Mouse problems are not new. In modern, warm houses and with a supply of food available, mice can breed all year round. Mice are incontinent. Each mouse needs 3 grams of food per day and provided there is moisture in the food, mice can manage without needing liquid water to drink. Their favourite food is grain and cereal products, so the modern house with packets of breakfast cereal is ideal. They will also nibble at anything else available including fruit and vegetables. Their ability to survive on tiny amounts of food and their fast reproductive cycle mean that a mouse infestation includes not just the mouse you see, but all its relatives.
The signs of a mouse infestation are the damage caused during feeding - loose foods, such as sugar scattered in cupboards and food packages nibbled around the edges. If you have a large infestation, you will notice a smell similar to the smell of a hamster cage. Although mice only need small amounts of food each day, they tend to nibble and urinate over everything they come across. Most of the damage caused by mice is due to spoilage of food. If you have mice in your kitchen cupboard, check all food packages carefully and throw out all open packets and any packets that show signs of damage. Transfer new food out of paper and cardboard packaging into mouse proof containers such as glass jars with screw lids.
The best way to get rid of mice is to use one of the new poisons which have been specifically designed for the purpose. Mousetraps can be very effective but unless you have just one or two mice, they will not clear an infestation.