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Pest Name: House Mouse - Mus domesticus

Markings: Grey/Brown fur, slightly lighter undersides.

Location: Just about anywhere that man is found, and more.

Detection: Customer will report live sightings, scuffing noises, droppings and gnawed goods, smell.  Nesting materials sometimes seen.

General Information: The house mouse arrived in Britain around the 10th century BC, but originally it was a wild species, coming from the Steppes of Russia and the surrounding areas.  Although it is not originally a native species, it has made itself very much at home, and is now common throughout rural and urban Britain.  It associates itself with man in almost all his environments, but it is not found in sewer systems.

The mouse is a rodent, one of over 1500 species of mammals belonging to this group, although only 15 are present in Britain.  It can be easily placed in this group by looking for the single pair of upper and lower front teeth called incisors.  They have no canine or premolar teeth, but they do possess molars at the rear of the jaws.  There is a noticeable gap between the incisors and the molars, known as the diastema.

The incisor teeth of rodents grow continuously throughout the animal's life and so a mouse must gnaw on objects to keep them worn down and at a manageable length.  The molar teeth do not grow continually.  The incisors are strongly curved and have enamel on one side only, allowing a razor sharp edge to develop.  This means that mice can bite through wood, soft metals and even soft stonework with ease - modern food packaging presents no problems.

Like all rodents, mice require a balanced diet, and can be thought of as omnivores.  Historically, mice tended to feed on products of cereals and grasses, and so they tend to prefer rodenticides containing grains etc.  They can also eat a wide range of other foods including vegetables, fruits, fish insects and meat.  They are erratic feeders, and will eat 3-4 g a day.  They will drink when a water source is available, but they can get sufficient moisture from their food.

Mice have the same 5 senses as humans, but their touch, smell and hearing are particularly keen.  They cannot see colour, but are good at detecting movement.

Biology: Rodents are well studied, and in-depth facts of their biology, behavious and treatment should be sought.  Important details are summarised below.

Reproduction rates of mice are impressive, and in theory nearly 2000 offspring in one year could result from just one pair of adults (1 doe + 1 buck), given ideal conditions.  After mating there is a gestation period of 21 days before 5-6 young are born.  At birth, baby mice weight just 1 gram.  They are weaned after only 3 weeks and sexually mature after only 8-12 weeks.  Each female can have up to 10 litters in a year.  Mice can live up to 2 years in the lab, but usually live less than 12 months in the wild.  They are fiercely territorial.

Reasons for Control: You do not want to share your food with this pest.
For every dropping you find, it has also done a microscopic wee.
The mouse carries loads of diseases that can be transmitted to man.
A mouse in a food premises could lead to closure of that business.

Wasps & Hornets have a potentially fatal sting

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