Inoculand Ltd Pest Control Head Biologist, Daniel Neves talks about 13 places in London where rodents can be seen regularly.
1) Buildings in parks
In most parks you can find singled out building with nothing around but grass and trees. Most of these buildings are often owned by council and can host a variety of parks and leisure services, or administrative departments. Other buildings can be historical buildings such as an old fire brigade station that has been developed by private investors into residential quarters.
2) Large residential areas
In a building, everything communicates following all the pipes and electric wires, from the service areas, to the risers.
Mice do not appear from thin air
We do not bring them in with our handbags. Why the only complaint ever received up to now would originate from the 6th floor? The chance is that mice in low numbers will be mostly not noticed. Also there are people who could have noticed them but do not care to report it, do not mind them, cannot afford professional pest control or cannot allow any one in their home for fear or for shame.
3) Next to a major refurbishment
When you refurbish a house, rodents nesting there will go out somewhere else, probably next door.
Think about a house that has never been refurbished. The person who lived there had never moved out. The house was decorated from the 50's, the small kitchen had a large table, a sink unit and a few cupboard in good order. Now, everything thing is going to be rebuilt.
4) Run-down properties
A void property would not have the necessary food stuff to sustain a large mice population anyway. Some of the worst jobs seen were linked to tenants living in a run-down home with broken kitchen units where mice would be able to access the food readily.
5) Properties with elderly and vulnerable tenants
London can be a lonely place for senior citizens and families are not always at hand to help or to take notice if there is a problem.
There is also the issue of Social Services, that can only do so much, and so much is sometimes not enough. There are individuals who are living in the worst conditions that come to their attention because of an accident/medical condition requiring hospitalisation.
The properties can at times be left empty for months with the food all around. Even though the property gets decluttered and cleaned, we can all imagine that when the tenant returns it will all go back to the way it was if not enough support can be provided.
6) Above shops and restaurants
In most High Streets you have a mix of businesses of which a number of them are food premises.
Food premises have a responsibility to have in place adequate pest control measures. However it is not enough to have a pest control folder to show to the council EHO's. It is also important to implement strategies to reduce the chances of infestation in the future.
7) Tube or train station
From the platform most of us have seen these cuties quite amazing in their resilience running past high voltage rails. There are so many of us eating, and crumbs fall on the floor. There are so many unfinished takeaways being discarded.
8) Historical buildings, hotels and museums
There is a good chance that you will find a few storage rooms, bin chambers, outdoor areas with little of it for a start. Then you have the various staff rooms/kitchens, catering units that are likely to see at some point our little adventurers. In most cases, the building managers have in place measures to take care of any coming mice and stop them from building up in numbers.
Then you have the dining rooms and other large public halls with any one of us having a sandwich or two. The positive side is that in large institutions pest control is taken very seriously and managed quite closely.
Hospitals are by far the ones that put the most effort in preventing mice reaching our wards. Whenever there is a breach, hospital managers do not hesitate closing wards while they take the necessary measures. In this case the solution is plain, if mice ever reach a ward it is because their is a way in!
Because what patients are looking for is peace of mind, it will not do to place mice bait into a hospital ward. Mice would first need to come in before they can eat the poison. And it is them coming in that is the problem to start with. The solution is to keep mice out by doing the mouse proofing, and bait as upstream as possible to kill them before they are allowed to reach the defended area
9) End of terrace
Most of our housing stock is quite old. We drilled so many holes to fit in our central heating systems and our modern kitchen. Our dear builders often left many of them wide open, what the client would see would be beautiful, but whatever was not in direct line of sight would not matter?
10) Diogenes Syndrome
I have been to quite a few flats with belongings reaching up to the ceiling, others with piles of newspapers with cleverly worked out paths in between to allow access from the table to the fridge. Many of theses flats were actually clean and with no mice infestation to speak off. I have seen also flats with all kind of rubbish collected from the street and gathered in every corners of the home. And there already you would find more often mice activity.
But the worst comes when you have clutter/rubbish every where and discarded half eaten meals left around for days/weeks waiting for a good soul to pick it up to be bin. A good soul that in some cases will never come...
11) Major road work
It is a bit of a repetition of section 3 but with a much less impact. Mice normally travel less than 10-12 metres around the nest, so the mice are definitively not coming from the road works. But the vibrations may cause the mice to be more distressed and possibly to move about more than usual.
A few years back I received so many calls from both sides that I wondered. On one side was council blocks, on the other 3 storey high terrace buildings. Could it be a coincidence?
12) Semi-industrial estate
Industrial estates are just that: warehouses, few offices, a few staff kitchens. The london rental market being what it is and many companies having suffered from the downturn, many entrepreneurs converted part of their premises into flats.
13) Property alongside a canal
I am not entirely clear about this one. But having on one side a natural barrier and on the other side a road would help containing the mice within the building and make it more likely to suffer from mice the same fashion that an end of a terrace house would.
In camden I was called in one of them and the tenants had no garden. You would look through the window and see nothing but the water.