We have mice, and it’s not nice. I have tried all the usual things but to no avail. Can anyone recommend a local service other than one of the national ones ?
Lewisham Council have a service which you pay for:
Used them a few years ago and haven’t seen a wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie since.
I use one of the plug in an electric socket, devises that emit a high pitch signal, only audible to mice and rats. Can be bought in any shop that sells that sort of thing. I’ve also heard that they generally have an entry point in a premises, which can be small and have smears of dirt on it from their fur as they come and go, if you can plug that up it helps.
We used similar devices in our garden years ago to repel foxes. The problem was that our young daughter had a wider hearing range than do adults, and they drove her nuts.
The high pitched devices might work if the mice haven’t moved in yet. But last year when I had mice, they would still happily explore the kitchen with it emitting.
Check with your neighbours to see if they have seen them so you can make a concerted effort. If you live in an older property, then it’s hard to fill every gap. It turned out that a flat on the other side of the wall had a cleanliness problem which is where they were mainly feeding and living. They had been ignoring traps in other flats. Within days of that being sorted (and traps there), they weren’t seen elsewhere.
Our mouse first made itself heard at night on a Christmas Eve some years back. Took ages to work out what was going on. I had a bar of Russian chocolate in my bag, which was on the bedroom floor. “Something” had eaten Yuri Gagarin’s head. Horror.
Long story short, eventually we shelled out for Lewisham’s pest controller. He put poison boxes down and the second type he tried did the job.
But we had to do our bit too. My husband fitted small mesh metal guards over all our underfloor air vents on the outside walls and stuffed wire wool at the base of any pipework, where there were gaps where it went through floorboards. All our cereals etc went into plastic or glass containers. Not a crumb left on a worktop overnight. And clean, clean, clean (apparently their bladders permanently leak, so you have to assume that where they’ve been …)
We still keep our fireplace fume vent shut when the fire’s not in use.
It’s not nice having the poison boxes around. The first type was coated grain, then when that didn’t work the pest controller added little pellets to it, which did the trick. They were field mice apparently. That sounds so sweet and innocent and they were neat in their own way - they had left the husks of the poisoned grain (that they apparently loved but that didn’t work) stacked neatly in a pile at one end of the poison box.
But when a mouse has run across your naked foot as you use the bathroom at night, they rapidly lose their cuteness. Horrid little claws … ewww aaargh.
Our house being an older house I think they mice are spoiled for choice when it comes to an entry point, but I think I have a good idea where they enter the kitchen. They have quite a set routine and tend to congregate each night under a small fridge which I move every two days and clear up the piles of droppings and bleach where they have urinated. The smell is bad. I had some early limited success with spring traps but they learned to avoid those. I know this to be true because as an experiment I put a small bit of chocolate in the trap and a small piece of chocolate adjacent to the trap on a piece of paper. I repeated this in 5 or 6 locations in the kitchen. Each morning the chocolate was gone from the paper but still there in the trap. I then had the idea of trying to get them used to the traps so I left the traps unsprung in a harmless state but with a morsel of food in place. did this for two weeks but no success. I then changed tack and bought on of these.
The thinking being that it was completely different to a spring trap therefore their suspicions would not be aroused. Once again I was patient and did not plug it in but left some morsels of food within the trap to try and encourage them to enter. Believe it or not, despite not having seen it before, they will not go in. They walk on top of it because I found a poop or two on the roof and i am sure one of them urinated on it one night. I am utterly baffled by this. It is frustrating and fascinating in equal measure. My partner thinks that they have a sort of “hive mind” - a sort of collective intelligence in other words. I do not believe that they are put off by my scent on the traps because to rule this out I made sure that i handled the bait that i put on the slips of paper and each morsel of food was taken despite me making sure my scent was on it. I think I have run out of ideas now.
By the way, my partner had mice in her flat a few years ago and she bought on of the devices that emit a high pitched sound, but she reports that it was no use at all. Therefore, I am not inclined to rush out and buy one of these
I wear gardening gloves when handling any traps or bait so you don’t leave any ‘human’ scent on them. I’m not sure if it makes a difference or not, but spring traps with peanut butter have been successful for me in the past.
Peanut butter on spring traps ? This was the first thing I tried. They showed interest for a week or two and there were a handful of casualties, but then the “hive mind” took over and now they actually laugh at such tactics. I am sure I can hear them tittering under the fridge as they lampoon my lame efforts
You need to remove all other sources of food, such as crumbs dropped around and unprotected food. Then they are forced to take the bait.
Nutella works, too!
Don’t despair. Our house is Victorian, with a void under the floor for ventilation. But a combination of Lewisham’s pest control officer and sealing up as many entry points as possible got us there in the end. It took three visits by the pest controller and he warned me that I’d be thinking I’d seen a mouse out of the corner of my eye for about a year after they’d finally gone and he was right. I’m still on the alert years later.
I also taped kitchen foil on the gaps at the top (inside) my kitchen cupboard base units. So that if they do come back, they can’t get in.
They don’t like peppermint oil. Our infestation was in the winter and probably sparked by renovations on a neighbouring house. Being winter, I put peppermint oil soaked cotton pads on top of the radiators, which was rather pleasant. I suppose it might work in a tea candle heated oil burner (check if safe). It won’t drive them out of the house, but it’s comforting and clean smelling.
I can recommend local firm Ladybug excellent service, advice and support https://ladybugpestcontrol.co.uk/ - they sorted out our problems in a few weeks. - best of luck
Get a cat. Way back in the day we moved into a Victorian house with a siamese cat who wasn’t a mouser. His presence alone was enough to keep them away. Within a month of his passing the mice moved in. My father sought high and low over SW London and found a runt - probably way too young - in a pet shop. She proved her worth and cleared the house of mice within a few weeks. She also taught the family dog how to catch rats at my parent’s printing workshop.
Now I have the problem of living in a house with no mice but with a cat who wants to consume her prey in the luxury of my kitchen. The local vole population has suffered. Ho hum.
We have two cats Meadow. In days of old, they were good mouse catchers, but at 17 years of age, they are now retired.
I was just going to recommend the Lady Bug - she is brilliant; took steps to prevent access via air bricks etc., and I think guaranteed we would be mouse free for a fixed fee.
Jon, yes I liked the sound of her and she is paying us a visit tomorrow. Looks as if we are about to get the upper hand at last. Thanks to you for suggesting Ladybug in the first place, @Nicol.
We were infested with mice years ago. Got Lewsiham council in & they put points on down. Said to plug any holes, no matter how small as believe it or not they can get down a small hole next to a radiator pipe!
They are horrible, & the smell they leave is awful.
Our problem was an old lady who lived 2 doors away who would leave food outside for all & sundry & the family next door who weren’t particularly clean & would throw food out of thorn window into the garden!
It really did get us down at one point, because as @marymck said you see a mouse run across the floor & I would scream!
Our neighbours cat got 2 for us running round the living room. We did eventually get rid of them, but every Spring seemed to be the same, as there was a break out in general along our road at one time.
I have just had a new kitchen installed & our builder has been very methodical in making sure all potential holes have been covered, obviously having new cupboards, better plinths & better housing of boiler pipes etc has helped as well, so fingers crossed.
We used the sticky traps, it isn’t nice to see a mouse stuck to it, & I did have to learn to be brave, but needs must when you are desperate…
I found sticky traps to be effective but quite inhumane. However, they are still kinder to a mouse than what some cats do!