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Are Mice Rodents?

Often, mice can be seen as harmless, cute and fluffy little creatures. After all, they’re often kept as pets and their diminutive size suggests that they couldn’t possibly cause any harm or damage.

Sadly, that’s not always true. In this blog post we answer some of the questions we’re most commonly asked: Are mice rodents? How do mice behave? How can I identify and treat a mouse infestation? What are the ethical questions around mice pest control?

The nature and behaviour of mice

Are mice rodents? The answer is yes – just like rats and squirrels, which can also sometimes be considered pests.

Not all mouse species are pests, though. Here are the most common mouse species found in the UK:

House mouse: As their name suggests, house mice tend to live in properties – although these properties can be commercial as well as residential. They are nocturnal and like living in proximity to humans because we provide not only shelter but inadvertently also food sources.

Field mouse: Field mice generally live in fields, but can also make their way inside properties. They are very timid and tend to make their homes underground where they can’t be eaten by birds like owls and falcons.

Harvest mouse: Small, with an average size of 6cm long, the harvest mouse likes its peace and quiet. They aren’t often found in properties, preferring grassy areas and fields.

Yellow-necked mouse: The yellow-necked mouse looks similar to a field mouse and can only be distinguished by its yellow neck. While they normally live in grassy areas and eat insects, nuts and seeds they also have a penchant for sugary food – which they may seek out at night time by entering homes and business properties.

When living outdoors, none of these mice generally prove problematic. When they make their way indoors, though, that’s when you may need to hire pest control services.

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Identifying signs of mice infestation

If you’re not sure if it’s mice or something totally different that’s plaguing your property, look out for these telltale signs of a mouse infestation:


  • Droppings: These are around 3-8mm long and dark in colour. Check along skirting boards and inside cupboards.


  • Ammonia smell: This is caused by the frequency with which mice urinate and can linger for a long time. 
  • Greasy marks: Mouse fur is full of oils which can leave marks on your furniture and walls as they brush past.
  • Urine pillars: This is the name given to the mounds (up to 1cm wide and 4cm high) of built-up grease, urine and dirt that can be found in areas with heavy mouse infestations.
  • Damage: This could be in the form of gnaw marks on materials in your home, or evidence that they have been getting into stored food.
  • Sightings: If you see a mouse during the day (or spot a dead mouse in your home), it’s generally a sign that you have an infestation.
  • Noise: Scratching noises will generally be heard at nighttime when mice are most active. You may hear this coming from under floorboards, in basements or attics, inside partition walls or above false ceilings.
  • Nests: Made from shredded soft materials, you’re most likely to find nests in the same places as you could hear scratching sounds – or in areas like airing cupboards, behind fridges and underneath ovens.



If you’ve noticed one or more of these signs, it may be time to think about pest control – before the situation gets out of control.

Health and structural risks associated with mice

Of course, nobody likes the idea of sharing their property with unwanted visitors – but mice can cause more problems than you may realise.

For a start, they can spread a variety of diseases and pathogens. As well as carrying listeria and salmonella, they – and their droppings, urine and nests – can be home to all sorts of bacteria. Not only can this be transferred to your furniture, work surfaces, floors and other areas, but these bacteria can also end up in food supplies if they’re ransacked by mice – meaning food poisoning becomes a very real risk.

If you’ve been wondering, “Are mice rodents?”, the damage that their gnawing can cause should answer your question. They can eat away at wires, wood, insulation and other areas: sometimes to grab themselves some nesting materials, and at other times simply to maintain their teeth and keep them at a manageable length.

This gnawing can even result in floods and electrical fires in some cases – so you’ll want to hire an accredited pest control service before it’s too late. But what types of mice pest control solutions are available?

Solutions for preventing and controlling mice infestations

We all know the saying, “prevention is better than cure” – and it goes for pest-related situations too. High levels of sanitation and cleanliness will help to discourage mice from entering your property: try to minimise access to food and nesting sources, and to clean regularly in the places where mouse activity is most likely so that you can spot any early access signs before they breed.

Search online and you’ll find all sorts of mouse-repellent suggestions, from peppermint oil sprays to cotton wool pads soaked in oil and cayenne pepper. Remember, though: mice have become so used to living alongside humans that deterrents like these may not be the most effective.

The presence of a cat can sometimes deter mice, but not always. And while traps may work, they aren’t generally the most humane approach.

Good pest control services will offer solutions that are both humane and non-toxic, taking an approach that is effective and ethical to resolve your mice pest control needs.

UK guidelines and ethics of mice control

The only mouse species that benefits from legal protection in the UK is the hazel dormouse – which isn’t generally classed as a pest. This makes it easier to remove mice that are proving problematic – and, in fact, some businesses have a legal requirement to destroy mice on their property. The 1949 Prevention of Damage by Pests Act lays out the responsibilities of local authorities in terms of destroying mice on their land – and sometimes these responsibilities include mandating land owners or occupiers to resolve any rodent issues.

This can be done in an ethical and humane way – which is the approach we take at Pest Stop Boys. As well as focusing on proofing both indoor and outdoor entry points we also treat existing infestations in non-toxic and humane ways. We follow Integrated Pest Management principles and practices too: we first look at mouse lifecycles and behaviours to work out how to tackle the issue, rather than going straight for the chemicals.

A mouse infestation not only carries the risk of health problems and damage to your property, it can also be stressful and upsetting. If you have a mice pest control issue that needs tackling – and fast – get in touch to learn how we can help.