Mice have a nasty habit of constantly urinating as they move about and will also occupy some fairly unsanitary areas.
This means they will contaminate all surfaces and areas they move across, and can spread bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Children and pets are at particular risk from infection and illness.
Mice, like all rodents, are habitual gnawers. They regularly chew on electrical cables and plastic piping, weather for water or gas, which can cause flooding and fires.
Mice defecate up to 80 times a day (the droppings look like small grains of black rice) so exposed foods can become contaminated.
House mice take up residence within the building fabric – this means the wall cavities, floor cavities and roof voids
This is where they nest, rest and breed but there is no food in the building fabric so they will emerge into your living areas periodically to forage for food
This is when you see them – when they are out and about in your living areas looking for food
As a nocturnal species, they usually do this at night (typically between the hours of 8.00 pm – 6.00 am). Daylight sightings indicate a high infestation.
A good comparison is ‘trenches and no-mans land’ – trenches (the building fabric) are the safe place for soldiers (mice) where they will spend most of their time but occasionally they will run into no-mans land (your living areas) but it represents a hazardous place to be and so they like to get the job done and get back to the safety of the trenches.
Having said that, we have noticed that there are certain situations that make it more likely for mice to actually take up residence within the property rather than the building fabric…
- Properties that have a lot of food availability – restaurants or properties where the pets are fed inside for example but also where extensive baiting has occurred as the baits will represent a food source
- Properties with a prolonged and significant infestation
- Heavily cluttered properties – lots of densely packed belongings, cupboards full of contents etc. offering plenty of cover
- Very large properties where the frequency of human occupation per m2 is low – for example a 7 or 8 bedroom property with a family of 3 living within it
The proofing is done during the day which is when the mice are back within the building fabric (the trenches) – they are nocturnal in behavior
In the unlikely event that some mice are out and about within the property during the day of the works, they quickly run back into the building fabric as the works involve noise and disturbance of the environment (i.e. furniture and appliances are moved around)
So effectively you seal the mice OUT rather than IN
The terms of the guarantee cover the ingress of mice into your living area – therefore if any mice were inadvertently trapped in, we would return and remove within the guarantee period
They simply go elsewhere – its called ‘displacement’
The vast majority of houses within the UK are semi-detached or within a terraced row/block of flats and so your property has a shared building fabric with a neighbour or neighbours
This shared building fabric allows mice to simply move left/right/up/down and access food from another individuals living areas
Somewhere else! It’s called displacement. Once a property is sealed through Superproofing, the mice are shut off from the food supply they entered your property to access in the first place. So they will have to quickly relocate somewhere else where they can access a new food source. If they do not do this, their high metabolic rate means they quickly perish.
This basic requirement for survival means proofing is a control method that mice will never develop resistance to. Straight away, it puts a lot of pressure on a mice population to go elsewhere, and that is just what you want.
Despite what you might think, floorboard cracks aren’t a high risk area but can provide mice entry in certain situations
We would concentrate on any gaps 6mm & over close to joists but only those that in turn where close to the room edges or under furniture items
Any very large gaps (8mm+) in any location would also be filled
Floor gap entry points would typically be sealed with a clear silicone mastic injected into the gap (as opposed to being sealed at the surface)
It varies quite a bit between properties – the installers follow a procedure so work to this rather than the clock
As a rough estimate, we usually quote the following…
Bedsit/1 bed 5-7 hours
2 bed 6-8 hours
3 bed 7-9 hours
4 bed 8-10 hours
However sometimes a 4 bed can take 6 hours and sometimes a bedsit can take 10 hours
It depends on the level of finish, construction of the property (new build, period property), parking availability, how the appliances are connected, the amount of clutter in each room, level of infestation and a host of other variables
Around 60% of the time on site is spent in the kitchen as that is where most of the activity typically is and where most services (gas, water, electrics) are to be found
Every kitchen has a gas feed, mains water, plug socket circuit and waste water outlet plus a fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and oven so they all take much the same time to complete
The bedrooms are typically quick to do in comparison and bathrooms are usually straightforward
Yes most definitely – a very common method of mice entry into a property
If the gap is over 4mm then the technician will reduce this down by installing a threshold bar, door strip or other such method
We don’t use brush/bristle strips – mice easily push past these and they wear quickly
Most wall vents have a mesh panel behind them but the technician will check this
If he thinks the mesh is damaged then he will install a new mesh panel – typically behind the vent where the vent is removable
SUPERPROOF™ is a unique service that draws together best practice, scientific research, and latest understandings of mice behaviour and ecology from around the world. It is made up of 3 key components.
- It is the systematic inspection of all water, gas and electrical entry points to a property, as well as any structural defects around floor-to-wall interfaces, fittings and fixtures to identify potential entry points for rodents.
- It is then the selection of the best materials, and combinations of materials, to permanently block those entry points
- Finally, it is the expert application of those materials, using purpose-designed equipment, in such a way that disruption to property owners is reduced to a minimum and the effectiveness of the mouse proofing is maximised.
Our aim is to stop mice getting into the property. The service is undertaken by pest controllers with an understanding of mice ecology, and also trained to understand building construction and service provision.
Where entry points are identified, these are proofed with a variety of proofing compounds, chosen depending on the building materials and gap size involved. The technician may also photograph any areas of particular importance. We have a quality control system in place to ensure our work meets our high standards.
Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as 6mm (1/4”) and can easily climb rough vertical surfaces, so there is plenty of proofing involved to make an entire house mice proof.
However, it is by no means an impossible task. The key is to undertake the exercise systematically and comprehensively using a procedure (or checklist) to ensure consistency.
During the process, consideration also has to be given to whether a hole leads to a cavity, and therefore will actually permit the ingress of mice. You, therefore, need to understand and assess building construction.
You will also need to fully understand how mice perceive their environment, how they typically navigate around a building, and what they are physically capable of doing.
Superproofing therefore requires training and experience, if it is to be done properly.
It also takes time to complete, about 6-8 hours to for an average-sized property in average condition. However, the time taken is worth it, because Superproofing is so effective.
Special mouse proofing tools and materials, some unique to SUPERPROOF™, are required to proof all locations and gaps sizes likely to be present.
We have developed our own unique procedure for gaining access to the back of cabinets and appliances quickly and safely, without damaging fixtures, and while causing the least disruption,
All SUPERPROOF™ technicians carry mini digital inspection cameras to identify exactly where any holes are located up behind the kitchen units – there is no guesswork involved.
Should holes be located, these are then accessed by removing a small section from the unit backing. We have developed our own specialist tooling over the years to safely do this without damaging any pipes, cables or other obstructions behind.
Mice are creatures of habit. So, once the hole is blocked, we then install a white plastic inspection hatch so the areas proofed can be easily re-inspected in the future.
For those attempting to do this without the tooling or training required, either through DIY proofing, hiring an odd-job person, or an inexperienced pest control or building service, there is a very high risk of damaging the water, gas and electrical services.
This could cause a serious and potentially deadly safety hazard. It could result in flooding, or lead to the need for expensive repairs. It is just not worth taking that chance.
Those attempting to carry out mouse proofing by removing the kitchen units and work surfaces themselves, run a very high risk of the cabinets not all going back together again properly or being damaged. This will cause serious frustration. It will be very time-consuming to put right. And it could cost a lot of money.
With SUPERPROOF™, all non-fixed appliances – including integrated ones and high level ovens – are moved out to inspect behind and to the side for signs of mice. All our technicians are properly trained to do this, and carry the right lifting equipment to complete the task safety and quickly.
- One visit – not multiple visits
To SUPERPROOF™ a one-bedroom flat takes approximately 6 hours on-site time to complete. There are no subsequent visits, and therefore there is no further disruption.
With a baiting programme, you will have to allow the pest control contractor access to your property on between 2 and 6 occasions. He or she may be late, you will have to accommodating the appointments around your own busy life. Unfortunately, baiting is very hit and miss, so it may then not work.
- Instant relief from the problem
Baiting takes several days – at very best – to have any effect on the mice infestation, due to the slow acting poisons involved, and the requirement for the mice to find and eat the poison in the first place.
With Superproofing, the holes letting the mice into your property are blocked on the first visit, giving you instant relief from the problem. No dead mice to find in the morning, no more droppings and no more furry lodgers.
- Long term solution
Baiting is a reactive solution with short-term benefits. It only targets the mice currently infesting the property. Mouse proofing is a proactive solution with long-term benefits – it targets the mice currently infesting the property as well as all other mice that could infest the property in the future.
A proactive service with long-term benefits with always work out more cost-effective than a reactive service with short-term benefits.
Think of mice as junk mail. Is it easier to keep picking it up and throwing it away, or is it better just to screw the letter box shut?
Yes, some do. But, in our view, not to the same standard. There is proofing, and then there is Superproofing.
Some pest control contractors proof. Indeed, some construction contractors proof.
Only we SUPERPROOF™ – it is our initiative and developed in-house.
Proofing is just blocking the holes you see – Superproofing is carrying out full procedural checking of all potential holes and blocking them all.
Pest control contractors should have the understanding of mice ecology and habit, but not the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out effective mouse proofing.
Also, many of them persist with baiting, because it is what they are familiar with, and because it does not work very well, they know it generates more of an income stream from repeat visits.
Some building contractors have the skills and knowledge needed to proof, but not the understanding of mice ecology and habit.
Our trained and fully kitted out SUPERPROOF™ technicians have both these attributes. It is this combination that makes Superproofing the success it is, as well as unique and a cost-effective mouse-proofing service.
Yes, absolutely, and we come prepared for this as young rats are often mistaken for mice by the untrained eye.
The process is essentially the same, although rats cannot fit through quite as small a gap as mice. They have stronger gnawing capability, so a different more robust form of proofing is usually needed.
Yes, we also offer a roof void SUPERPROOF™ service to control squirrels. We can also SUPERPROOF™ some gardens against foxes. We can even SUPERPROOF™ properties against people climbing over fences.
Insects are generally too small to proof against. However, we enjoy a challenge so please get in contact with your requirement, and we’ll see what we can do.
Full terms & conditions of the guarantee are listed on the website but essentially the guarantee covers the ingress of mice into your living area
This means that if you (1) see mice and/or (2) find droppings at any point during the guarantee period, then we come back free of charge to rectify
There are common sense conditions to the guarantee – for example if you remove/damage the proofing or make additional holes through building works then the guarantee is invalidated
The products used to block the holes are all as durable as the materials your property is constructed from and therefore last much longer than 1 year
However the guarantee represents a period of liability for the company and therefore it makes commercial sense to limit this as much as possible
None of our competitors offer a genuine 1 year guarantee and so that is the maximum period of cover we need to put forward
At the heart of Superproofing is a proven procedure that is followed every time to ensure all areas of the property are inspected.
Any possible entry points identified are proofed, with only certain specified types of mouse proofing compound applied, using certain specified types of tooling.
This control over tooling, materials and process ensures a consistent mouse proofing result time and time again. That is, mice are successfully excluded from your property.
A certificate is passed to the customer to demonstrate that the service has been delivered in accordance with these control measures and the underlying procedure, and therefore meets a certain standard.
The certificate validates a one year guarantee against mice ingress from the date of issue.
It is much the same as with MoT certificates for vehicles, someone we are all familiar with. An MoT certificate confirms that a vehicle has passed a procedural inspection by a qualified inspector using controlled equipment and products. It also meets certain standards, so the vehicle is likely to to be fit for road use for the next 12 months.
For landlords, the certificate provides evidence that they have complied with the 1949 Pest Prevention Act, as long as the certificate remains in date.
Rolling certificate renewals provide our customers with a maintenance programme for the initial Superproofing service. This is because buildings are dynamic. They are subject to wear and tear, and environmental changes that can change the risk of mouse infestation.
The cost to renew your certificate year-to-year is much reduced from the initial mouse proofing cost, so you can look forward to many years of mouse-free living for a minimal cost.
In the unlikely event this occurs, and provided you are still within the guarantee period, then simply get in touch and we will get a SUPERPROOF™ technician out as quickly, so we can put the problem right. It is as simple as that.
Proofing different parts of the property
Not a lot really. Superproofing the living areas is the most prudent thing to do and so should be done as a first step. If the noises persist then baiting within these areas may keep numbers down but you risk killing mice which in turn may cause a bad smell and fly nuisance – ultimately new mice will replace these dead mice and so the problem continues
The objective of Superproof is to stop mice gaining access into your living areas – that is what the guarantee is based upon
Generally speaking, mice will occupy roof voids and floor cavities because they are foraging for food within the living areas
Mice will always want to live close to their food source so if the living areas of a property are sealed then often they will stop occupying the adjacent building fabric (i.e. the noises will stop)
However this doesn’t always happen and we don’t guarantee it
No we only do proofing to the living areas of your property
Roof voids are too complex and dangerous to successfully mice proof plus it’s not an area you occupy or store/prepare food (i.e. an infestation within a roof void doesn’t represent a significant hazard to you)
Only if they are finished rooms – i.e. plastered walls and ceilings and fit for human occupation
Otherwise no – just like roof voids they are too complex to successfully mice proof
We will stop mice emerging from the cellar though by closing the gaps around any cellar doors
Yes – our operatives are trained and come equipped to move appliances; they may even disconnect them too if necessary (apart from gas and electric ovens but there is usually sufficient slack in the rubber supply hose or supply electrical flex to allow as to access the area behind without needing to disconnect)
Yes – our operatives all carry special ‘appliance cradles’ to allow the removal of integrated appliances
They also carry the required tooling to remove doors, hinges, covers etc. that also needs to occur when appliances are integrated
Yes – our operatives are trained and come equipped with special equipment to move large furniture items
A special frictionless material is put down for easy movement of furniture and kitchen equipment across carpets and hard floors, as well as protecting them from scratches
Special pinch bars and other leverage aids are also used to move items such as large wardrobes
No we can do it but we may not always but the removed contents back if work has been done inside due to the curing period required by the mastics and materials used
Also in the case of kitchen cupboard contents, we would recommend all items removed are cleaned before being put back as the technician’s hands will have been in contact with mice droppings and other unsanitary areas – its also a good opportunity to give the cupboards themselves a good clean out
We have specific products and application methods for different kinds of areas we need to proof, and the intensity of the mouse infestation problem:
Front of house – more visible areas in the property, for example skirting boards.
Back of house – less visible areas of your property, for example under cupboards.
High pressure – signs of high levels of mice activity
Low pressure – signs of very little mice activity
We use a variety of compounds depending on the size of the hole and where it is located
We use a fibre reinforced cement for large holes in concealed areas such as under the kitchen units
We use a product called Xcluder – a fabric made from a mixture of stainless steel fibres and polyester fibres; originally from America its proven to be both rat and mice proof and is a much superior alternative to wire wool
We use clear or white silicone mastics
We use a UPVC beading for any skirting gaps over 4mm
We use HDPE sheet – High Density Polyethylene – for certain situations which is a very tough plastic
We also use more standard materials such as 6mm MDF and PVC panel
The products and application methods are categorised into ‘front of house’ (areas visible and ‘back of house’
One reason is health and safety, something we take very seriously. Polyurethane expanding foam is propelled by propane gas. If you use this in a kitchen, you run a real risk of the expelled gas coming into contact with an ignition source, exploding and then starting a fire
In addition, its open cell structure, once cured, permits smells and air vapour to pass through the foam. Mice looking for a food source will be encouraged to gnaw through it, and get into the property.
Expanding foam has a similar density to polystyrene. This makes it very easy for mice to gnaw through. Its high thermal efficiency, it’s a good insulator, can even encourage them to nest within it! It would be like creating house shells for mice to build a home in. Just what you do not want.
On top of it all, it degrades under daylight and looks very unsightly – not a good product at all.
Most of the proofing is done to areas that you can’t see or is hidden away – under kitchen units, behind toilets, inside cupboards and suchlike
Where proofing is done to visible areas – i.e. skirting runs, radiator pipes etc. – we do try and use materials that give a clean appearance and minimise the impact to your existing décor
However the primary objective of the exercise is to prevent mice entry
Aesthetics are secondary but are considered – but we don’t colour match our materials to your specific situation though; we use clear or white materials in general as these cover the majority of situations
A guarantee certificate and a mice-free house.
We always work as tidily as we can. Any materials we do not use are taken away afterwards. Any appliances we move are put back as we left them.
You are left with a house that looks hardly any different. Our mouse proofing techniques are designed to be sympathetic to the look and feel of your property. In general, we are working in the hidden parts of your home, so nothing can be seen without peering behind cupboards.
You also are also left with the assurance that your property will now be mice-free. That the mouse infestation that was causing such problems and concerns has now gone. If you do have further problems in the following 12 months, we will return and put them right.
No not at all. Superproofing your property means that mice will not get back in regardless of the mice situation around you. However if you were a landlord and wanted to get rid of the mice population within a block of flats as a whole then Superproofing all flats within that block is the best way to achieve this as it cuts that population off from their food supply
No nothing like that – only the guarantee expires
Like any product, the proofing does require maintenance though as buildings are much more dynamic then most people think (i.e. they move in response to heat and cold or ground movements)
We therefore recommend that the proofing is inspected and checked annually to ensure any minor issues do not become major issues and allow the mice to get back in
This is called ‘re-certification’ – the technician goes back through the checklist, ensures all existing proofing meets the required standard, adds any additional touch-ups etc.
The annual certificate is then renewed for another year giving another 12 month guarantee period
Ultrasonics have very, very limited effect – no matter how many you install to a property
Mice hear & communicate in a higher range to humans – theoretically they find ultrasonic sounds disruptive and unpleasant
However ultrasonics use the same technology that bats use to fly around in the dark – the ultrasonic waves bounce off objects so the bat knows they are there and doesn’t fly into them
This means that any objects inbetween a mouse and the ultrasonic device will block the ultrasonic waves so the mouse doesn’t hear them – ultrasonic waves DO NOT pass through solid objects
This means mice can’t hear the ultrasonic noises whilst hiding in the wall cavities/floor cavities and will only come into range of them if they walk/run directly infront of them
Even then some mice do not seem to be discouraged or affected by them.
In our view, these devices are not effective. They are aimed at unsuspecting people in the domestic market, and would not be recommended by a professional pest controller.
Mice are becoming increasingly resistant to the active ingredient in baits, largely due to their fast breeding cycle. This means that resistance levels are up to 90% in inner city areas and increasing.
Mice are also developing ‘behavioural resistance’ to bait boxes. Essentially, they are beginning to associate bait boxes with bait, and therefore ‘learning’ to avoid entering them.
Baiting involves the introduction of hazardous substances into a domestic household. Even with control measures in place, there is still a significant risk of accidental poisoning of children and animals.
Baiting involves several site visits – this is labour intensive and disruptive to the occupant of the property.
Even if baiting is successful in removing the existing population of mice within a property, the access holes will still remain, so re-infestation is inevitable.
Since SUPERPROOF™ was introduced in 2006, our success rate has reached 95%. We are striving to continually improve on this year after year through better products, better equipment and better training.
Not at all. You will just waste time and money – Superproofing your property will be effective immediately.
In general, you can leave things to the SUPERPROOF™ technician to do. However, there are some simple tasks we ask you to carry out to make sure everything is safe and the work can be done as quickly and as well as possible.
- Please ensure all kitchen units are emptied along with all cupboards and built in wardrobes.
- For safety reasons, cookers and washing machines need to be off and empty before we can attempt to move them.
- Please also ensure there are no locked doors so we can inspect all areas of all rooms within the property and therefore leave no stone unturned.
Once inside the property, SUPERPROOF™ technicians will be entirely self-sufficient, leaving you to go to work, do the school run, go shopping, or to just relax.
They will want to know where the mains water and gas supply shut off valves are located as well as where the main fuse board is – however we usually find these ourselves, if you are not completely sure.