Strange noises in the night? Scuttling, squeaking? It could be mice, especially if you live in an old shared building - as many people do in Edinburgh. They're not something that we particularly like to talk about but once you discover a problem it's best to deal with it quickly.
Some minor research on the subject pulls up a few unnerving details for property owners. According to an article in the Guardian, "those considering a property purchase with evidence of rat or mice infestation can demand, on average, a 9% reduction in asking price - equivalent to almost £22,000 off the average asking price for a UK property."
Not great news for the infested, however it is vital not to worry as evidence of rodents is extremely common in period properties and can usually be dealt with quite easily.
What are your options?
Spring traps or snap traps are a traditional way of managing a rodent problem by yourself. Make sure to place them along the pathways the rodents actually travel. When the spring mechanism is triggered, a metal bar snaps and kills the rodent. Placing more than one trap is a good idea.
Feeling a bit queasy about killing the beastie? Humane mousetraps lure individual mice in with a scrap of food. You can then release the mouse outside. Make sure the release is far enough away from the infestation to avoid a return visit.
Mouse poison is supposedly the most successful method of dealing with a mouse infestation. One potential worry is dead mice causing an odour. Deep cleaning your property will make it easier for you to locate any dead mice.
Not exactly humane, these traps are surely a last resort. They work by trapping the animals in sticky glue meaning that you will probably be tasked with finishing the job off yourself.
Filling up Holes
Mice can fit through extremely small gaps in the wall - if you can get a ball point pen through a gap it is said that a mouse can get through it too. They will also nibble through material to get where they want to go. Using wire wool, metal or expanding foam to fill gaps in your skirting can help to keep them at bay.
Get a cat
This is one of the best solutions to a mouse problem and means a new pet too! Of course the old adage 'a pet is for life…' etc etc applies here - and for those in rented accommodation you will have to speak to your landlord.
Calling Pest Control
Sometimes there's no other option. Serious infestations require the services of pest control experts.