How to get rid of mice and rats
It’s never nice to think we share our homes with uninvited guests. And while household and garden pests are unpleasant and a nuisance, most are fairly harmless.
You have to be careful, however, as some of them transmit diseases and some can cause damage to your property. Here’s what to look our for, and what to do when trying to get rid of mice and rats in your home.
How to get rid of mice
It’s almost impossible to completely mouse-proof your property. Mice can squeeze through pencil-thin gaps and once they’re in they’ll start gnawing, climbing and reproducing at an alarming rate. The biggest problem however is their incontinence. Droppings and urine carry a risk of food poisoning by Salmonella and E.coli. Here's what you need to know about getting rid of mice.
What to look out for:
Mice tend to stick to the edges of rooms, and under kitchen units, etc. So keep an eye out for droppings, squeaks and rustling noises, urine pools or trails, nibble marks on food boxes or food, nests, and finally, a musky smell.
You can also put down a covering of talc around a room edge, and see if you find footprints the next morning. Watch out for gnawing marks around potential entry points, too.
Solutions and prevention:
- Block all possible gaps with wire wool, which is too tough for mice to chew through.
- Peppermint oil is great for getting rid of mice as it acts as a natural deterrent. Add one or two drops to cotton balls and position near likely entrance points.
- Visit your local garden centre for humane mouse traps or a sonic pest repeller, which emits high pitched beeps not audible to humans or pets.
- Clean up food spillages promptly and store food in sealed containers.
- Try getting rid of mice by buying a cat or if all else fails, call in a pest controller.
How to get rid of rats
Agile, opportunistic and with awesome breeding potential, the Common Rat now numbers 60 million in the UK, and if stats are to be believed, we’re never more than nine metres away from one. These furry creatures carry a number of diseases, some fatal, so it's important to tackle to problem and get rid of rats. as soon as possible. If you have a problem getting rid of rats, call your council (who may provide a free service), call in the professionals or wear protective thick rubber gloves while dealing with the problem. Here's what you need to know about getting rid of rats.
What to look our for:
Very much the same signs are for mice, except their droppings and footprints are larger.
Solutions and prevention:
- Keep rubbish in secure containers.
- Keep food, etc, in rodent proof containers.
- Buy a humane rat trap such as the Family Rat Trap and bait with smelly food such as garlic or a fish head.
- Avoid using poisons which can kill cats and carrion feeders through secondary poisoning.
- Buy a sonic rat repeller
- Buy a cat or get in a pest controller!