Tag Archives: mice

Do Rats hibernate during the Winter?

You might think that pest control work quietens down during the winter, because quite a few nuisance animals and insects go into hibernation.

But lots of household pests, including rats and mice, remain active all year round. The longer and colder winter nights make your home, garden and workplace more attractive to these rodents, who are always looking for food, and for somewhere warm and dry to nest.

Wasps and other insect pests might become almost invisible during the winter months, but they’re simply dormant and will be back next spring. Colder weather gives you a chance to deal with holes and gaps where they may have nested this year, helping prevent their return.

Pest control during the winter months

Taking action to prevent rats and other pests is as important during the winter as at any other time of year. The most basic precautions include not leaving any food outdoors overnight, and keeping food preparation and storage areas clean and tidy.

Leftover pet food or food spillages, indoors or out, are hugely attractive to rats and mice looking for something to eat.

Another simple pest control task is to tidy up your garden or other outdoor area. Piles of wood or dry leaves can quickly become comfortable homes for rodents. Compost bins are particularly popular, especially if you put food scraps into them.

Outbuildings, such as sheds and children’s playhouses, can also become places of safety for rats and mice. Here they can live undisturbed for weeks at a time, protected from the extremes of the British winter climate. Make it part of your winter routine to check these buildings, and to fill any obvious cracks or gaps through which rodents could get in.

Indoor pests thrive during the winter

Fleas, moths and bedbugs are common indoor pests that don’t pay much attention to what the weather’s doing outside. Whatever the time of year, they continue breeding and spreading themselves around your home or workplace.

The cooler temperatures slow down their reproduction, but our centrally-heated buildings protect them from the cold. Because they live off us and our pets, fleas and bedbugs have more opportunity to spread during the winter, as we spend more time indoors.

Cockroaches, the scourge of many kitchens, also continue to be active during the winter months. In the event that they find themselves short of food, they can, like many pests, survive for a long time on virtually nothing.

Many people think that because pests are not seen so often during the winter, they are less of a problem. Some even believe that rats and mice do hibernate. But experienced pest controllers know that winter is as busy a time of year as any, and that it’s also a good time to act to prevent more serious pest issues from occurring in the spring.

What type of Mice live in London houses?

Although very small, the mouse is a widely feared pest, probably due to its unpredictable and quick movements. If you have a mouse in your house, you may hear scampering feet above your ceiling or inside your cavity walls at night. Or you may discover mouse droppings or gnawed cereal boxes in the kitchen. Another tell-tale sign is the distinctive odour that mice emit.

When it comes to solving a mouse problem, it does not really matter what type of mice live in London houses. All the different types of wild mice have the potential to bring infection and destruction into your home.

Just like rats, mice carry disease and can contaminate foodstuffs with their fur, eating and urine, which can cause salmonella poisoning and gastroenteritis. In addition, they can damage your property by gnawing through wood, cables and into containers to get at food.

Types of mice in London

There are four types of mice living wild in and around London: the house mouse, the field or wood mouse, the yellow necked mouse and the harvest mouse. Two of these are pests – the house mouse and the field mouse. If you have mice in your London home, they will almost definitely be house mice.

The house mouse. This is London’s most common mouse. The adult house mouse measures around 7 to 9cm long with a thin tail of about the same length. Its fur is smooth and brown-grey in colour, becoming lighter underneath. It has quite large ears, small eyes, a small pointed head and small feet.

The field mouse. The field mouse is slightly larger than the house mouse and its coat is a warm brown colour rather than the dullish grey-brown of the house mouse. It has larger eyes and ears than the house mouse, making it quite easy to spot the difference. A field mouse can survive outdoors, but will sometimes find its way into a house, where it can breed and become a pest control problem.

Where will a house mouse nest?

The house mouse likes to live indoors. It can get in through the tiniest hole, just the size of a pencil, and will build a mouse nest in a warm place where there is a plentiful supply of food and nesting material. Loft spaces, cavity walls and the gaps under floors are popular places for mice to nest.

House mice eat almost anything that humans eat, but their preference is cereal. They don’t need much water, absorbing this from their food. They are most active at night, when they go in search of something to eat.

How to get rid of a mouse infestation

There are two main ways of dealing with mice – traps and poison – but if you have an infestation, it is likely that you will need the services of a professional pest controller to eradicate your problem. Mice are sporadic eaters, making it difficult to eliminate a whole colony. They are also surprisingly resistant to poisons. A pest controller will be able to help you mouse-proof your home and efficiently remove the mouse population.

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How common is it to have Mice in London?

You might be surprised at how many homes and businesses in London take Mice Pest Control measures from time to time.

Not everyone likes to admit that they have a problem with mice, particularly if they are running a business that involves the production or sale of food. Some of your neighbours could be unwilling to admit they have taken steps to get rid of mice, as they are concerned about giving a poor impression of their domestic cleanliness.

But needing to take mice removal measures is not something to be embarrassed about. These tiny, always hungry and fast-breeding Rodents can squeeze through almost impossibly small gaps in their endless search for food. Even the cleanest house, kitchen or store is at risk if they discover a way in.

Mice pest control starts before the rodents arrive

It’s almost inevitable that mice will be living somewhere near your home or business premises. The diverse architecture of London leaves many buildings susceptible to mouse infestation. There is an endless supply of cracked bricks and pipes which leave gaps big enough for these nimble rodents to get through.

One of the best pest control measures you can take against mice is to stop them finding a way in. Visual inspection of your property is a good start, especially if this is carried out by a pest control expert, who will be able to make you aware of potential entry points you might not have considered.

Another easy step is to make sure all potential sources of food are inaccessible to mice. They chew their way through paper, cardboard and even wood to get to a meal. Securing food in plastic or metal containers will keep them out. Keeping your home or businesses premises clean will reduce the amount of food waste lying around, providing mice with less of an incentive to find a way in.

Get rid of mice as soon as you spot the problem

Unhygienic and unsightly, mice can also do considerable damage to your property once inside. They’ll pull out insulation from inside walls and lofts, makes nests in stored textiles, and can even create electrical problems by chewing wires.

All of which means it’s important to get rid of mice the moment they arrive. Because they are a common pest control problem, there is no shortage of options available. Poison, traps and electronic deterrents are just some of your choices.

Do-it-yourself pest control measures will often get rid of mice if they have not had much time to breed. A well-established infestation can be much harder to remove, because of both the number of mice and the variety of hiding places they will have created for themselves.

It can be surprisingly common to have mice in your London property. But they can usually be removed relatively quickly and easily, and with the right actions, you can prevent mice from returning.

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A Pigeon’s Eye View of the Royal Wedding Procession

As William and Kate’s big day approaches, we decided to celebrate by taking a slightly different perspective on some of the sites they’ll pass during their horse-drawn trip from the Abbey to the Palace.

Westminster Abbey

Pigeons love medieval churches, particularly the soaring cathedrals with their towers and spires, wide ledges and cosy crevices. However, the birds aren’t particularly welcome on ecclesiastical property, either inside or out, despite making a number of appearances in the Bible.

In the thousand years since Westminster’s construction, pigeons have faced an increasing range of deterrents including rows of anti-roosting spikes, acres of netting, and a variety of Bird Scarers.

Whilst weddings are traditionally accompanied by symbols of good luck, measures will be taken to ensure that pigeons won’t be able to deposit their own sign of best wishes on the bride and groom.

Downing Street

Larry might be the latest and Humphrey the most well-known, but they’re simply some of the latest in a distinguished line of cats appointed as government pest controllers. The first Treasury mouser documented in history was owned by Cardinal Wolsey, who kept it by his side as Lord Chancellor, during the reign of Henry VIII.

The Cenotaph

As the wedding procession passes the focal point of national remembrance for fallen British servicemen, it’s good to recall that not all pigeons are thought of as pests. In fact, over 30 have been awarded the Dickin Medal for displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in support of military forces.

Horse Guards Parade

This royal parade ground is no stranger to spectator events, hosting the Trouping of the Colour, displays in honour of the Queen’s birthday and, in 2012, it’ll be transformed into an Olympic volley ball arena. But according to Westminster City Council pest control experts, the number of rats watching events is down on previous years.

Steve Harrison, Westminster’s director of premises management, recently said: “We pride ourselves on acting quickly and will continue our work to limit the number of rats and other vermin in the city.”

Buckingham Palace

Tight security at the royal residence hasn’t kept uninvited guests out of the royal kitchens. With pantries and larders groaning under enough goodies to serve up to 600 people at one sitting, it’s no surprise that rats and mice want a slice of Windsor pudding, pie, cake or even just a plain cracker.

A royal Rodent Problem occurred as recently as October last year. However, the only teeth nibbling at the delicacies of William and Kate’s wedding breakfast will be those of their chosen guests.

The rest of us will have to make do with street party fare, bank holiday barbecues or whatever else comes our way.

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‘Mouse Sabotage’ Brings New Meaning to Pest Control

According to ‘The Chambers Dictionary’, a pest is a troublesome person or thing. Earlier this week a pizzeria owner in Pennsylvania decided this definition included his competitors, which led to him launching a unique pest control initiative.

He sneaked bags of live mice onto the premises of two rival pizza restaurants in what appears to have been a bid to discredit them. According to the report on the BBC website, his mistake was to drop off one consignment in full view of police officers, who made a swift arrest and promptly rounded up his rodent accomplices.

Apparently the perpetrator’s newly opened pizzeria had mouse problems of its own. He was facing the problem common to all catering establishments – food attracts both people and pests.

Restaurants and takeaways wage continual war against Cockroaches, Rats, Mice, Flies and a host of other invaders. Their owners don’t want the ignominy that comes with failing an environmental health inspection.

In a competitive market the news that the chef is sharing a kitchen with four and six-legged visitors is enough to send punters scurrying elsewhere. It can also come with a hefty penalty.

At the end of last year a Chinese restaurant in Southwark was fined nearly £5,000 because its pest control measure had failed. Inspectors spotted a live cockroach and mouse droppings during a routine visit. Incredibly, the remains of two cockroaches were found squashed in the pages of the food safety log.

Keeping pests out of kitchens and store rooms isn’t easy. They’re busy places with lots of comings and goings. All sorts of poison and traps can be laid but unless they’re regularly maintained they soon become ineffective.

It only takes a small number of cockroaches to find their way in, perhaps travelling as unintended passengers with a delivery of stock, to create an infestation.

Perhaps that’s what that Pennsylvanian pizzeria owner was trying to do – introduce a handful of mice into rival premises in the hope they’d breed and overrun the place.

What’s sad is that his own restaurant seemed to have the potential to be a great success. Online reviews say his pizza was ‘outstanding’- better than the competition’s. But his reputation, and perhaps his business, is the victim of an overzealous and misguided approach to Pest Control Services.

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Rodent Bites Can Hurt More Than Your Pride

It’s bad enough being bitten by a rat. But it’s particularly humiliating and distressing to be bitten on the penis.

That’s what an American claimed to have endured recently, when he’d been locked up for a short spell in a rodent infested prison cell near New York. He said that the rat came out of a mattress and bit him twice, once once on his hand and once in a much more intimate location.

He was probably attacked by the extremely common Norwegian or Norway Rat, also known as the Brown Rat. These are the dirty, unpleasant rodents that thrive on the rubbish we too often leave around us. With their sharp teeth these sewer-loving vermin are a major pest control problem, gnawing through wood and thick plastics on their relentless search for something to devour.

The chances of being bitten by a rat are relatively low in Britain, if official statistics are to be believed. But rats aren’t the only pest that can attack with their teeth.

We were all shocked by the headlines, last June, which reported how an urban fox viciously injured twin baby girls as they slept in their Hackney home. More recently a female lawyer lost part of an ear to a fox in Fulham and woman from Sussex had the tip of a finger bitten off by one as she slept.

Other furred vermin, such as Grey Squirrels and Mice, can also inflict a nasty injury with their teeth. But quite aside from the shock and pain of being unexpectedly bitten, victims also risk catching something very unpleasant from their attackers.

The American man who suffered the unfortunate bite complained that he’d subsequently been forced to endure a series of injections to protect him from rabies. While British pests are highly unlikely to carry this disease, they can transmit a host of other potentially fatal conditions including Weil’s disease, salmonella and tuberculosis.

Anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by a Rodent or fox should get medical help. In 2007 a Sussex businessman died after he was bitten by a pet rat and ignored advice from NHS Direct, who told him to visit his doctor.

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