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Although mice are found commonly in a range of urban and rural buildings, they may live outdoors for part of the year. The average wild mouse will only live to about 4 months, and range in size from 11cm - 21cm in length.

Where do they live?

Mice live mainly in nests, which are often built inside houses, especially during the winter. Nests are built wherever there is access to a good source of food, and are generally built out of cloth, wool and paper. Spaces under the floor and lofts are also favoured nesting places. Mice are good climbers so nests may be situated at any level. Where no nesting place is available, mice tend to burrow outdoors in soil as they can easily adapt to different surroundings. They huddle together in colder climates, and can even squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm. Mouse holes are normally 2cm -3cm in diameter.

Do mice cause any real harm?

Generally, many people find the mere presence of rodents in their surroundings to be unacceptable, so can easily cause distress and fear. Most of the damage that they will cause if you have an infestation will be by gnawing and ripping at food stuffs and belongings.

How can I prevent an infestation? 

  • keep your home in good condition so that mice cannot gain access easily
  • accumulations of waste and rubbish can attract rodents and will make a warm home for mice - ensure all rubbish and food waste is disposed of promptly and appropriately
  • remove potential nesting sites by keeping outdoor areas clean and tidy
  • store food and household waste in sealed containers/bins, away from where mice could get access
  • do not feed wild birds or other animals to excess - the food will attract unwanted pests e.g. mice

How do I know if I have an infestation?

  • footprints or tail swipes in muddy areas or dusty surfaces 
  • gnaw marks on any food or non-food material
  • sightings of live or dead mice
  • presence of burrows or nests, or mice droppings
  • unusual stale odours indoors

How do I get rid of them?

You can purchase poison from hardware stores, which will advise you on the correct usage. Ideally we would recommend you seek professional help. Exeter City Council's Pest Control Officer will be able to locate the source of the problem and treat as necessary, using poison or traps. All poisons used are applied by the Pest Control Officer who will ensure the safety of the public and minimise damage to the environment.


Exeter City Council charge £56.00 for mice treatments. Payment can be made by the following, on completion of the treatment:

  • cash or cheque (made payable to Exeter City Council)
  • debit or credit card over the telephone
  • Where an account is rendered, an additional charge of £21.00 is levied

We can also provide a survey at your home for a charge of £15 however this will not include any treatment. Should you then wish to have treatment carried out you will be charged the full treatment charge of £56.00.

There will be a 50% reduction in charges during office hours for destruction of public health pests where householder/tenant is on Income Support, Income Based Job Seeker's, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance and Guaranteed Pension Credit. Proof of benefits will be required before treatment can be carried out.

Please Note: We may charge more for a Commercial Premise.

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