Pest control: mice

Mice pose a significant health risk because they may carry a number of serious diseases which can be transmitted to humans. The most serious of these are Salmonella food poisoning and Toxoplasmosis. Mice also infest and contaminate food with urine and droppings and can also cause minor damage to buildings by their habit of gnawing.

The common house mouse (Mus domesticus) is brownish grey in colour with a thin tail that is much longer than its head and body. An adult mouse will weigh only about 25grams. It has a pointed snout and small roundish ears. The droppings of house mice are small and almost black in colour, thin and spindle shaped and may be found scattered over a large area. Mice need a constant supply of food and water to survive and breed, along with shelter and a safe place to build a nest. Therefore the best means of control is to ensure that these are not available. Good general housekeeping, proper disposal of rubbish and the removal of food waste is essential, as is the storage of foodstuffs in closed containers.  Mice are normally more of a problem indoors during the winter months  when food supplies and a warm place to live are not so readily available outside. They can breed very quickly and a minor infestation can rapidly grow into a large one if not treated.

The legal position

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on owners and occupiers of land to keep their land free of mice. The Council has powers to require land owners and occupiers to take such measures as are necessary to ensure their land is mice free. This may include specified eradication treatment, structural works or land clearance.

What you can do to prevent mice infestations

  • Good house keeping is essential
  • Keep all food especially cereal products in sealed containers
  • Do not leave open food out
  • Properly bag and seal household waste and do not allow it to accumulate either inside or outside your house
  • Make sure your property is in good repair, your external doors are close fitting and that there are no broken air vents or other openings in external walls for mice to gain access.
  • Report any mice sightings to us

The service we provide

The Council is legally obliged to eradicate mice from its own land and provides a treatment service for mice in both residential and commercial premises for which a charge is made. The treatment consists of laying  poison bait in either containers, or directly into the holes made by the mice. These baits are then checked on  a regular basis and topped up as necessary. The mice die a short time after eating the poison. However it may take 2 or 3 treatments to kill all the mice and eradicate a large infestation. At the time of visiting the Pest Control Officer will also provide general advice on proofing your property against mice in order to stop the problem recurring. Should there still be evidence of a live mice infestation 4 weeks after the final treatment, the Council will provide a follow-up treatment free of charge.

Safety Information

The poison baits used by the Council are the safest available and do not pose a risk to people unless taken deliberately. Baits are only laid in areas where it is safe to do so and are never laid in places open to the  general public, unless in a secure container. Should you use the service you will also be given an information sheet on the rodenticide used by the pest controller which provides further information.

Contacting the Service

Treatments can be requested by contacting the Pest Control Service. You can also request a service by completing the online form.

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