Pest Control in May
May is the month of mice but not just any mice - field mice to be exact and we also classify species of voles and shrews in this term, mice start to breed in April and May and we will see infestations of mice in peoples homes around this time as females seek breeding sites. Being very small and able to squeeze through an area the size of your little finger means that field mice can easily slip into a home, especially those in rural areas.
Mice are an important part of the food chain as owls, kestrels and other raptors eat these creatures, when it comes to being a responsible pest controller we do not use rodenticide on any form of field mice. When you buy rat or mouse poison there is a panel on the packet called the "label" and this is the guidelines on the usage of the active chemicals contained within, although the packet says mouse killer it is only licensed for use on the house mouse.
Somewhere on that label it will state Mus musculus which is the Latin name for the house mouse, its one thing for a lay person to use the rodenticide for "mice" but as professionals we should know better. Here at Bracknell Pest Control we trap field mice and knowing the different species helps us in finding their route into the building and we combine our treatment with physical proofing so we seal up their access point.
There are two species of field mice: the most commonly encountered one is the Yellow Necked Field Mouse or Apodemus flavicollis to give it its posher name, these are brown in colour with a lighter yellow band of fur rather like a lions mane around its neck, white underneath and about 110mm in length. The smaller of the species is the wood mouse which is only about 80mm to 100mm in length and brown all over, the wood mouse has along thin tail and looks like how you'd expect a child to draw a mouse - long tail and big ears.
Both species of field mice are prolific breeders producing 3 to 4 litters of pups a year and with the right conditions around 30 young in total; left unchecked a field mouse infestation can quickly grow to become a major problem and this is one area that affects businesses especially those in the food sector. Mice rarely live longer than a year but they are well adapted to survive and we will see a rise in infestation during the winter months when they come into properties seeking warmth and food.
How do I know if we have mice in the house?
Mice defecate a lot, and I mean a lot so look for small black pointy droppings which resemble a dry grain of rice but much smaller, these are often located in corners where mice like to sit.
We found some mice droppings on the work top in the kitchen, how high can mice jump?
Mice are extremely agile and can jump around 45 to 48 cm, if there is a route onto a work top they will climb it.
What do mice eat?
Mice are omnivores and will eat just about anything that they come across; seeds, fruits, grains, insects, carrion and stored foodstuffs that they find in our homes and businesses.
We have mice in the loft, how do they get up there?
Mice are able climbers and they will use any wall plants or patches of rough brickwork to scale the heights into your loft, we have see mice run up walls on flint napped cottages before.