London in general has an historic problem with rats and mice, which have thrived as a result of the ever changing human structural advancement over the centuries. This has left in its wake the obsolete foundations of the past, which serve as thoroughfare for mice into the modern structure.
The combination of this and both rats and mice being enticed in by tasty morsels of food being left in the work environment leads to ever greater numbers of sightings.
The numbers of rats and mice accessing a building will vary depending upon circumstance such as rise in water table, seasonal change or construction works, nearby. All this occurs despite the pest controllers best efforts to entice mice to eat bait or go into traps and thus any pest control service and system within a building has to be a programme requiring client cooperation with the prime objective of reducing numbers of rats or mice in a building.
Focusing on mice, pest control is very much control and could not be considered prevention, especially in the urban environment where there are too many unpreventable factors to offer the latter.
Pest control in regard of the customer contractor relationship, has always been a two way street requiring the co-operation of the customer so that the pest controllers expertise is put to good effect.
Due to the modern way of working it is common practice to eat at work stations, with there being very few exceptions to this trend. This can be managed to avoid the availability of food, and food packaging to mice. Crumbs as well as finger smears on desks or inside desk drawers, also packets of food, opened bottles of fruit juice, are not invisible to the sensitive nose of the mouse. Thus food should never be left in desk drawers. Hand wipes should always be used, following eating and crumbs hand swept into a bag or food container. Bottles of soft drinks should be removed from site at the end of each day, along with all food and food waste.
It is bad enough to have the trauma of seeing a mouse in the office and the revulsion of seeing mouse droppings on a desk, however just as bad if not worse is the unseen urine trails across desks, which are produced by the naturally incontinent mice.
There is an infection risk such as salmonella when mice are present, and this is greatly heightened when food is being eaten on a desk, where there have been mice. This is where food or hands come into contact, directly with bacteria infected urine or droppings.
Mice are less likely to forage and cross desks if no food is present. Our intention is to deal with mice in the building service risers and sub floor areas, where there would be no contact with office staff, thus reducing this risk of infection to virtually zero.
We do need help in achieving this by staff having an awareness that there must be a code of hygiene observed, not just for the sake of seeing less mice, but more importantly for the health and safety obligation to themselves, as well as their colleagues.
A planned programme should be put into place in order to reduce the issues encountered with mice in a building and should be implemented with the full knowledge and understanding of the building staff that we do require co – operation in regard of food handling. This will enable us to effectively trap and bait by focusing the mice on eating what we put down, without the distraction of more tasty morsels nearby.
The only long-term method to control rodent populations is to make the area unattractive or inaccessible to them. Eliminate their food sources by keeping desk surfaces, floors, and cabinets clean.