Following the latest announcement of the government enhancements surrounding COVID-19, Safeguard Pest Control want to reassure you that our full complement of services will continue to operate.
Safeguard will continue to take the necessary steps to protect our employees and our customers, whilst maintaining our high level of service and support.
Throughout the pandemic we have made many changes throughout the business to comply to the regular government updates and will continue to do so for all future enhancements. Our office remains fully operational, in line with government Covid-19 Secure guidelines. You can contact our team via the usual channels;
Our field based staff will continue to service our client base, as this task “absolutely cannot be done from home”. Each operative has received a dedicated toolbox talk on the necessary precautions, which they should take whilst in the field, as well as all operatives wearing the recommended appropriate PPE for the visit.
All routine visits, emergency call outs and surveys will be subject to a pre-visit COVID-19 questionnaire, followed by a dynamic risk assessment on arrival to the location by the operative. In most instances we imagine the visits will proceed.
Our work is important with regards to keeping the public safe. The servicing we provide helps to keep pests out of commercial buildings and residential homes, working to support our nation at this unprecedented time.
Pests can spread many diseases and the importance of the pest control industry to the nation as an essential service cannot be understated. As a nation, we absolutely cannot afford to have our medical facilities, schools, supermarkets, commercial buildings or homes uninhabitable.
Our number one priority is the protection and safety of our employees and our customers.
We wish you and your family all the very best and can assure you that we will help you wherever we can. We all have to work together, as this virus is deadly and doing the right thing is the only way to defeat it.
Please continue to follow the government guidelines to remain safe and healthy.
We thank all of you for your understanding during this extraordinary time.
For businesses looking to understand more about Legeionla regulations and their responsibilities as landlords and business owners, this article should serve as a helpful compliance guide.
There are a number of factors to address to ensure your businesses’ health and safety is compliant with HSE’s and ACOP L8’s guidelines. Below, we have included the core regulations to ensure the safety of your business and staff.
1a. Arranging a Legionella risk assessment
Arguably the most important step to ensuring your compliance with health and safety law guidelines, arranging a Legionella risk assessment is easy with AMES Group. Our process monitors the water flow and temperature of your water supplies and water systems to ensure they’re operating correctly and at the right temperatures. Our process typically involves:
Locating your hot and cold water systems and testing them
Surveying your water tanks and providing reports
Performing stagnation and water flow tests
Sourcing any potential aerosol threats
Our team offering helpful advice on conducting your own risk assessments
1b. The process
After arranging your Legionella risk assessment, an AMES Group surveyor will visit your property, identify key water sources (tanks, systems etc) and collect samples from these sources around the property. Then, they are sent to a UKAS-accredited testing station for further analysis. Your Legionella sampling results usually take around 2 – 3 weeks, and once we have received them, we will contact you and advise further action if necessary.
2. Understanding how to conduct a risk assessment
As long as Legionella regulations are followed, most landlords can conduct their own Legionella risk assessments. We have included a helpful guide on how to check each of your systems on our Legionella Testing article.
The most important factor is to appoint a competent, willing person from either within or outside your business to take responsibility for your Legionella regulations. The appointed person will have to identify the main water sources of the building and conduct the necessary control measures to alleviate the risk of Legionella bacteria to ensure the safety of the occupants.
3. Keeping records of your risk assessments
We strongly advise keeping hold of your Legionella risk assessment records for future reference, specifically when you are due another assessment. It’s also important in case your property is ever audited, records prove that a comprehensive assessment was carried out.
You may want to consider placing someone in charge of overseeing all Legionella-based responsibilities. The selected person should be trained to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment as well as being able to identify potential risks and threats associated with Legionella bacteria. This would include monitoring water temperature, identifying water tanks and systems throughout the property and ensuring all testing guidelines adhere to HSE’s Legionella regulations.
4. Getting trained or finding a certified engineer
Understanding the basics responsibilities for overseeing Legionella control can be achieved by most Landlords and does not require extensive training. In some cases, you may not want to place sole responsibility on someone from your business, especially if they don’t want to be trained. In this case, you can elect someone from outside your business who is trained in Legionella risk assessment.
The main Legionella regulations in the UK
While the HSE and ACOP L8 regulations are the benchmark to which all risk assessors adhere to, there are more specific codes of conduct that you may find useful. We’ve listed these information sources below:
Is your property compliant with Legionella regulations?
We understand that adhering to Legionella regulations may sound daunting, but there are only a few essential rules you need to follow to be compliant. However, if you don’t have the time or do not feel equipped to bear the responsibility of overseeing your property’s Legionella regulations, AMES Group can help.
We conduct hundreds of Legionella risk assessments every year,m ensuring properties are risk-free and safe from the threat of Legionnaires’ disease. If You would like to arrange a Legionella risk assessment, simply complete the contact form below and our team will get back to you swiftly to arrange a date that suits you.
Is a Legionella risk assessment a legal requirement?
What temperature should water be to prevent Legionella?
Hot water temperatures should remain above 60 degrees Celsius or higher, whereas cold water systems should remain below 20 degrees. If temperatures do not meet these criteria, Legionella bacteria has a platform and habitat to grow and multiply.
How often do legionella risk assessments need to be done?
We strongly advise that all properties have their water systems assessed for Legionella sampling and testing at least every two years. There is no ‘rule’ that states a landlord must conduct a risk assessment within a given time period, but landlords still have a legal requirement to control the risk of Legionella exposure.
How long do you need to keep Legionella records?
It’s advised that once your Legionella risk assessment is complete, you keep a record of your results for the next time you require an assessment. This could be anywhere between two and five years.
Legionella is a type of bacteria found in the Legionellaceae family and can be found in low amounts in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams. However, when Legionella bacteria finds its way into man-made hot and cold water systems, it can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which can become fatal for certain people and age groups.
Why are hot and cold water temperatures important?
Legionella, like other bacteria, requires certain habitats in order to survive and multiply. For Legionella to survive, water temperatures of between 20 and 45c must be met. If your hot and cold water tanks fall within these limits, it’s strong;y advised that you arrange a Legionella risk assessment with our team at AMES Group.
Below, we have outlined the systems you should check to control and reduce the risk of Legionella in all water system units.
Hot taps – How to check your water temperature
Temperature checks to identify the presence of Legionella can be conducted by anyone, and only requires a thermometer. However, landlords must know what to look out for when it comes to measuring the temperature of their hot and cold water systems.
Below is a simple step-by-step guide for identifying risks associated with Legionella:
Place the thermometer inside the hot water flow for approximately one minute
Record and read the temperature on the thermometer
A safe recording should read no less than 50c
If your recording is below 50c, it’s important you contact a Legionella risk assessor to conduct a survey of the property. This is a service we provide at AMES Group.
Cold taps – how to check your water temperature
In a similar concept to checking hot water tap temperatures, cold water taps should follow this format:
Place the thermometer into the cold water flow, this time for two minutes
Take a reading of the recorded temperature after two minutes
Water heaters/calorifiers – how to check your water temperature
It’s good practice to check the water flow and return temperatures at least once a month. Temperature probes can be used to safely monitor and record the temperature of calorifiers. If the outgoing water is less than 60c, this increases the risk of Legionella bacteria forming.
Air conditioning units – how to check your water temperature
In short, air conditioning units cannot cause Legionnaires’ disease, because the bacteria requires water to form and multiply. However, there are scenarios where air conditioning units can become infected with Legionella bacteria, these may include:
If your air conditioning unit functions off a water-based system of cooling a refrigerant and then becomes infected with Legionella bacteria.
If one of your water systems harbours Legionella bacteria, which then spreads to the air conditioning unit.
Maintaining your water systems and performing regular checks will alleviate the theta of Legionella being transferred through air conditioning units. If you discover that your water systems are contaminated and linked up to air conditioning units, please contact our engineers for advice and support.
Additional checks to ensure water temperature safety
We advise you take monthly water temperature and flow checks from your calorifier as well as checking your cold water temperature once every six months. You may find it helpful to keep records of your recorded temperatures, so that in the event of a risk assessment being carried out, we can reflect on this information and come up with solutions to fix the problem.
The risks of not checking water temperatures
The biggest threat associated with Legionella bacteria is Legionnaires’ disease. This type of disease can be fatal for some people, particularly those over 60 and those who suffer with compromised immune systems. If someone drinks or inhales water from a contaminated man-made water source, they are at risk of contracting the disease, and you may be held liable if your property’s health and safety regulations were not met.
For peace of mind and certified risk assessments
If you would prefer one of our certified engineers to conduct a full Legionella risk assessment at your commercial property, we’re here to help. Our risk assessments are designed to be fast, affordable and minimally-invasive to ensure we do not disturb your work environment. Once we have taken water samples from your systems, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your results to return. Once we have them we will contact you with results.
Book your legionella temperature test today and ensure the safety of yourself and your occupants.
Legionella, also known as Legionella pneumophila and Legionnaires disease, is a disease that affects the respiratory system (specifically the lungs) and is the product of bacteria that develops in water systems. Below we will be discussing what are Legionella symptoms and what to look out for.
AMES Group provides UK customers with comprehensive Legionella tests to ensure your commercial property and workplace’s water systems remain safe.
What is Legionella?
Legionella or Legionnaires’ disease is an infection that attacks the lungs and is often likened to different types of pneumonia.
People can catch Legionnaires’ disease through inhaling or ingesting drops of contaminated water from hot tubs, air conditioning units and other water tanks that regulate water temperature.
If people catch Legionnaires’ disease, it can become deadly, especially in older adult patients and adults suffering from respiratory issues.
Early Legionnaires’ symptoms can be compared to signs of pneumonia and include:
Consistent cough that doesn’t go away
Muscle aches and pains
Headaches and nausea
Confusion and sometimes disorientation
Legionnaires disease that is left untreated can lead to pneumonia, but this is rare. Regardless, if you have any of the above symptoms, they remain consistent and you have recently ingested contaminated water, you should arrange to see your doctor as soon as you can.
Where you contract Legionnaires’ disease
Legionella requires certain elements in order to survive and for bacteria to grow and multiply. For Legionella to grow, it requires the following:
Suitable habitat for growth – shower heads, hot tub jets, taps and hot water cylinders are prime examples for Legionella growth.
A food source – like with any bacteria, Legionella requires food to survive and this comes in the form of bacteria typically sourced from shower and hair care products.
Adequate temperature – one of the most important requirements Legeionella demands is the correct water temperature. Legionella thrives in temperatures between 20c to 45c. A Legionella test will ensure that your water tank temperature will not fall into this temperature zone.
Legionnaires’ disease and its relationship with Pneumonia
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are often associated with pneumonia, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
Pneumonia occurs approximately one to two days after being exposed to bacterial pneumonia, which leads to bacterial infection. Other types of pneumonia include:
Aspiration pneumonia – this occurs when you inhale foreign objects, including chemicals, smoke or even certain foods like peanuts. Aspiration pneumonia can also be contracted upon inhaling vomit.
Viral pneumonia – this is caused by a virus, which includes coronavirus (COVID-19). If you do develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, it’s essential you follow government public health guidelines regarding social distancing and isolation upon noticing symptoms.
Fungal pneumonia – a much rarer case of pneumonia which is rarely caught in the UK. It’s more likely to affect adults with weak immune systems.
There is also another type of Legionella called Legionella longbeachae, which is typically found in soil and compost. When someone contracts it, it can result in Pontiac fever – an acute respiratory disease that is nonfatal and does not include pneumonia.
Can children get Legionnaires’ disease?
Although children can contract Legionnaires disease, it is very rare, with usually very mild symptoms or they will display no symptoms at all. People at higher risk of contracting the disease are adults with compromised immune systems and those over 60.
Treatment for Legionnaires’ disease
Legionnaires’ disease can become fatal to adults who have weakened immune systems, are over 60 and/or suffer from respiratory issues. It’s important that if symptoms persist, you should arrange to see your doctor.
Treatment for Legionnaires disease typically includes:
A machine to help you breathe
Oxygen via a face mask
Your condition should start to improve as your treatment continues. If you are given a course of antibiotics, you may be asked to take them for approximately 1 – 3 weeks depending on the advice provided by your doctor.
A full recovery is expected through correct treatment, but you can expect to rest for around two weeks before feeling normal again.
How AMES Group can help prevent Legionella in the workplace
AMES Group offers comprehensive water sample and water testing services for customers around the UK. compliance with ACOP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations is essential to ensure the safety and welfare of your staff.
Our Legionella risk assessments
Our water sampling and water quality tests are conducted by our certified staff in a fast and efficient manner. Our Legionella disease control and prevention tests provide identification and assessment of the source of any Legionella risk. Upon completion, you will also be provided with a written scheme (course or action), to prevent and minimise the risk of Legionella within your property.
Prevention is better than a cure, book your risk assessment today
You can book a risk assessment test with AMES Group today to ensure your compliance with ACoP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations and the safety of your workplace and staff. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are easily preventable and only require a short risk assessment that will remain valid for two years with AMES Group.
To lower the risk of Legionella outbreak and to protect your workplace and staff, book your risk assessment test today.
Mice love to eat seeds, bulbs and vegetables of various kinds from your garden. A mouse has plenty of cover from predators in a backyard and may make their bed in burrows or a shed. The signs of a mouse problem in the garden include bite marks on produce and holes in the soil where mice dig for food.
Mice in the garden can also spread disease. To get rid of mice in the garden you can practice a selection of techniques to shield the food sources a mouse will eat, remove or adjust potential places a mouse may make a bed and potentially use poison or traps. Poison is only usually necessary if there is a big problem.
While the tips we provide here will help, using a professional rodent control service is the most effective way of dealing with mice in your garden. For an affordable and long-lasting solution to a mouse problem in your backyard, you can contact us. We can assess the situation and provide the best outcome.
Signs of mice in a garden and why they like your backyard
There are many signs of mice and other rodents in your garden. The main signs are holes in the soil where mice dig to find food, such as near a seed, bulb or root vegetable. You can also find their beds underground, or possibly in a garden shed. Bite marks on vegetables and other plants are another sign of mice in your garden.
You may mistake the signs of field mice in your garden for a different type of rodent. There is a chance that water voles or bank voles are the cause of the damage in your backyard, but it is unlikely that rats or house mice will be the cause of your problems.
Field mice will choose an environment for one primary reason, which is a food source. Your garden can provide an abundance of food for mice, especially if you have extensive fruit and vegetable plants. Mice will find the natural cover of a garden another attractive aspect of your backyard.
3 practical tips on how to get rid of mice in the garden
It is relatively rare for field mice to become such a huge problem that there is an infestation, but you probably find the damage they cause fairly annoying. Mice can also spread disease in your garden from their urine and faeces. As a result, you will want to take preventative measures to stop backyard mice.
The following are some practical tips to help control the mice in your garden. By incorporating these tips into your gardening practices, you can ensure the problem of mice remains minimal:
1. Protect your plants
You probably do not wish to give in to the problem and simply remove all of your plants. However, you can take measures to protect your plants from mice, or at least minimise their impact and dissuade them from damaging plants.
You can try putting mesh wire over your plant pots outside, which will stop any hungry mouse from accessing them. Mice hate biting on metal, and they are not strong enough to bite through it in any case.
You can also help rodent-proof your backyard shed. A shed is a key area where a mouse can make its bed and they will access potting sheds for feeding purposes too. Try using steel wool at any potential access points.
2. Get rid of any possible nesting places
Mice prefer warm, dry little nooks and crannies to make their nests. It is important to regularly sweep areas that may be appealing for mice to make their beds in for signs of an existing nest.
Areas to look out for include log piles, which can provide a notable amount of shelter to a mouse. Another common area you will see mice make their beds is in the garden shed. Check all corners and take a look underneath the shed too.
Unfortunately, finding a bed is not the best sign as it means that mice are present and may have also spread. Look for holes in the ground too, as mice can burrow to make a bed and line it with leaves or other materials.
3. Try poison, traps or rat boxes
We see lots of rodents and control different types with certain methods, which gives you a lot of versatility when you choose our services. However, unless the problem is really bad, it may be milder to avoid poison for mice in a garden.
You can successfully apply rodenticide, particularly under sheds or decking, but this is not always necessary. Humane traps can help by capturing the mice and there are commercial mouse repellents and deterrents you can try too.
A rat box will also help with rats or other rodents. It contains poison and has a design that makes it work with rats and mice without interfering with any other larger animals or pets.
Mice control options for your garden
Having mice in the garden is irritating and they can cause damage to plants. Look for small holes and bite marks or signs of a nest. Protecting plants, removing places where mice make their beds and using more traditional forms of pest control are some potential ways to get rid of the issue.
If you want the most effective mice control in your garden you are going to need a professional service to ensure you use the right option. Trying to do it yourself can be a challenge, but hopefully these tips we discussed above will help you prevent any significant problems.
If you have a bigger problem and want to guarantee a long-lasting solution to the issue of mice in your garden, we recommend contacting us so we can assess the situation and take control of the problem. You can also view our blog for more tips and information on pest control.
Here at AMES Group, we take great pride in the decades of experience we have in the world of pest control, and we have dealt with a wide variety of pest problems during this time. This includes innumerable cases involving mice in walls, so we know exactly what to do when the rodents have made themselves comfortable in your space. This is even professional advice that we are willing to pass along when a customer needs our help.
We are traditionally a commercial pest control firm, but we will also carry out work on domestic properties if the problem is too large to be handled by non-professionals. We will always take your case into consideration, so contact us today if you suspect that you have a mouse problem somewhere in your property, but you need our expert help to clean them out.
Signs you may have mice in your walls
As nocturnal creatures, you’re unlikely to openly see mice during the day unless you have quite a large infestation. Instead, they will keep to the spaces in cavity walls, vents, suspended ceilings and other hidden areas, only venturing out at night or when your property is quiet to look for food.
If you suspect that mice live anywhere in your property, including in your walls, you will have to watch for a number of different signs to be certain:
Scratching sounds coming from walls, underneath floorboards, in attics, cellars or ceilings, especially at night
Chewed containers or boxes, or crumbs showing up in your cupboards
Droppings scattered randomly, inside cupboards, on kitchen countertops or along skirting boards
Buildups of urine combined with body grease, dirt and shed fur in piles (known as urine pillars)
Grease marks rubbed along skirting boards and walls, from where the mice have travelled
Tracks or footprints in dust or any other scattered substance, including flour or talcum powder
Nests or signs of nests, usually spotted by noticing buildups of shredded paper, cotton balls or other soft materials
A strong smell coming from any particular area where mice may hide
If you have a combination of any of these signs (especially a scratching sound), it is likely that you have a mouse or even multiple mice living somewhere in or around your property.
After this, you should start to find methods of removing them (whether via a home remedy or contacting a professional) and seeing about getting rid of the things that are attracting them to your home.
What could be attracting mice into your walls?
A mouse problem in your walls could be caused by a variety of different things that attract rodents into any commercial building, or even a domestic space such as a house or apartment:
Food sources provided by leaving crumbs and small pieces of food around
Not properly cleaning plates or by leaving food in unsealed containers
Water sources provided by leaving out uncovered pet bowls. Mice can also obtain water from their food, so you may be giving them both food and water simply by not cleaning away crumbs!
Letting the rubbish pile in your kitchen bin pile up and overflow
General untidiness in your interior, which provides mice with places to hide
Cracks and other openings in cavity walls
Odours that have been left behind by previous infestations
The warmth and safety provided by your interior space (this reason becomes prominent during the UK’s autumn and winter months, when the temperature is naturally colder and mice will look for a safe place to nest)
How to get rid of mice in your walls for good
You may have a number of home remedies and solutions available to you if you would like to try and get rid of mice from your business, house or apartment’s walls yourself, without any help from professionals:
Sealing up all possible holes and cracks which could become entrances to cavity walls and other spaces in your home
Cleaning up all possible food sources, not leaving behind any crumbs which mice might be attracted to
Storing all food you intend to eat properly, in sealed plastic or metal containers
Cleaning away all soft materials that a mouse could attempt to use as bedding (especially during the winter, when they will be looking for a warm place to make a nest)
Using a store-bought trap to catch the mice (these traps usually require bait to lure the mouse in)
Leaving out poison
Leaving cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper or cloves in areas where you have had problems with mice. These are said to naturally repel mice
Using a small amount of ammonia as a mouse repellent in places where they may hide (please keep these out of reach of pets and children)
When to contact the professionals
In some cases, an infestation may be too large or too severe for home remedies to have any affect. When this applies to your property, you will need to rely on a professional UK pest control firm to either trap, fumigate or otherwise remove the mice that live in your walls. This ensures that the work is carried out just as it should be, and will leave your property completely clear of any vermin that were present before.
Our professional services for mouse control
Here at AMES Group, we offer a myriad of services that are guaranteed to take care of any mice in your walls, whether you are looking to fumigate, bait or trap vermin found in your home or business. Everything we carry out will be meticulously planned beforehand, and offers the most humane levels of service. Once our work has been carried out, we can even offer you expert advice on what to do to keep your home rodent-free.
Just imagine being able to live and work without the worry of knowing there are mice in the walls, sleeping at night without any scratching sound to wake you up or finding chewed holes in your cupboards that have a trail of crumbs leading from them. You will be able to relax completely, and return to your normal routine without any hassle, whether it’s summer and there is plenty of food around or winter and your property is the warmest place around.
Our services for UK mouse control include:
Finding signs of large scale problems
Identifying holes and other points where mice may enter your property
Offering professional advice on what to do to keep mice from returning once removed
Providing a full guide on the most useful tools and products for pest prevention
Our service will always naturally begin with a survey to determine the size and severity of your pest infestation, which should take between half an hour to an hour, and can always be scheduled at a time which suits you best. Once this assessment has been completed, our trained and qualified technician will be able to come up with the most effective solution for clearing out your property.
Our team member called to your property may even be able to start work on removing the mice from your walls right away, but this depends on the severity of your mouse problem.
The treatments that might be used to clear your property include:
Mouse repellents ‒ these include ultrasonic devices and poison, if necessary. We may even fumigate the affected area
Bait traps ‒ these will be used to lure in and trap the mice, before they are humanely captured and transported elsewhere for a safe relocation
Odour Control ‒ this removes any smell which may be left after you have had an infestation of mice. This also helps to prevent more mice from being attracted into your property again
Proofing and prevention ‒ our team members will be ready and waiting to discuss easy, cost-effective methods of keeping mice away from your property after the treatment has been carried out
We must also note that removing mice from your property will require more than one visit, because of the pest control process required, as well as legal obligations.
You may also rest assured that each control procedure we carry out for properties invaded by mice will see a treatment based on a bespoke plan, so your space will always receive exactly the pest control it needs. This plan will then be carried out by a dedicated technician who is BPCA-certified. This keeps our work industry standard, so you know you are receiving the highest quality care for your property.
Clear your vents and walls and bring back your peace of mind
Contact our team at AMES Group today and we can ensure that the vents and walls of your property are kept mouse-free, at a time which will be quicker than attempting to tackle the work yourself and at greater levels of efficiency than home remedies. Whether you have any kind of infestation in your commercial building, or your house or apartment is showing signs of a huge number of rodents, such as the persistent sound of scratching throughout or large amounts of droppings, we can be there as soon as possible to take care of the problem.
Any mice we find in your walls or vents will be removed quickly and humanely, with thorough care on our part to ensure that the job is carried out to the highest levels of quality. We’ll bring these services to your property wherever you are in the Midlands.
What Attracts Mice into Your Home and How Can it Be Stopped?
With over 30 years of experience in pest control and in tackling vermin problems in properties, AMES Group is more than prepared to give advice on what attracts mice into your interior spaces. We have seen countless cases over the years, noting what has brought each case inside before we come up with the correct solution for removing the mice again. We can even provide free professional advice for our customers on how to stop mice from coming back inside.
Traditionally, we operate as a specialist commercial pest control company, but if you have a large scale problem with mice in a domestic property, we will be happy to take your case into consideration as well. Contact us today if you think there may be a mouse problem somewhere in or around your space and our team can ensure that the problem is taken care of quickly, efficiently and as soon as possible.
Why do you have mice in your house?
There are a number of different things which might attract mice into your home, including:
Small pieces of food and crumbs which haven’t been properly cleared away
Improperly sealed containers, either on food for humans or pet food
Overflowing rubbish bins
General mess around your property interior, which gives the mice a place to hide
Available water sources, such as pet water bowls
Long grass or tall weeds growing in your garden or yard, especially around your property’s foundations
Cracks and openings in walls
The warmth and shelter provided by an interior, especially in the colder autumn and winter months
Odours left behind by mice from previous infestations
Good nesting material within easy access, such as cotton, dental floss, old newspapers and feathers from pillows or quilts
What mice do when nesting in houses and apartments
Once mice have made their way into a house or an apartment, they will start to find a more permanent shelter and build a nest. This will usually be in a warm, isolated area, such as in walls, ceilings and attic spaces, with the most likely areas being located near to food sources, such as kitchens and dining rooms. Because of this, you may also find nests behind appliances and in cupboards.
The mice will also spend their time finding food around your home. Mice eat a range of different foods, and will be happy on anything from biscuit crumbs, to peanut butter, chocolate and chocolate spread, bacon, cereals, fruit and crisps.
Physical signs of a mouse problem
Mice are nocturnal, so catching them in your pantry during the day is unlikely, unless your infestation is rather severe. However, signs such as chewed boxes, half-eaten food and crumbs and droppings all determine whether you have a problem with mice.
Mouse droppings and urine in your interior will be a very blatant sign that you have an infestation. These will both build up over time if unmanaged, causing odour and other hygiene issues in your property.
You may also start to notice smeared marks and lines appearing along your skirting boards, which is a sign that mice are commonly using that path to travel back and forth in your home. The marks are made by grease coming off a mouse’s fur as they rub along the boards.
How one mouse becomes an infestation
With the combined knowledge that mice can live for up to a year in your home, female mice can be ready to mate again immediately after having a litter (usually between five and six pups) and only have a gestation period of between 19 and 21 days, you can understand why your home may quickly be overrun by a mouse infestation.
Do the mice keep coming back?
If you keep getting rid of mice around your property but they keep returning, it is likely that you haven’t gotten rid of the thing which is attracting them in the first place. There may be a number of different solutions to this.
How to prevent mice from entering your home
Just as there are a number of things which may attract mice into your home, there are also a number of things that you can do as a property owner to prevent them from coming in:
Storing food properly in plastic or metal containers
Regularly cleaning spaces which see a lot of food, especially under appliances and inside kitchen cupboards
Keeping your home tidy to prevent mice from hiding under clutter
Regularly weeding and tidying your garden or yard to give them fewer places to hide outside
Sealing up or covering holes, gaps and cracks in walls, vents and pipes
Fixing any damage in your roofing, including using wire mesh to seal up gaps
Setting out commercial traps and bait or poison to remove them from your home
If you do these and find that mice are still returning to your property, or you are worried that your infestation might be too large for a store-bought remedy to be effective, it will be time to call a professional pest control service to provide the thorough solution you need.
Our services for removing mice from your property
AMES Group provides a range of exceptional services for a number of homes and any businesses that have a mouse problem. From methodical but humane removal services, to providing effective rodent deterrents and repellents, we ensure that you can feel comfortable in your own space without having to listen to scratches in the walls or find droppings again. We will even offer you free, expert advice on what our customers can do to keep their properties pest-free in the future.
Our services for mouse control include:
Identifying signs of large scale mouse problems in houses, apartments, gardens or yards
Finding areas where a mouse may enter your property, providing advice and prevention methods that will keep mice away
Mouse nest removal
Essential mouse prevention methods
A comprehensive guide to the most useful mouse prevention tools and products
How our service works
We will begin by conducting a professional survey of your property and its surrounding area ‒ our work always starts by assessing the severity of your infestation. To do this, one of our trained and qualified technicians will come to your property and carry it out.
This work should take between half an hour and a full hour and will always be done at a time which is most convenient for you. You will never have to worry about our member of staff turning up when you are not available!
We will carry out our work using mouse control treatments that are specific to your needs ‒ every job we carry out for this type of work will be different, as mice can pose a variety of problems for properties. Once our team member has completed an assessment of the situation, they will be able to provide the solution that should see your property cleared. They may even be able to start work right away, but this will depend on the size and severity of the infestation.
The treatments we may use include:
Mouse-sized bait traps ‒ these use bait to lure the mice into a cage, perfect for humane capture, transport and relocation
Mouse repellents ‒ these include ultrasonic devices and poison, if necessary
Rodent Odour Control ‒ this treatment service helps to remove the bad smell which often accompanies large infestations of rats or mice
Proofing and prevention ‒ just imagine having gotten rid of a worryingly large mouse nest in your property and finally feeling settled again, only for the problem to start over when you hear more mice in your walls! This is where our team can step in and help, because once our technician has identified your infestation and the problem has been resolved, they will also be able to discuss easy, cost-effective methods that help to prevent further pest problems
It must be noted that mouse control for your property will require more than one visit, owing to the nature of the pest control required and additional legal obligations.
We are BPCA-certified
Any time we are called to take care of mice on a property, the job will be carried out by one of our BPCA-certified technicians. This guarantees industry-standard levels of service that will see your property clear, and ensures that all treatments we use adhere to and comply with standard British health and safety regulations.
Each of our team members also understand that every property they visit will have different issues with mice, so you can also be sure that the pest control solution and advice provided will be bespoke and specific to your property’s needs.
Free your home from unwanted rodent pests
Contact our specialist team at AMES Group today to have your home cleared completely of any mouse or mice, whether you live in a house or an apartment, or even need pest control services to take care of an infestation in your garden. Our emergency technicians can even come to your location right away if your problem needs taking care of as soon as possible. So, if you know that the issue in your home is too much to handle, we can deal with it to the professional standards you deserve.
You can rest assured that we’ll swiftly and humanely remove any mouse we find on your property, wherever you are based in our catchment area. We are proud to offer our services across any number of locations in the Midlands, so if your property is in need of our services, we will be there.
In the UK, there are currently six different mouse species, five of which are native and one (dormouse) being accidentally introduced in the early 20th century.
Whether you have spotted a mouse in your house or commercial property or you’re simply curious about the different mice types, we have created an all you need to know guide on the different types of mice found in the UK.
House mouse (Mus musculus)
Arguably the most common type of mouse found in both residential and commercial properties. This is because house mice enjoy living near us and around us. House mice are, for the most part, harmless but in large numbers, they can cause structural and hygiene problems, especially for businesses.
How to identify a house mouse
House mice are the most basic type of mouse and can be characterised by the following features:
Colour: light brown with a lighter belly
Lifespan: about one year in the wild
Size: between 8 – 12cm (their size does not differ whether its a female mouse or a male mouse)
Distinctive features: large circular ears and a strong smell (see our guide on mice smells for more information on this)
What do house mice eat?
House mice rely on a diet of nuts and sometimes small insects. They also enjoy cereal and anything with a high sugar count.
What are they like?
House mice are nocturnal creatures that prefer to source food and shelter in the night and rarely come into contact with humans during daytime. They like living with us mainly due to the food and shelter we provide. However, mice are notorious bacteria transmitters and while one house mouse may not cause huge problems, a nest can. If you discover a nest in your property, be sure to contact AMES Group or read our article on the best ways to get rid of mice.
Field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)
The field mouse, as its name suggests, takes up its residence in fields across the UK but can find their way into our homes and properties.
How to identify a field mouse
Colour: may be a slightly darker brown with a white belly
Lifespan: about a year in the wild
Size: slightly smaller than the average house mouse, about 8 – 10cm
Distinctive features: large back feet, does not smell as bad as house mice and very shy
What do field mice eat?
Similar to house mice, field mice base their diet on nuts and seeds foraged from the fields where they live.
What are they like?
Field mice are very timid and are rarely seen in the daylight. They are fast on their feed and can jump high thanks to their powerful back legs. Most of their nests are created underground in burrows, and it’s not uncommon for a field mouse to create a nest in your garden.
They are also responsible for helping plant seeds to help the growth of new trees. Their main predators are owls, falcons and other large birds.
Harvest mouse (Micromys minutus)
Harvest mice are the smallest mouse on our UK mouse list and dwell in fields and grassy areas.
How to identify a harvest mouse
Colour: light brown or even orange
Lifespan: 8-12 months in the wild
Size: by far the smallest mouse in the UK, with a size of approximately 6cm
Distinctive features: its small frame, blunt nose and a tail as long as its body
What do harvest mice eat?
Harvest mice will eat anything from vegetation and fruit to small insects found in grassy areas
What are they like?
Harvest are less common to appear in our homes and properties because they’re happy to nest in grassy areas and fields. They are nocturnal and prefer quieter surroundings.
Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)
As their name suggests, yellow-necked mice have a distinct yellow band around its neck.
How to identify a yellow-necked mouse
Colour: yellow neck with a greyish-brown fur coat
Lifespan: about a year in the wild
Size: typically slightly larger than your average field/wood mouse
Distinctive features: its yellow neck is the only distinguishable factor when comparing it to a field mouse, other than that, they share many of the same features
What do yellow-necked mice eat?
Similar to the above, yellow-necked mice will eat nuts, seeds and small insects, but they also enjoy sugary foods such as cereal.
What are they like?
Yellow-necked mice are shy and timid by nature and will only source food at night. They predominantly inhabit outside grassy areas but can find their way into our homes and properties if food and shelter is easily accessible.
Differences between mice and other similar animals
Mice can be difficult to identify to anyone who is not a pest control expert, so we have compiled a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding identifying mice below:
What is the difference between a mouse and a vole?
Voles have shorter tails than mice and are usually wider and more stout. Voles also prefer to remain underground and are not commonly found in our homes, unless brought in by a predator like a cat.
What is the difference between a shrew and a mouse?
Again, shrews are usually smaller than mice with a pointed nose and prefer burrowing underground as opposed to living with humans. Shrews are also not considered rodents, instead, shrews are Eulipothphla, meaning they predominantly eat insects. Other Eulipotpgla include hedgehogs and moles.
What is the difference between a mole and a mouse?
Moles are stout creatures that are usually black or very dark brown in colour and have pink noses and claws. Both their ears and eyes are so small it’s difficult to spot them on first glance.
Struggling to identify a mouse?
If you have spotted a mouse or multiple mice in your property, it may be the sign of an early infestation. For this, you can try laying traps to catch the mice before the problem escalates. We have our own article on the best ways to trap and eliminate mice which you may find useful.
Failing that, if traps aren’t working or you have a mouse problem in a commercial property, you may need professional assistance.
What you need to know about rat baits in boxes or traps
Rats are dangerous. They spread disease to people and other animals and can also cause damage to property. The best way to trap or kill rats is by using the best kind of bait. Effective baiting methods can attract rats and control an infestation.
Rat bait and rat control methods go hand in hand. By pairing them together it is possible to clear an infestation. There is also an element of prevention to rat bait and control methods, which is the best way to stop problems with rodents before they become unmanageable.
The main types of rodent control methods that use bait include snap traps and rat bait stations, or boxes. The best bait depends on the method a person is using. Common types of bait include the following:
rodenticides, which use chemicals such as warfarin or bromadiolone
cooked or raw meats
nest materials, such as cotton or string
An irresistible rat bait is a strong first step. However, the most effective solution depends on conditions including weather or climate and the individual nature of the problem. The scale is an issue too. Our services are available to both commercial and domestic clients, some of which have very large problems.
A common type of rat bait is a cheese for a snap trap or a poison bait block, which will target species of rat and mouse entering a rat box. It is important to avoid any hesitation as the problem can worsen.
Many people find it intimidating to deal with rats, which is why we offer a professional service to take on the problem. People need to call 0330 404 1497 for a quote or a rapid response. The can also contact us directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each type of rat trap will carry its own individual benefits. The best baiting methods will depend on each individual situation.
Rat bait boxes
A rat bait station, or box, is a popular and effective method of rodent control. They look like a small plastic box, similar to a shoebox in size, and open at the top. On the side of the box is a small hole for the rodents to enter.
Many types of rat and mouse control rely on bait stations because they are simple to use. There are industrial and homemade rat bait stations. It is possible to purchase prefilled stations, which removes the requirement of adding bait.
The chief benefits of a bait station or box include the following:
Feeding time: If a rodent feeds on the bait for a longer period it is more likely to be effective. The cosy box shape of a rat bait station makes rodents feel instinctively safer than bait out in the open, so they are more likely to feed longer.
Bait storage: When the bait is in a box it has a shield from the weather, This helps to make sure the rat bait attracts rats over a longer period. Outside the bait can degrade more easily and become less effective, which means replacing the bait more frequently.
Containment: The box only allows small rodents to enter it, so the bait is able to target species of rodent without affecting any other types of animal. The boxes are usually very strong too, so bigger animals will be unable to break into the station and access the bait.
Overall a bait station offers a very simple and effective way to control rats. They are usually very cost-effective as they have a long lifespan. People can easily check whether rats are eating the bait by opening the box.
Drawbacks of rat bait stations
If a rodent is already feeding itself, it may not necessarily seek out bait in a rat station in favour of a more reliable source of food. People can check if rats are entering the box by checking bait levels, but there is no guarantee.
Some bait boxes will not be effective for certain types of rat, as they may be picky about the bait. Some rat bait stations can also be fairly expensive. They may also be annoying to open in some cases, with certain designs requiring keys.
A snap trap is one of the most simple and robust methods of rodent control. The best bait for traps depends on circumstances such as weather conditions. When people find a site where rodents appear, placing a snap trap can help catch them in that area.
Snap traps are a popular form of rodent control as they work with a variety of bait. They are a very old form of rodent control, with the classic imagery of cheese on a spring-based trap dating back to the 1800s. Some traps kill the rats while others merely capture them.
The main benefits of snap traps include the following:
Affordability: Bait stations usually use expensive poison-based baits. A snap trap will provide an opportunity to use cheap baits such as cheese or meat. These baits are usable in a snap trap because trapping or killing the rodent in a specific location is the goal. It’s also simple to reset traps after using them.
Location-specific: Not only does the snap trap allow for trapping in a specific location, so a rat does not die in an area that is difficult to access, but they are also easily placeable in different locations. This is beneficial when someone has specific problem areas where rodents tend to congregate.
Safety: While a rat or mouse may be in danger, pets and children will have no risk. Conversely, poison baits may harm pets or other animals that unwittingly consume it, and children can be curious or stumble across poison bait by accident.
Using poison baits is effective, but they degrade over time. The snap trap kills or captures the rat instantly, whereas poisons take some time to become effective. They are cheap, effective and fast, so snap traps are a popular and reliable choice.
Drawbacks of snap traps
Snap traps require regular checking, so they are not as low-maintenance as other types of rodent control.
Lethal snap traps can also be unsightly to find once a rat activates it, with a potentially upsetting experience for people who are not familiar with such a sight. Some people consider such traps to be inhumane, although any lethality is usually instant.
While largely harmless, there is a small risk of a very strong snap trap potentially breaking a child’s finger or harming a pet. People can mitigate this risk by placing traps out of reach.
Rat bait solutions for domestic and commercial settings
Rats and other pests can be extremely challenging to deal with, and recurring infestations can be disheartening and frustrating. As a result, it’s important to get it right. If people would like to know more about different types of bait, they can see our blog post here
People need to call a reactive and responsive pest control provider to ensure they handle their problems right away.
The Definitive Guide to Types of Rat in the UK and Abroad
Rats are one the most common rodents in the UK, with the rodents outnumbering us by about six to one. Most rats live on farms or in large open fields scattered across the UK, but rats have no trouble finding their ways into our home in search of shelter, warmth and food.
The UK is home to a number of different rat types of rat and we will be exploring rats from both the UK and across the globe. There are several types of rat species scattered across the continent and our team has provided a fully comprehensive guide on every type of rat currently known.
A Guide to All Types of Rat
We have separated the different types of rat by continent to make it easier to identify which type of rat you may have encountered.
Types of the Rat in the UK
Also known as – Norway rat, house rat, garden rat, sewer rat, domestic rat, Hanover rat, common rat, roof rat, rattus norvegicus
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – Two years
Size – 21 – 24 days
Widely known as the most common rat in the UK, the brown rat is home to all parts of the UK but is most commonly found in fields and farms. Brown rats have a gestation period of 21-24 days and live for approximately two years in the wild. Domestic rats, which are effectively brown rats that have become domesticated, will live longer as pets. They are also known as ‘fancy rats’.
Also known as – Roof rats, port rats
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – About a year in the wild
Size – 30 to 45 cm and up to 240 grams
Black rats are common in the UK but only in certain areas. Black rats prefer to inhabit ports and seaside areas. Adept swimmers, black rats are able to swim up canals and infiltrate properties through drainways and sewage pipes. They are notorious spreaders of bacteria and disease, notably the bubonic plague.
Also known as – Large brown rats
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – About two years
Size – sizes recorded up to 1.3m
Giant rats are simply mutated brown or black rats that have overgrown. Giant rats are not a specific rat type but can become dangerous simply due to their size. If you find a giant rat, it is essential you call a pest control company to ensure it is safely removed from the premises. Standard traps will not work against giant rats.
Naked Mole Rat
Also known as – Naked rats, bald rats, hairless rats
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – Up to 30 years
Size – 3 – 10 inches
Naked mole rats are easy to spot and are characterised by their naked, hairless bodies that resemble a shaved rat. They are almost pink in colour and live far underground in colonies. Rarely do they ever surface except to gather food for the queen naked mole rat.
Also known as – Water vole
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – 5 months in the wild, two years in captivity
Size – 20cm long
Water rats are chunky in physique, are usually dark brown in colour and have very small tails. They are smaller than the UK brown rat but maintain a similar diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. As their name suggests, they live near lakes, ravines and ponds along urban waterways.
Also known as – Lab rat, laboratory rat, white-haired rat
In the UK? – Yes
Lifespan – 2 to 3 years
Size – 20cm long
White rats are commonly used in research and they are typically bred for psychology and biomedical science. They are commonly used in water experiments, namely the Morris water navigation test which is used to determine memory. There are several white rats used for scientific experiments, a definitive list can be found on Wikipedia.
Also known as – Long-haired rat
In the UK? – No
Lifespan – About a year in the wild
Size – 10 to 20cm and approximately 230g (fully grown)
Native to Australia, the long-haired rat is one of the only rats that does not carry disease and does not smell. It is not similar to rats in the UK as it is not a commensal rodent (meaning it does not like living between humans), instead, it keeps to itself, burrowing underground and living in large open fields and landscapes.
North America Rats
Also known as – Merriam’s kangaroo rat
In the UK? – No
Lifespan – 2 – 5 years
Size – 8 – 14cm with a tail up to 16cm long
Kangaroo rats are native to North America and can survive without ever drinking water. perfectly suited to hotter climates, kangaroo rats are able to source all the water they need from their diet of seeds. They have exceptional hearing which makes them adept at avoiding prey such as snakes and larger rodents.
This rat type was native to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Bulldog rats inhabited hilly areas and made their nests underground like most other nests. However, their nests were buried deeper into the ground as they had a severe problem with sunlight and in some cases, direct contact would blind them. They were large rats with about 2cm of fat on their back.
Their extinction is thought to have been brought on by sailors who contracted the bubonic plague. Although unintentional, the plagued sailors were the reason why bulldog rats died out in 1908.
For more information on rats
If you require more information on rats in the UK, such as the best traps to use, where to locate rats and the best bait types, we have a variety of articles dedicated to these themes in our blog.
This article is constantly updated, so keep a look out for more rat profiles in the future.
If you are suffering from a rat or mouse infestation in a commercial property, we can provide fast, effective and humane pest control solutions at affordable rates across the Midlands.
Seen any of these types of rat? or a different one? let us know in the comments below..
Mice are among the most common domestic and commercial pests in the UK, with the house mouse population thought to be over 5.4 million. While mice pose no threat to us and are far less likely to cause the same amount of problems as rats, they are still pests and can multiply quickly if they become comfortable in your home.
At AMES Group, we’ve been humanely removing and deterring mice from domestic and commercial properties for very 35 years and have trialled a variety of traps, deterrents and baits to qualify their usefulness.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the best baits on the market that lure mice out of their nests so you are able to catch and remove them from your property. All baits are humane as well as all trapping methods we suggest.
The 7 Best Mouse Trap Baits
Peanut butter – ideal for both rats and mice, peanut butter is the perfect blend of high fat and sugar and mice are able to smell this from far away.
Seeds are the main part of a mouse’s natural diet, but this is not the best type of bait in homes. Instead, try using foods that are high in fat, sugar or both. This includes:
Cooked or raw meats – cut up bits of hot dog work well as mouse bait. If you’re using snap traps, you can push the soft meat onto the trap to ensure the mouse has to apply pressure to the food in order for it to move; in turn, releasing the trap.
Cheese – cheese has always worked well as mouse bait. If you are going to use cheese, try to choose one that smells, as it will have a further reach than other types.
Marshmallows/gum drops – sweets will always work well as mice bait due to their high sugar count. Sweets are inexpensive and one or two should do the trick.
Chocolate – in the same vein as sweets, mice also love chocolate. Small bits of chocolate attached to the trap or inside it (if it’s a live trap) will be enough to lure the mouse inside.
Pet food – wet dog or cat food has been proven to work on mice. As it’s often left out in the evening after feeding your pets, mice commonly snack on it under the cover of darkness
Nest materials – slightly more unorthodox but proven to be effective, instead of food, place nesting materials on/in the trap. Mice are always looking for materials to build their nest and the easier they are to source, the more likely the mice will approach.
Bits of carpet
Top tip: do not contaminate the bait with your hands! Mice have a good sense of smell and will be able to detect your scent on a trap or the bait on the trap. This will make them think twice about approaching the bait as they will link your scent to danger. To tackle this, wear glasses and ensure the trap is placed well away
What to Do When Baits Don’t Work
There are scenarios where the bait you are using may be proving ineffective. There are a few reasons this may be happening, either the mouse simply doesn’t like that type of bait or they have grown used to that food source and are not interested in exploring it further.
Here are a few solutions to consider:
Switch the bait – simple, if the mouse doesn’t take the bait, replace it with something new.
Switch the trap – mice are intelligent creatures and some will be able to recognise a trap and therefore try to remove the bait without getting caught (this is more common in snap traps). If your trap has been out for a few days or a week with no results, try switching the trap. If you’re using snap traps, try using live traps, for example.
Change the location of the trap – trap placement is essential when baiting mice, so be sure that it’s placed in an area of high activity or at entry points. If it’s not working, try moving the trap to another area where you believe the mouse has visited. We have an article on the best ways to identify rat presence which is just as helpful for spotting mice, take a look here.
The bait is gone but so is the mouse – this is not an uncommon problem, as stated previously, mice are fairly intelligent and can recognise traps and will try and dislodge the bait to avoid getting caught. If this has happened, try testing the trigger of the trap to ensure it works. If the bait does not fit securely on the lever, try switching the pait to something that the mouse will struggle to tear off, such as peanut butter, soft cheese or chocolate.
Buy a trap with sensitive sensors – some mice (especially babies) are very light and their weight may not be enough to trigger standard snap traps. In this case, you will need to buy a trap with a sensitive trigger to counteract the weight of smaller mice. Electric mouse traps are more sensitive than classic snap traps
Still Having Mouse Problems?
Mouse traps and bait work very well when you have a small number of mice in your house. However, if you are struggling with mice in a larger domestic property, traps may be harder to place due to the size of the area. Additionally, if you have a mouse infestation, it is likely you will require professional intervention.
In this case, you can contact AMES Group for professional, humane and swift removal of mice in commercial properties.
Is your mouse bait not working? contact AMES today for a FREE no-obligation quote!