Mice can spread illnesses and cause property damage, so it is important to deal with them before an infestation happens. These common pests are resourceful creatures that can enter a building or home through the smallest opening or crack and require very little space to travel inside.
Roof Rats can survive nine to 12 months in the wild. They give birth to about 5 to 8 pups after a gestation period of 21 to 23 days and can have up to 4 litters a year. Newborn rats may reach independence and reproductive maturity at about 3 months. Peak breeding season for the Roof Rat typically takes place in Spring and Fall.
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens to prevent entry. Attach bristle (or brush) strips to the bottom of doors, especially in older homes where the door fit may not be tight.
- Take care not to lure mice in with food. Food should be kept in plastic or metal containers whenever possible. Keep the space behind stoves, refrigerators, and cabinets clean and dispose of garbage regularly.
- Cover airbricks and vents with fine galvanised wire mesh, especially if they are damaged.
- Fixed damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home (Any holes that are 5mm will allow mice to gain access). Caulking (pliable sealant) and coarse-grade stainless steel wire wool can be used to plug holes around new or existing pipelines.
- Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Trim tree limbs away from the house and where possible avoid plants growing up the sides of your property. Vines, shrubs or overhanging branches can be used for mice to get into roofs. Mice can find protection and suitable nesting locations in overgrown plants adjacent to the walls.
- Keep the grass short-cut to lessen shelter and food-seed sources. Ideally, leave a space between the garden and the building’s foundations.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
- If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
Top tips on controlling mice for pest control professionals from PES Africa’s Sales Rep Frans Knoesen:
- Assess the existing factors that favour mice and public health regulations.
- Assess the economic importance and health risks associated with mice infestations.
- Conduct an inspection to determine the presence or absence and activities of mice and source and the resources available to sustain the mice population.
- Access sanitation, storage practise to determine compliance with public health and environmental standards.
- Access and determine the need for rodent proofing and identify target areas for treatment.
- Advise the client of the proposed pest management strategy and provide the client with the applicable product labels, msds and brochures.
- Select appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment). The following PPE should be worn by anyone working to clean up large rodent infestations: Coveralls (disposable, if possible), Rubber boots or disposable shoe covers, Rubber, Latex, or Vinyl Gloves, and Protective Goggles.
- We recommends using the following PES products to eliminate mice: Tomcat Blox, Jaguar Blox, Mini T-Rex Snap Trap, Snap’EM, Guardian Bait Station and Xcluder.