Mouse pest control can be challenging, prevention is certainly better than cure. Most commonly grey or brown in colour, House Mice are rodents with large ears and small eyes relative to the size of their body. An adult House Mouse typically weighs around 1/2 ounce and ranges from around 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches in length, including their tail of around 3 to 4 inches.
House mice will eat many kinds of food, but particularly cereal grains. They are extremely good at climbing and jumping, which means they can run up almost any rough vertical surface, run across thin wire cables and ropes, and can jump over a foot from the floor onto another surface. Remarkably, they can slip through holes or cracks that are only the width of a pencil.
House mice populations can increase very quickly. They typically give birth to litters of 6 to 8 young and one female can have 5 to 10 litters per year, as their gestation period is just 19–21 days. Breeding happens all year round, with young mice being able to reproduce as early as just five weeks.
Sanitation and mouse-proof construction are two important preventative measures for effective mouse pest control. If, however, a mouse infestation already exists, it is almost always necessary to carry out some form of population reduction using techniques such as trapping and poisoning.
Mice can survive in confined spaces with very little food and shelter, so even in buildings with extremely good sanitation, most buildings in which food is handled, stored or used can support house mice if it is not mouse-proofed carefully. While good sanitation will rarely eliminate existing mice populations, poor sanitation will certainly attract and allow them to thrive and multiple. Improving sanitation can also make baits and traps more effective by reducing food and shelter for existing mice. Extra attention should be placed on places where mice can shelter, as fewer places to build nests and rear young will mean they cannot survive in large numbers.
The most effective approach to house mouse control is to eliminate all openings through which a mouse could enter a building. Places where food is stored, processed or used must be mouse-proofed, with all grain or meat products stored securely in glass jars, metal canisters or airtight containers.
Exclude mice by sealing any openings that are larger than 1/4 inch. Patching material must be smooth to prevent rodents from chewing through or pulling out the patching compound. Openings in building foundations or those for water pipes should be sealed with metal or concrete, as materials such as plastic sheeting, wood, or rubber are gnawable and are therefore unsuitable for plugging mice holes.