Signs of mice in your business premises is not only damaging to your reputation but can prove to be a very serious health hazard. Both rats and mice carry fleas, mites and ticks in addition to numerous viruses and bacteria like Salmonella, E. Coli and Cryptosporidium. The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 states that if mice, or indeed rats, are present in substantial numbers, you have an obligation to report it to your local authority.
If you’re in the service industry, a mouse infestation can be even more concerning.
There are numerous laws in place designed to protect the health of customers when food is involved. If an environmental health inspector finds rodents in your building, you’ll be warned and instructed to find a pest control professional to clear out any infestations. Fail to do this, and you could receive a hefty fine, your business could be closed down and you may even receive a ban on working in that industry.
For guidance on pest control procedures in the food industry, it’s worth reading up on official information from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
With the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping rapidly, mice will be on the lookout for somewhere warm and dry, meaning you’re more likely to find them in your commercial property.
It’s imperative that you catch an infestation early if you’re going to avoid the associated complications. In addition to the obvious (seeing a mouse!), these are the five signs of mice in your business you should regularly be looking for:
The 5 Signs of Mice in your Business
Keep an ear out for any scratching, nibbling or squeaking inside walls, under floorboards and behind furniture. Mice are generally much more active at
night than during the day, so this is the best time to listen out for any noises.
Despite their small size, mice produce a lot of droppings. An adult mouse will produce between 50 – 75 droppings in just a single day. These pellets are 3-6mm long, oblong in shape and appear dark brown or black.
Droppings tend to be concentrated around their nests, so if you spot a lot of them it’s highly likely that you’re close to the heart of the infestation.
3. Evidence of Gnawing
Whether it’s notches in the skirting board or holes in your cereal boxes, evidence of gnawing is a sure-fire sign of a mouse infestation. This is often one of the first indicators that people notice, particularly if you are not usually at your business late in the evenings.
Gnawing can be particularly dangerous if the damage is carried out on water or gas pipes and electric cables. In severe cases, it’s not unknown for this to cause floods or fires, so it’s essential that you carry out routine checks around your business property.
4. Ammonia Smell
Mice urinate as they travel, rather than in isolated puddles, which means that the routes they frequent can smell very unpleasant. The strong scent has been described as “ammonia-like” and tends to hang around even after the rodents have been cleared out.
The more pronounced the smell, again, the closer you are to the infestation.
5. Nesting Materials
To build their nests, mice will rip apart materials and shred them. In your business, this could mean tearing holes out of desk chair cushions and destroying other soft furnishings like carpets and curtains.
If you come across any soft, fluffy bundles of material you could be looking at part of a mouse nest.
Though it can be tempting to try and deal with some of the more distressing evidence yourself, we don’t recommend that you try to clean up nests, urine or droppings without seeking professional advice. Contact with mice can cause potentially life-threatening diseases such as Leptospirosis.
Whilst discovering any of these signs of mice in your business is a serious concern, there is no need to panic. We have over 30 years’ experience in dealing with pest control.
If you suspect you may have a mouse infestation in your business, don’t hesitate to contact Safeguard today for impartial advice and expert pest control services.