How to avoid unwanted house guests

UNWANTED GUESTS: Mice can cause major problems in the home.

UNWANTED GUESTS: Mice can cause major problems in the home.

It's late at night, and there's an ominous scratching sound coming from the pantry, you hope it's your imagination, but in the morning, you find a nibbled packet of noddles and a sure telltale sign; small dark droppings.

Yes, you have a mouse, and where there is one, there is likely to be more.

Across Australia, there has been an explosion in the rodent population, damaging crops and causing property damage.

According to Rentokil Australia, the best way to prevent problems with mice is to stop them from coming inside and discourage their presence by denying them easy access to food and water.

Rentokil Australia's mice deterrent tips include:

Food safety - Be careful not to attract mice with food and where possible food should be stored in plastic or metal containers.

Doors - Fit bristle (or brush) strips to the bottom of doors to prevent entry.

Pipework - Seal holes around existing or new pipes with coarse grade stainless steel wire wool and caulking (pliable sealant).

Holes - These are often made in exterior walls for cables and pipes; check that old pipework holes are sealed. Any holes that are larger than 5mm will allow mice to gain access.

Air Bricks and Vents - Cover these with fine galvanised wire mesh, especially if they are damaged.

Eaves - Fix damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps.

Vegetation - Trim tree branches back from the house and where possible avoid plants growing up the sides of your property. Vines, shrubs or over hanging branches can be used for mice to get onto roofs. Overgrown vegetation close to the walls will offer mice shelter and potential nesting sites.

Lawns - Keep grass mown short to reduce shelter and seeds for food. Ideally, leave a gap between the building foundations and the garden.

If you are having trouble with mice inside your home, there are plenty of humane mouse traps on the market.

However, if you're anxious about removing mice from your property or you have an extensive infestation, it's best to call in the experts to help you remove them safely from your home.

This story There's a mouse in the house first appeared on Port Macquarie News.