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How to Get Rid of Mice in 5 Simple Steps

How to Get Rid of Mice in 5 Simple Steps

Mice remain one of the most common rodent pests that inhabit the UK, and while they are mostly harmless, an infestation can cause severe disruption to both domestic and commercial properties. 

What are Mice?

There are six different mouse species currently inhabiting the UK, five of which are native. Their life expectancy is relatively short in the wild, averaging at about a year. However, the doormouse, which was introduced to the UK in 1902, can live up to five years in the wild.

Despite their being six species, they can all be characterised by their brown fur and soft white neck and belly. Their size ranges from 8 – 14cm and they can weigh anywhere between 18g to 24g.

get rid of mice

Where to find mice

Before we discuss the best ways to get rid of mice, it’s important to know the main areas where they reside. For example, if you buy mouse traps and are not sure where to place them, they will likely be ineffective.

The main reason mice infiltrate our properties in search of food, warmth and shelter. So, anywhere where they are able to source food and create a nest, they will stay. 

Common places you may find mice in residential properties include:

  • Kitchens 
  • Attics
  • Lofts 
  • Living rooms (behind TVs, sofas and floorboards)
  • Bedrooms (in ceilings, cupboards and under beds)
  • Gardens (check cracks, gaps and fissures in exterior walls for nests)

Common places to find mice in commercial properties:

  • Storage rooms (they are usually quiet, full of items and rarely visited)
  • Ceilings (among vents, pipelines and high-up crevices)
  • Within walls (check gaps, cracks and fissures)
  • Warehouses 

How to get rid of mice

  1. Locate their nest

The first step to getting rid of mice is finding where they are nesting. Mice are nocturnal creatures that rarely make an appearance in daylight. For this reason, it’s unlikely you will spot them. However, there are some telltale signs to lookout for, including:

Droppings – mouse droppings are usually grouped, so look out for droppings around your property. For more information on mouse droppings and how to identify them, please visit our mouse dropping identification page.

Scratch and gnaw marks – mice will typically gnaw on items of furniture in order to grind down their teeth. They will also scratch and gnaw at materials to obtain materials for their nest.

Pawprint marks – if the mice have inhabited a space or area that’s rarely visited, you may be able to find pawmarks in the dust.

  1. Decide on the best mouse trap
mouse trap

The most effective way to eliminate the presence of mice is laying traps. However, understanding how traps work and what trap is best for your mouse situation is essential. For example, some traps will instantly kill mice, whereas others will simply trap them for the purpose of relocation. 

Below, we have featured the most popular and effective mouse traps:

Bait traps – bait traps work by luring the mouse into the trap using a form of bait. Once inside, the mouse cannot escape. Bait traps come in many forms, but most utilise a hatch or lever that when activated, shuts the mouse inside with the bait for safe transportation and relocation. 

Snap traps – snap traps work by luring the mouse onto a platform that when applied with pressure, releases a snap trap (usually a metal bar) which instantly traps and kills the mouse. Snap traps are commonly used to humanely kill mice.

Live traps – similar to bait traps, live traps are designed to lure the mouse in via the traps unique design. They feature tight entrances that are appealing to mice (as they like squirming into small spaces) but once inside, the mouse cannot escape the same way it entered. Bait can be placed inside the trap to further encourage the mouse to inspect and engage.

Glue traps – glue traps have varying success rates and are not as common as the above traps. Sometimes, mice are strong enough to escape the traps, or at least drag it along with them. In this case, at least you would be able to hear them.

Note: If you are suffering with a larger infestation, traps may not be the most effective solution. Rodenticides are commonly used by mouse and pest control technicians when it comes to eliminating large numbers of mice. However, these are powerful deterrents and should only be used by qualified technicians in only certain situations. 

For more information on this, please contact our mouse experts today.

  1. Choose your mouse bait

The bait you choose to lure and trap the mice is an essential part of removing mice from your property. Not all baits will work which is why it’s important to choose one of the following when luring mice into traps:

  • Peanut butter – peanut butter is one of the most common mouse baits you can buy. It’s cheap and readily available to anyone, peanut butter is sweet and has a strong smell that mice will pick up on. Simply take one teaspoon of peanut butter and place it on the trap. 
  • Seeds – a mouse’s diet primarily consists of seeds, so this is an obvious choice. Although they do not have the same potency as sweeter foods, they are familiar to mice and therefore a good choice of bait.
  • Chocolate – again, a sweet and accessible form of bait, chocolate has a strong potency and works well with mice and other rodents.
  • Pet food – if you have cats and/or dogs, simply take a small bit of their food and place it on the trap.

Note: be sure that all traps are kept out of the way of pets and small children to ensure their safety.

  1. Remove them from the premises

Knowing how to effectively remove mice after they have been exterminated is important in order to deter future pests and keep your property hygienic. Removing dead mice from your home or property is a straightforward task but it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Ensure the trap has worked and the mouse is dead
  • Check the trap has worked properly and will not cause injury to yourself when removing the mouse
  • Transport the trap to an outside area away from your house, do not put the mouse in a bin
  • Wear gloves when removing the mouse from the trap in order to reduce the risk of transmitting bacteria
  • Clean the trap when you re-enter your property with disinfectant or follow the cleaning guide provided with the product
  1. Put future deterrents in place

Prevention is always better than a cure, which is why it’s important to ensure your property is properly protected to deter anymore mice from infiltrating. Simple changes such as filling in any gaps, cracks or fissures in exterior walls will block any potential transport routes for the mice. Other tips include:

  • Cleaning your garden regularly – messy gardens offer an almost perfect habitat for mice, so be sure to keep your garden clean.
  • Do not leave leftover food out – an obvious one but leaving food out will always attract pests, so be sure to clean up after cooking.
  • Seal bins outside – if your rubbish beans are not closed or properly sealed, this will attract a variety of pests, including mice, rats, wasps and foxes. 

How to get rid of mice in certain locations

Mice will nest anywhere they can find food, shelter and warmth. Below, we have listed the most common areas and ways to get rid of them.

  • How to get rid of mice in the kitchen

If mice are in your kitchen, locate their nest (or located signs of infestation) and place traps within these areas. Some mice may be nesting behind your oven as it is a warm and hidden place where they are unlikely to be seen.

Traps should be placed either behind the oven or in front of it.

  • How to get rid of mice in the bathroom

Mice rarely nest in bathrooms because they are often damp and clammy, which isn’t good for their nests. However, if they are in your bathroom (possibly in an airing cupboard), then be sure to locate the nest or have a rough idea of where they have been, and place traps in those areas.

  • How to get rid of mice in the living room

Mice prefer to nest behind televisions, under carpets and sometimes behind sofas. For this, place traps underneath furniture towards the middle, to ensure you don’t trap your feet or disrupt the trap when sitting.

Note: be sure to place traps away from children and pets.

  • How to get rid of mice in the ceiling/attic

Mice commonly build nests in ceilings because we rarely traverse that part of the home. You may hear scuttlings above which would indicate mouse activity. For this, place traps up in your attic as they will likely pass through here. Be sure to check on the trap every day to ensure the mouse has been caught and can then be responsibly disposed of. 

  • How to get rid of mice in the walls

Mice that are living within your walls are more difficult to eliminate. However, there are ways you can deter mice away from your home’s walls. Seal any entry points that the mouse may be using to enter the walls, this will either trap the mouse inside, or cut its entry back into the house. If the mouse has been successfully lead away from the house, seal the exterior wall to ensure it cannot return. 

  • How to get rid of mice naturally

Mice can be deterred and/or eliminated in many ways, but a “natural way” to get rid of mice would be to seal and fix any entry points in the house. This way, mice cannot enter your house and you will never have to deal with the threat of a mouse infestation in your house.

Suffering with a large mouse infestation? Call the experts!

If you discover a large infestation and would rather let the professionals take care of it, we are here to help. You can also find more information on mice on our mouse control page.

We also offer an emergency call-out service for both residential and commercial property infestations, simply click here to be put in touch with our emergency mice experts. 

Bed Bugs What They are and how to Dispose of Them

Imagine this…

You’ve just woken up; something smells musty and sweet. When you open your eyes your bed has a trail of malted insect shells, rust coloured stains and tiny smears of excrement.  

Bed bugs are one of nature’s most perfectly evolved human blood-sucking machines and if a couple of these get into your home, you’re going to know all about it.

Bed bugs are horrible creatures. Over 95% of single-family homes are reported to have bed bugs inside. Whilst they are very common, they aren’t exactly life-threatening. All you may receive from a bed bug is a small, red bump from a bite. Despite this not being a massive inconvenience, they are still an annoyance.

AMES has taken the time to identify what is a bed bug, what they are capable of and finally, how to get rid of them.

Bed Bug Advice from Dr James Logan

Dr James Logan is continuously trying to work out how to combat the growing bed bug problem. His lab is a host to thousands of them, and James knows all too well when the bed bugs bite.

When asked “what does the bite feel like” James responded:

“I felt a very, very slight nip!”

Bed bugs have piercing mouthparts, almost like a needle. They inject that into your skin to find the blood capillary and then they start feeding from the blood. When you’ve got bed bugs, you know you’ve got them. Your arm will come up in a big red, itchy lump and what your immune system is doing is reacting to the chemicals that are injected into your body in their saliva and it contains a cocktail of chemicals that basically act as an anticoagulant and also an anaesthetic. So, you can’t feel the bed bug feeding on you.

Just saying this makes me itchy.

We thought these little vampires were taken care of after we bombed them with DDT in the 1950s. But they’re back! DDT was outlawed in 1972 so we can’t just nuke them from orbit to be sure. The official name for these cretins is cimex lectularius and they’re parasites that feed off their sleeping host’s blood. The largest they get is only a quarter of an inch, and they’re flat so they’re easy to miss. They’re brownish and wingless with 6 shiny legs. They use their syringe-like mouthbeaks to pierce your skin and suck your blood.

Now unlike Dracula, these guys rarely wake their victims whilst feeding and can even take 3-10 minutes to gorge on your blood. While drinking, they release their own saliva into your broken skin, which can eventually cause an allergic reaction. Luckily, they don’t spread disease, but the bites can swell and itch.

Still, they probably won’t drain you dry. It takes 100,000 bed bugs feeding on your at least once a week to make you anaemic. Let’s also put one misconception to bed (no pun intended). Bed bugs aren’t a sign of poor hygiene, even immaculate mansions can get them. It only takes one to ride in and infect your whole home.

Here’s a short list of spots where they can conceal themselves:

  • Sofas
  • Backpacks
  • Bed frame cracks
  • Light switches
  • Wallpaper cracks
  • Televisions
  • Clocks
  • Phones
  • Curtains
  • Clothing
  • Towels
  • Pillows

Basically, anywhere dark and protected is up for grabs. One way to tell you’ve got them is from the coriander-like odour they release when they’re alarmed. The worst part is they can live up to a year without eating. So, even if you move into a vacant residence, they could still be there…

Waiting..

So, then how do we kill them? Like with any vampire, you should hire a professional. To successfully eradicate them sometimes takes up to four different treatments. Such as:

Dry ice sprays
Steam
Vacuuming
Fumigation
Insecticides

Sustained exposure to temperatures of 130 degrees will also kill them. Which is why you’ll need to wash all your linens and blast them inside a hot dryer.

Destroy them with heat, and a lot of it.

And remember what I said about messy clutter? Yeah, clear that up so they don’t have anywhere to hide in.

Now that we’ve gone through the specifics, we want to hear about your worst bed bug stories! Comment below and let us know!

The Three Common UK Beetles

The scientific name for beetles is Coleoptera and despite being quite rare in the UK (in contrast to ants, wasps, etc), they make up the world’s largest order of animals at 25%. 

Beetles are characterised by their sheathed wings, or ‘armoured’ layer, that surrounds the delicate wings beneath. Many beetles in the UK are harmless and serve a beneficial purpose for the environment, though there are some that have no natural enemies to control their population and this is when beetles become an issue. 

Beetles in the UK 

The UK plays host to the following beetles: 

  • Biscuit Beetles 
  • Carpet Beetles 
  • Death Watch Beetles 
  • Furniture Beetles (Woodworms) 
  • Ground Beetles 
  • Larder Beetles 
  • Longhorn Beetles 

However, many of these you will rarely come across during your day-to-day life, as the majority like to keep to themselves, residing in woodland areas and other mossy habitats. 

Biscuit Beetles, Carpet Beetles and Ground Beetles are the types of beetle we often find ourselves removing from properties, so it would be wise to first talk about these first. 

Biscuit Beetles 

Size: 3mm long 
Colour: Red/brown 
Found: Food cupboards 

One of the most common beetles not just in the UK but across the globe. 

Biscuit beetles are usually found in food cupboards, retail premises and domestic properties. These beetles are often confused with the Common Furniture Beetles (also known as Woodworms). If you have open packets of flour, biscuits, cakes, cereals or foods that are high in fibre or carbohydrates then it’s more likely that these beetles will infiltrate your food supplies. 

Stranger, however, these beetles will also feed on drugs such as strychnine, belladonna and aconite. In the U.S it’s known as the Drug Store Beetle because of its dependence on such substances! 

How to get rid of them 

The solution is simple, throw out any infested food! Wipe-down the surfaces and ensure that you have cleaned the area thoroughly. It might also be worth checking your property for any bird’s nests (garages, underneath roofs, outdoor ceilings etc) as these beetles thrive in nests. 

Carpet Beetles 

Size: 4mm long 
Colour: Brown/beige with black and white dots 
Found: Carpets, floorboards, curtains, anywhere with soft material 

Known as ‘woolly bears’ these little beetles have overtaken moths as the pest that devours the most items of clothing! 

Their appearance makes them look like a furry ladybird, though the red and black has been replaced by brown, white and black. The main sign of Carpet Beetle infestation is finding their cast-off skins strewn across your carpet/floor. 

How to get rid of them 

Lofts, attics and bird’s nests are where they’re typically found. Be sure to vacuum these areas thoroughly and open as many windows as possible to air-out the property. You’ll need an insecticide to efficiently rid any remains of these beetles. So, spray any areas where they thrive and ensure the carpets are cleaned thoroughly. 

Ground Beetles 

Size: 25mm 
Colour: Black, violet, brown 
Found: Homes, warm areas 

These beetles vary in colour, though they’re usually seen to be black. 

Growing up to 25mm makes them fall within the larger UK beetle category but they’re nothing to be afraid of. They’re likely to enter your property seeking warmth and comfort. They do not like cold atmospheres, so you won’t find them residing in mossy areas – unlike other beetles. They pose no threat to humans and it is very rare that you’ll find more than a couple in your property at any given time. 

How to get rid of them 

There is no real need to remove these beetles, as they pose no threat to humans and they don’t eat your food supplies. The only necessary action you should take is simply removing them in a safe manner from your property. 

Controlling Beetles 

In the UK, we’re lucky that beetles don’t pose a massive threat to our daily lives. Beetles in the UK are practically harmless, and they don’t tend to swarm in the way that ants, wasps, or other insects do. They’re independent insects that usually wind up in your home because they’re seeking shelter and/or food. 

Combating beetles is simple and doesn’t require too much effort. Although, if you do find yourself struggling to live with beetles, please do not hesitate to contact AMES Group here. Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer any queries or concerns you may have.