Christmas is coming!
Every shop has decorated its premises with fancy colours. They have lights, gift boxes and music to attract shoppers. Every office has made plans for its Christmas party. Everyone is busy stocking up their fridges with turkeys and delicacies. People put up decorations to create a warm and welcoming home for Christmas.
But what about the mice?
Everybody likes to get together to celebrate at Christmas. Including mice! And you may be preparing a feast for them without even knowing it. Remember, Christmas is a time when the weather is cold and wet. Uninvited guests will want to visit your homes. They may climb up the walls, scurry in under doors or dart through holes in walls.
What do they have for their party?
Mice are also looking for warm, welcoming homes! They look for access to buildings for food and shelter. They search for easy, abundant sources of food and undisturbed areas to nest. They will seek out leftover scraps on worktops. Instead of spreading gossip, they will spread pathogens and diseases such as Salmonella, Leptospirosis or Hantavirus. Do you want these diseases for an unexpected Christmas gift?
Mice are like Santa Claus. No matter how hard you look, you may not see them! Remember, they are nocturnal creatures, preferring to keep hidden during the day. So you’d better watch out. Have you seen any common signs of mouse infestation? If you remove or reduce these available food sources, you’ll make your home less attractive to mice. And you’ll help to reduce food contamination risks and the spread of disease.
How to prevent mice?
Here are some tips to prevent mice in your house this Christmas :
Doors – Fitting bristle (or brush) strips to the bottom of doors prevents entry, especially in older properties where the door fit may not be snug.
Pipe work – Seal holes around existing or new pipes with coarse grade stainless steel wire wool and caulking (pliable sealant).
Holes – These are often made in exterior walls for cables and pipes. Check that old pipe work holes are sealed too.
Air bricks and vents - Cover these with fine galvanised wire mesh, especially if they are damaged.
Eaves – Fix damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps.
Vegetation – Trim tree branches back from the house and, where possible, avoid having plants growing up the sides of your property. Vines, shrubs or over-hanging branches can be used by mice to get onto roofs. Overgrown vegetation close to the walls will offer mice shelter and potential nesting sites.
Lawns – Keep grass mown short to reduce shelter and seeds for food. Ideally leave a gap between the building foundations and the garden.