How to get rid of mice when you live on the top floor of a London river Warf towers actually do not rest with the tenant of the penthouse but rather with the block management.
Mice infestations spread from the ground up
For the ones who are still not convinced, I need to remind them that mice do not fly. And in general, we do not bring them in inside our luggage as we move in.
We have been involved over the year with 2 large residential sites that manage things quite differently, and as time goes, you can see what the best approach is.
Get rid of mice at the entry point level.
The gateway for mice activity is very much the ground floor. Once they gain access to the fabric of the building they will want to look for a suitable area to settle down. An area that can not only shelter them but also sustain them.
As mice principally behave as a population, you can be sure that where there is a mouse, there are more. So food is the critical limiting factor. In large tower blocks, the rubbish is often collected through shuts in the basements. And here is the first foothold for a mice infestation. The bins are often open, and even though there would be a lid, the lid is then not tight enough, and there is often on the bottom an opening to let the rainwater out.
So ideally you would want to do something about mice before they can have an unlimited supply of food on which to thrive. And in a context where food is plentiful, it is difficult to control mice using conventional bait.
How to catch a mouse in a bin chamber
Bin chambers are notoriously difficult to work with. You cannot have anything placed down in a permanent fashion if it is not a temper proof bait box. The only efficient way to achieve any results in such a context is using physical means. You could place mouse trap bait with the best stuff, if the mice have a full belly, they will disregard it as natural.
So placing lines of glue traps that do not rely on luring them with food has more chance to reduce the population. It is common to carry out gel trap programs nights and catch a large amount of them, and dramatically reduce the overall population.
Stopping a mice infestation from spreading
Once mice have a foothold, they can keep on breeding and the excess of the population will start going around looking for other areas to invest where conditions are less competitive and more favorable.
Placing bait at service areas and risers
The first line of dispersion is following the risers that are going from floor to floor. Think of them the way you would a motorway going from London to Edinburgh. But there is no food in raisers, you cannot feed off communication cables. So still following the pipes and wires, may arrive at people’s homes where the kitchens hold great promises.
From there, there are secondary lines of dispersions depending on the designs of the buildings. But often the bathroom line with the waste pipe going down and the kitchen line with the ventilation shaft is a constant. Think of them as the A-roads.
In the raiser cupboard, there is no food available, so already by placing appetizing baits, you stand a good chance of controlling mice efficiently. The issue as I often noticed, is that pest control companies would place nonsensical bait there that mice would simply disregard as unappetizing. And it is such a shame because once they reach the kitchen of a flat, you end up having to compete with the foodstuff of the tenants.
Stopping them from accessing upper floors
This is in theory the best strategy. But it is something that architects and builders should implement as they actually build the thing. It is simply easier said than done. Plumbing risers are easily done, but electrical and communication risers often require work being done and new cables being run. It is therefore difficult to mouse proof permanently.
A mice exterminator can carry out the mouse proofing of a riser. But in effect what the technician achieve is to exclude the mice from the inside of the riser, Mice often still have alternative ways to reach the upper floors.
Mouse proofing the bin chambers
We carried out the mouse proofing of 17 bin chambers in a particular development, and it is possibly what had the most impact at the bin chamber level. However, by the time we had done it the mice were known to be on every single floor, even at penthouse level.
So once the issue is already established through the building, treating at the risers level is not helpful anymore since mice can easily go from one kitchen to the next traveling through the partition walls. Henceforth the key would be to carry out the systematic inspection and possibly treatment of every single kitchen regardless of if tenants had reported any activity.
As do we do so, it becomes apparent that many suffered as we find the mice droppings with the tenant having ever realized. And when it is appropriate carry out the mouse proofing of the flats that are prone to mice activity.
The issue is that by then the mice had already had the chance to build up in numbers, and already had reached the upper floors. So ideally such a program would be carried out as a preventive measure rather than remedial.