PestWatch December 
Other than keeping an eye out for Reindeer what pests do you need to look out for in December? 
I’d like to tell you a quick story. 
I remember keeping mice as a boy, this was short-lived due to one of them escaping and taking up residence in the electric fire. My parents had one with the fake coal effect on the front that would blow hot air out from underneath, not very effective as a heat source although the mouse seemed happy enough under there until my mother managed to catch it by using the low suction option on the vacuum cleaner (or Hover as they all seemed to be back then). It’s funny what you remember from your childhood. I must add the mouse was unharmed from this experience, well physically anyway. 
Pest Control Squirrels
The House Mouse (Mus domesticus) 
Along with Squrriels and depending on your viewpoint, Mice can appear to be very cute and no doubt like myself you may have kept them as a child. Unlike keeping mouse brought from a pet shop their wild cousins are less than ideal when it comes to them inhabiting your home, mice will tend to chew and shred everything insight to use as nesting material, unfortunately, they don’t know the difference between clothes due for the recycling bin and the brand new designer outfit you have brought for the Christmas party. The lack of toilet training also causes an issue as they seem to be constantly urinating and depositing they droppings everywhere they go. 

5 short tale-tailed signs you have Mice and what to look out for 

1. Small dark droppings, around the same size of a grain of rice 
2. Shredded materials, mice love to shred paper, cardboard and even clothing 
3. An ammonia-like smell, Mice wee at lot! 
4. Damage to carpeting near doors and small openings used by mice 
5. Chewed dried food packaging, cereal boxes are a favourite 
A Mouse nest with hay and chewed pipe insulation 
Droppings and gnawed wire in a loft 

How do we get rid of Mice? 

Humane traps work well for mice although these need to be checked twice a day, poison bait, also works well and we use a high-grade seed type that produces great results and is often the most effective form of control for homes that already have mice in the property. 
As always proofing is key to prevent mice from reusing the same route, during our first visit of any mouse job, we carry out a visual survey of the inside and outside areas to try and ascertain where the rodents are entering. 

What can you do to prevent Mice this Christmas? 

• Storing – leftover foods in sealed food containers 
• Clean – away crumbs and leftover snacks to reduce easy pickings 
• Seal – up all gaps around pipework, window & door frames, we proof down to 6mm 
• Repair – damaged air bricks & any holes in the brickwork leftover from removed pipes 
• Doors – Install brush strips to the bottom of doors to prevent mice from getting under 

Mouse Facts 

There are six different species of mice in the UK. Five of these are native, with the sixth, the Edible Dormouse (Glis glis), was introduced by Lionel Walter Rothschild to Hertfordshire when they escaped from their cage in 1902, See picture. 
Fact File: 
1. A pair of mice can produce up to 8 litters per year, with the size of the litter being 14-16 pups 
2. Mice eat between 15 and 20 times a day, although they are grazers eating 3 grams a day 
3. A house mouse produces up to 80 droppings per day, that’s a lot of droppings! 
4. Depending on their diet mice do not need additional water 
5. Mice have a flexible skeleton to help them get through very small gaps. 

Other Pests to watch out for in November 

1. Rats: 
I’m sure we’d all like to see the back of rats when it comes to our homes, unfortunately, this photo is the best I can do. 
Rats will be lurking around for a while to come, they are of course around all year, it’s the colder months when they become more of an issue as they find their way into our homes looking for warmth and food. 
2. Squirrels 
Again Squirrels are a mainstay pest from October to the beginning of April when spring will be back with us and they tend to move out into the trees again. 
During April they will be quickly replaced with Starlings as the next nuisance pest to grace your loft, pests re are relentless when it comes to being an unwelcome visitor. 
If you have any pest problems and need our help then we can help even during the lockdown as we are now officially a key service 
Call Area Pest Control on 0333 200 1622 Prefer to send an email, 
Look out for January's edition of PestWatch with more useful guidance on what to look out for. 
Stay Safe 
Dan – The Pest Man 
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