If you find you have mice in the house you may be able to find the cause by looking out of the window or listening out for the sound of loud banging.
That’s because one of the biggest causes of sudden mouse infestations is a neighbour’s decision to do a spot of home improvement – from DIY to full scale construction.
Thanks, in part, to the popularity of home improvement programmes, from Channel 4’s Grand Designs to the BBC’s £100k House, extending and adding value to homes is all the rage.
This is especially the case in London, where there are big incentives to maximise property values, and make the most of limited space – in an urban environment where mouse control problems are at their most severe.
So, if you or your neighbours are getting the builders in, here are 3 ways the construction work could easily increase risk of you finding mice in the house.
Mice disturbance – Mice like to be left alone, living in cavities in the walls, floors, and ceilings of homes. Construction and renovation work usually involves lifting floors and exposing wall cavities, which disturbs their peace, so they will look to find a quieter place to live. The first place they look is the property next door.
Messy eaters – Construction workers are notoriously messy eaters. Crumbs from their lunchtime sarnie box are often left lying about, creating a food source for mice. It is one reason why mice are often the first families to move into a new home or building extension, even before it has been finished.
Mouse home construction – Construction work opens doors for mice, literally. Home renovation involves knocking lots of holes in walls, installing ducting for pipes and cabling, and creating new structures, such as floating floors and false ceilings.
All these create new, hidden ways for mice to explore your home to find new sources of food and places to nest. You might have wanted to expand your home to make room for a larger family. What you did not intend to do was create ideal conditions for encouraging an expansion of the resident mouse family as well.
Modern buildings and construction methods are ideal for mice. Rooms are interconnected with ducting. Stud walls have plenty of space behind them for mice to roam. There is lots of warm and fluffy insulation material: perfect mice nest material. Older buildings, meanwhile, with solid walls and minimal thermal insulation, are not half as attractive.
An expert SUPERPROOF director says: “People often think mice infestation is associated with older homes, but that’s often not the case.
“Mice have evolved to live alongside humans. Within our communities, there is another, highly evolved community of mice trying to live quietly, side-by-side.
“Construction work is a mouse version of a natural disaster. It results in a major disruption to the relationships between extended families of mice across a wide area. So, mouse control problems can get worse even if the building work is being done some distance away.
“There is a sudden exodus – like a mouse version of a refugee crisis – which can have a ripple effect across multiple nearby properties, as mice populations re-adjust to the new realities caused by the spades and mechanical diggers of construction workers.
“It’s no wonder that people can find mice in the house as a result of building work, where they had never noticed them before. It can be very alarming, and people certainly want something done about it quickly.”
SUPERPROOF has helped many people with mouse control problems caused directly by building and renovation work in neighbouring properties.
Gill from Islington spotted mice running through her terraced property days after neighbours began extending their basement. And Kate Mansfield found her family home in Wandsworth was over-run with mice after building work started nearby.
The only permanent response is to protect your home with effective mouse proofing. SUPERPROOF does this by identifying every possible way a mouse can get in, then using specialist materials and techniques to block the hole, which may be nothing more than a tiny crack.
That way, building work carried out by neighbours cannot result in mice getting into your home. They will have to pass by, looking for another place to live.