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A mouse scurries across the kitchen sink, with two glasses and a tap in the background.

Dealing with mice and rats

Find out what to do if you have mice or rats in your home.

What to do about mice and rats

Mice or rats in your home can be dangerous to your health, so you should try to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

They can carry diseases that could make you ill, including salmonella, as well as fleas and ticks. Plus, they can make existing conditions, such as allergies and asthma, worse.

Rodents can also chew and damage electrical cables causing fire hazards and the danger of electric shocks.

Spotting the signs of mice and rats


Mouse droppings are black, shiny, and about the size of a grain of rice. You typically find them under fridges and kitchen cupboards, as well as lofts and gas or electricity meter cupboards.

Holes and gnawing marks

Mice chew food, boxes, wallpaper, and furniture. Usually you find little bits of damage in lots of places, rather than a lot of damage in one place.

Smears on surfaces

You may see smears of grease on surfaces left by mice or rats as they walk around.


Mice normally feed at night. If you see them during the day, it means they’re short of food or you may have a larger infestation.

Distinctive smell

You may notice a musty smell, like the smell of a pet shop, which could mean you have a significant infestation.

How to test if you have mice or rats

If you suspect there are mice or rats in your home, put talcum powder on pieces of paper in the corners of your rooms. You’ll see footprints or tail marks if there’s a problem and be able to see which rooms are affected.

Is it a mouse or a rat?

To work out whether you have a mouse or a rat in your home, remember that mice are smaller than rats. Adult mice and young rats can look similar, but young rats have smaller ears, bigger heads, and shorter tails relative to their body.

How we can help

Responsibility for removing pests from your home and preventing infestations is shared between Clarion and you.

We’ll remove certain pests, such as rats and mice from tenanted homes, communal areas, and seal openings. We'll also deal with woodworm, dry rot, and wet rot treatment.

We will attend a rat or mice infestation inside:

  • A general needs property
  • The internal communal areas
  • The bin store for communal areas

We will not attend a rat or mice infestation inside:

  • A home owner’s property or garden
  • A shared owner’s property or garden

To report pest control issues, please use our simple online form.

How to stop mice and rats getting in

Block holes

Mice can fit through holes as small as 6mm, which is about the thickness of a pencil. To stop them getting in to your home, you should block any holes or gaps, even if they’re small.

You can block holes with wire mesh or general purpose filler, bought at most DIY shops. It’s best to block holes after your home is free of rats or mice, so you don’t trap any inside.

Don’t completely fill in air bricks or other vents, as these prevent problems such as damp or fumes. You can make them rodent proof instead, by attaching wire mesh.

Keep your garden tidy

Overgrown gardens attract mice, rats, and other pests and give them good places to nest. Keeping your garden clean and tidy helps prevent any problems.

You can also make it hard for mice to climb and get inside your home by cutting down plants that grow up your outside walls.

Clean up and cut off the food supply

If mice and rats can't find food or water in your home, they'll soon go somewhere else. Here are some things you can do to cut off their food supply:

  • don't leave food or packets of food out on kitchen counters or tables
  • don't leave pet food out
  • make sure bins and food storage cupboards are secure
  • put full bags of rubbish straight into your outside bins.

How to get rid of mice and rats

Mouse traps

There are many different types of traps available, such as humane ones that can catch the mouse in a container.

Always follow the instructions on the specific trap, but remember to check them once set at least twice a day. As a general rule, plastic traps are normally more effective than wooden ones.

Any mice you catch can be let go in fields or wooded areas as far away from your home as possible. However, please know that getting trapped is stressful for mice, so they could die in the trap.


Mice and rat poisons are normally coloured granules and you can buy them from most DIY shops. Always read the instructions as they can be dangerous to children, adults, and pets.

Mice need to be desperate for food before they’ll eat poison, so before you put the poison down remove all sources of food. This includes cardboard, soap, and even wax crayons.

Sticky boards

Sticky boards traps aren’t recommended as they’re considered inhumane. The mice struggle to unstick themselves before slowly dying of exhaustion.

Call a professional pest control company

If you’ve tried using traps or poison, or if you think you have a large infestation, contact your local council or a professional pest control service.

Find out about local council pest control on the government website

Find a professional pest control service on the British Pest Control Association website