Be Aware of Mice Habits to Prevent a Problem

Mice seek the same comforts we need to survive – food and water, shelter, and a place to breed. They are neophilic, which means it is in their nature to investigate new areas and objects in their environment. Dr. Andy Brigham, a rodent expert at Rentokil’s Global Science Centre says “through the very nature of our urban environment, such as cables, false ceilings and floors, we now make it even easier for mice to exploit our buildings and encourage their investigative behaviour to explore. We call this the ‘mouse motorway network’”.

This is part of their foraging strategy: they explore a large area, sampling anything that may be food as they roam, leaving a trail of contaminants behind (urine and droppings). If mice find moist foodstuff (containing as little as 15% water by weight) then they do not need to drink. These factors mean it requires very little to sustain a small mouse infestation.

Proof Your Premises: Restrict Access to Food Sources and Potential Harbourage Areas

With the approaching winter, exclude mice from your building, or at least make it difficult for them to spread from one area to another should they already be in the building. This is not an easy task because mice can squeeze through gaps or gnaw through most materials for entry. On-going research at Rentokil’s Global Science Centre5 has focused on experimenting with different options for proofing your premises against mice.

In exploring these different options, we have found some existing proofing methods to be less effective than widely believed:

  • Wire wool is often used to fill up small gaps or existing mouse holes, but mice will pull out the wires strand by strand to bypass it.
  • Preventing mice from climbing can keep an infestation under control: plastic cones over electrical cables can help to deter them, but it’s difficult to completely stop them.

However, research in our laboratories is on-going. Our extensive experience in rodent behaviour and biology helps Rentokil’s technicians to be the best pest controllers in Australia. Contact us today to find out which proofing methods we have found to be effective against mice.



  1. Wolfe J L (1969) Exploratory activity and new object response of wild and laboratory house mice Communs. Behav. Biol. (Part A) 4 13-16.
  2. Southern H N (Ed) Control of Rats and Mice Vol III Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  3. Fertig D S, Edmonds V W (1969) The physiology of the house mouse Scient. Am. 221 103-110.
  4. Meehan AP (1984) Rats and Mice. Their Biology and Control Produced for the Rentokil Library series by Brown Knight and Truscott Ltd., Tonbridge, Kent.
  5. Rentokil Internal Laboratory Data.



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