A mouse infestation in a sheltered home was so bad that elderly residents felt like they were under terrorist attack.
The residents, many of them disabled, told how the mice were so brazen they would crawl over them in broad daylight. In one case, a woman who, had to use a wheelchair and had very limited mobility, described how a mouse crawled over her face.
The mice also had peculiar eating habits, always seeming to prefer the pink French Fancies among the cakes kept by the warden in her cupboard.
SUPERPROOF was called in to tackle the mouse infestation after all other attempts to get rid of the mice over a period of 10 YEARS had failed. The project illustrates how mice problems in residential homes can be deeply entrenched.
A SUPERPROOF Director, said he was first asked meet the residents in the 16-bed sheltered home in London.
Mice in control
He said: “The home’s managers wanted us to explain how we would get rid of the mice, because they feared the residents had given up hope it could be done.
“They were clearly living in fear. It was like they felt they were under terrorist attack, and it was the mice who were in control, not the humans. The residents were very emotional.
“This is not as uncommon as you would think. If mice become very well established, and there are no predators to threaten them, they can become much more bold. They can take charge of the space.”
Instead of waiting until night-time to go foraging for food, they will come out during the day. As elderly people in sheltered homes don’t move much or might be asleep they will climb up them to look for food.
French Fancy favourite
SUPERPROOF’s Director said: “Mice problems in residential homes can get very serious, quite quickly. There will be plenty to eat because the residents will drop food more frequently than more physically-able people.
“The residential home’s management and staff were also at their wit’s end. They had tried everything they could think of to get rid of the mice and nothing seemed to work.
“The warden described how the mice would always just eat the pink French Fancy in the box of cakes she kept for the residents. Mice often have a preference for one food over another.
It could have been the colouring in the pink French Fancies that were attracting them. In this case, though, it also indicates that the mice had such a secure food supply that they could pick and choose what they ate.”
The attempts to clear the mouse infestation had included setting sticky traps and putting down mice bait, but there appeared to be no reduction in the mouse population or activity.
SUPERPROOF set about tackling these over-confident and cossetted mice by systematically mouse proofing each room in the property.
In a two-week operation, every potential entry point for mice into each room was identified and blocked using unique combinations of specialist materials developed and tested over 16 years.
The mouse proofing technicians worked closely with the sheltered home’s staff to ensure the work was done sensitively and respectfully so residents were not adversely affected during the proofing work.
The process works by preventing the mice from reaching their food source. The mice can then no longer live in the fabric of the building. They must move elsewhere to survive.
In this case, the residential home pest control programme worked perfectly. Once the mouse proofing was completed, the problem was solved.
SUPERPROOF’s Director said: “The residential home’s staff were very appreciative of what we had achieved. Mice carry bacteria and viruses, so a main health risk to residents had been removed.
“We were particularly pleased to have solved a major mouse problem for the elderly residents. They could be left in peace, no longer bullied by a gang of over-confident mice. It was a good result.”