Price: £180. (Yeah, I know...)
Comments: I caught five mice in a week using standard, Tom & Jerry-style traps and there were more still scampering along the worktops and doing acrobatics down the stairs. Believing things to be out of hand, I phoned Rentokil and got them to deal with the problem. I'm not sure what I was expecting but, for £180, I was kind of hoping it would involve a little robot mouse with lipstick, a skirt and a cargo of TNT.
More fool me.
The guy who came out was friendly enough and gave some decent advice but then proceeded to put a dozen child-proof poison traps round the house. He gave the impression that this was what he always did. So much for tailored service. He came back a week later to check them and not one had been touched. He moved them around and came back after another week. They still hadn't been touched. This was apparently because I'd called him in too late and I'd obviously dealt with the problem myself. I pointed out that there were still mice about. He muttered that I'd already had three visits but agreed to come back after a fortnight. By then, the poison had been nibbled a bit and there'd been no sign of mice for a while.
After the fourth visit, he said he'd give me a call in a week or two to see how things were going. He didn't. A couple of months later, the mice came back. I just moved the poison around a little and they went away again.
Worth £180? Debatable.
The next step would have been sticky boards. The mice run on, they get stuck, someone hits them over the head with a trowel. Since the guy was only turning up once a week, I'm guessing that that someone would have been me. Lovely.
A poison trap. The Rentokil man's most impressive gadget was a metal stick with a hook on the end for reaching under cupboards to put these in place.
The best advice I got was to plug up cracks and gaps in the house with wire-wool (available in B&Q). If mice can get their head through a gap, then they can get the rest of themselves through. The ones I caught had heads about the size of an almond which means they could slip under doors and through pretty insignificant cracks. Knowing this, I seem to have been able to keep them off the worktops since. There's other information on the Rentokil website.
Thanks to everyone at HomeDad for tips as well.
Conclusion: Reassuring but expensive. Next time, I'll do it myself.
- Guaranteed to make the problem go away.
- Useful advice.
- It's nice to know the problem's being dealt with by a professional, especially if you're squeamish.
- How exactly can you be sure the problem's actually gone away?
- Expensive, unless you're at the stage where the mice are brazenly stealing electronics.
- You're better off doing the job yourself or maybe calling the council.
- Doesn't involve explosive robots, deadly lasers or the Kill-a-Tron 3000.
- May involve a trowel.