
  • Scratching noises from the walls or ceilings
  • A musty smell particularly noticeable when you first come into the house

What should you do if you have mice?

Act quickly and thoroughly. Mice breed quickly and present serious health hazards.

Get help from a professional pest control service or follow our ‘do it yourself’ guide below.

To prevent mice:

  • Don't leave open food out overnight
  • Store food in rodent proof metal containers
  • Don't leave uneaten cat or dog food out in dishes overnight
  • Clean up food spillages straight away
  • Empty kitchen bins frequently
  • Keep your yard and gardens free from waste and refuse spills
  • Regularly clean behind cookers, fridges, freezers and washing machines to stop build up of food spills
  • Seal cracks and holes in the house to prevent mice getting in
  • Use brush strips under doors
  • Seal all gaps around water, gas and waste pipes with sand and cement, wire wool or DIY fillers
  • Check air bricks and repair any that are damaged or fit a rodent cover across the openings

DIY treatments

If you want to ‘do it yourself’ then the best approach is to use a combination of traps, poisons and good hygiene measures. DIY products may be suitable in some circumstances, however a professional may be needed for persistent or widespread infestations.

Traps

Mice are inquisitive so traps can be very effective. However, they are quick at learning to avoid situations that are dangerous to them. They can become trap shy if traps are not baited and placed correctly or they manage to escape.

There are two main types of traps - those which kill the mouse and those which capture it alive for later release.

Never use glue boards or sticky traps. These are cruel and inhumane and cause considerable stress and suffering.

Snap traps/break back traps

These are simple, inexpensive, effective and readily available at DIY stores and supermarkets. Bait the trap with chocolate, biscuit or cereal. Peanut butter is also very effective.

Set them behind objects, in dark corners, and in places where mouse activity has been identified eg under the sink and cooker, behind kickboards in the kitchen, behind bins, or under the stairs. Make sure you set them at right angles to the wall and the treadle (which activates the trap) is near the wall.

Use several traps and check them every day. Remove dead mice promptly and dispose of them by double wrapping in a plastic bag and placing the bodies into your wheelie bin. It is unlikely that there will only be one mouse so reset the traps and continue doing so until you stop catching mice.

Humane mouse traps

These are designed to trap the mouse alive. When the mouse goes into the trap the trap closes automatically and the mouse cannot escape. They are available from hardware and DIY stores and there are many different types. Bait the trap with chocolate, biscuit, cereal or peanut butter. Place them along skirting boards, in corners or near mouse entry holes. Use several traps and make sure that you check them twice a day.

Do not release mice into you or your neighbour’s garden. They will easily find their way back inside and you'll end up catching the same mice time after time. Take the loaded trap at least a mile away from housing and other buildings and release the mouse into a field or grassy area. Reset the traps and continue until you stop catching mice. Keep traps out of the reach of children and only place them in areas where children and/or pets will not come into contact with them.

Always wash your hands after handling mouse traps.

Mouse poison

Only use commercially prepared mouse poison. This is available at hardware and DIY stores and supermarkets.

Poison should be put into shallow dishes and be concentrated where mice are most likely to come into contact with it: under the sink, the cooker, the fridge, behind kitchen kickboards, in the bathroom airing cupboard. Lay several bait dishes no more than one metre apart. Check and replenish the poison until no more is being eaten. Keep all times poisons out of the reach of children and animals. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if you can’t place the poison safely do not use it. Remove all mouse bodies promptly and double wrap and dispose of in your wheelie bin.

Mice killed by poison may die in difficult to reach places and will smell until their bodies break down completely. Make sure you remove all uneaten poison and dispose of it safely according to the manufacturer's guidance. Do not leave uneaten poison, it will break down over time and can lead to increased resistance in mice. It may also be eaten by cats, dogs and children.

Remember, rodenticides are a poison. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and keep out of the reach of pets and children.

What we can do about mice

Our pest control officers are highly trained and qualified to BPCA/RSPH standards. They will make sure treatments are correctly placed and that you are informed about all the safety precautions and have a written record in case of anyone is accidentally poisoned.

They will remove any mouse bodies they find and apply de-odourisers to help with any smells. At the end of the treatment they will remove any leftover bait and advise you on mice-proofing and ways to stop further infestations.

Contact the Pest Control Service

For further information or to book a treatment by a qualified and experienced pest control officer please the Pest Control Service

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Contact details

Environmental Health
Britannia House
Bradford
BD1 1HX

Phone : 01274 433926

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX


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