The most common species that is encountered in domestic and commercial premises is the house mouse (mus domesticus).
Facts about mice
The house mouse has been resident in Britain for many centuries. It is common in a wide range of urban and rural buildings and, although mainly a house dweller, may live for part or all of the year outdoors.In modern, warm, houses, and with a supply of food available, mice can breed all year round. Each mouse needs 3 grams (about 1/8th ounce) of food per day, and provided there is moisture in the food mice can manage without needing liquid water to drink.
How do they affect me?
Despite the image in TV cartoons the favourite food is not cheese, but grains and cereal products, so the larder of a modern house, with packets of breakfast cereals is ideal. For variety, they will nibble at anything else available, including fruit and vegetables. In empty houses, or if food is scarce, they can survive on soap, candles, or almost anything that has some trace of nutrition.
The ability to survive on tiny amounts of food, and the fast breeding rate mean that mouse infestations develop quickly.
The signs of a mouse infestation are the damage caused during feeding - loose foods such as sugar scattered in cupboards and food packages nibbled round the edges. Mouse droppings are black, and about the size of a grain of rice. They will be scattered everywhere that mice roam, but particularly in corners of cupboards or around food packages.
How do you control them?
If you have mice in your kitchen cupboard, check all food packages carefully, and throw out all open packets and any packets that show signs of damage. Transfer new food out of paper and cardboard packaging into mouse proof containers - glass jars with screw lids, or heavy plastic containers with strong snap on lids.
The best way to get rid of mice is to use one of the new poisons which have been specifically designed for the purpose. Mouse traps can be very effective, but unless you have just one or two mice they will not clear an infestation.
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