When mice are found in office buildings, they are in search of food, warmth and shelter. Your office provides an exceptional shelter for mice, it hides them from the cold weather and protects them from predators. Plus, with all the food left in cubicles, desk drawers and break areas, your office is like a giant all-you-can-eat buffet. Because offices are the center of businesses where meetings are held and work is being completed, a rodent infestation can create less than ideal working conditions for your staff.
How Can Mice Get Into My Building?
Mice are very nimble creatures, able to run and jump at great lengths, as well as climb almost any surface. On top of that young mice can squeeze through a gap as small as ¼ inch. There are many ways in which a mouse, or rat, can get into your office.
- Mouse Highways - One way in which mice can navigate their way into your workplace is through connections between different buildings such as water pipes, cables and other underground methods. This allows rats and mice to quickly move between different buildings with ease. With more and more buildings being built every day, each sharing the same pipes and cables, rats and mice are finding it even easier to explore new territories in search for food and a place to live, and this can be your office. Once inside, mice can find their way around using ‘mouse highways’ we have created: cable risers, false ceilings, false floors, wall partitions, lift shafts – quick ways to travel longer distances in search for food.
- Food Pallets - Another way mice navigate their way into your office is through food pallets, especially if your office is attached to a warehouse. If a food preparation plant has an infestation of rats or mice, this can quickly spread to other areas. A mouse will no doubt explore the environment of the new area they have travel to. All mice need to survive is shelter and minimal food and water, plus they can multiply within months. The more we ship food from one place to another, the more mice will hitch a ride unnoticed.
What Can Mice Do to My Office?
Mice are pretty harmless right? So what’s the big deal if they decide to live in my office? To put it politely, you couldn’t be more wrong. Although mice look sweet and innocent they can be quite a menace.
- Spread Disease - Mice carry many diseases rats and spread them around the office.
- Droppings - Rodents such as rats and mice can spread diseases through their droppings. Unlike you and me mice aren’t toilet trained, so they leave a mess anywhere and everywhere, including your keyboard and phone. You don’t want to be touching that first thing on a Monday morning.
- Urine - Mice also like to urinate everywhere, especially in a new place. It lets them keep track of the places they’ve been and is a way of leaving messages behind for their friends. When mice urinate in certain areas multiple times you start to get urine pillars. This is where the urine merges with the grease from their fur and creates small piles which look a lot like stalagmites, that’s not something you want to see during lunch break. On top of this, mice and rat urine is also one of the main instigators of the spread of rodent borne diseases. These harmful pathogens could be picked up on your hands or sometimes mix with dust, which, if disturbed, can be inhaled.
- Chew Cables - Mice are very neophilic (like new things) creatures, it is in their nature to explore – especially with their teeth. They gnaw at items to test for food, gain passage, or just out of curiosity. Being in an office environment this curiosity can lead to rats and mice chewing on the billions of cables in your office. This can be anywhere from keyboard and phone wires to internet and server cables.
- Start Fires - One of the potential downfalls of rodents gnawing at the wires in your office is the potential to start fires. By chewing on the wires, the mice leave the rubber casing open, which can lead to them short circuiting and catching alight.
- Lose Work - On top of the potential fire hazard having mice in your office creates, there is also a risk of losing work. Nowadays everything is done on computers, having a mouse gnawing its way through the power cables can result in computer failure leading to loss of work.
How Can I Stop Mice Coming Into My Office?
So now you know the risks of having mice in your office, but how do you stop them? The best way is through a handful of mouse prevention techniques that can be carried out without the help of a professional.
- Clean Up - Mice are amazing scavengers, although they don’t need much food to survive, they won’t pass up a free meal. That’s why dirty plates are a dream find for a mouse. Free food with not that much effort. A simple way to stop mice from coming into your office is to make sure all your plates, mugs, and cups are clean at the end of the day.
- Empty Garbage Cans - Garbage cans are also a good place for mice and rats to find food. They aren’t fussy eaters (mostly) and will quite happily eat out of a garbage can. Be sure to empty your garbage cans at the end of each day. It’s a good idea to speak to the landlord of your office complex to try and get the outside dumpsters placed a good distance away from the building to stop mice from finding their way inside. Some infestations have been nipped in the bud when cleaning rotations are changed to ensure offices are cleaned thoroughly at night and not left to the morning.
- Don’t Eat At Your Desk - It’s very common to see this happening in this day and age, but it’s a big no no if you don’t want to attract mice into the building. Eating at your desk is an open invitation to mice. Any crumbs or leftover food you leave at your desk is a gold mine for a hungry mouse. If you do decide to eat at your desk, make sure you clean up any crumbs left behind as well as discard used packaging and unwanted food.
- Keep Food in Plastic Containers - We all have our favorite snacks hidden away in our desk, but did you know these are giant magnets for rodents? A great way to keep snacks nearby is to place them in air-tight plastic containers. Not only do they keep the scent hidden from mice, but they also keep your food fresh!
- Baiting - An effective way to control rodents on your property is through the use of bait. Rodent baiting consists of strategically placing bait in boxes around your building. The mouse enters the box in search for food, and has a nibble on the bait.
- Professional Mouse Control - If you have taken the necessary prevention procedures but still find yourself with some unwanted office guests, the next step would be to contact a pest control professional. When Batzner inspects office buildings, the main areas we inspect are we check the following:
- Kitchenettes and break rooms
- IT or Computer closets
- Equipment or appliances
- Employee desks and cubicle dividers
- Behind boxes or filing cabinets
- Custodial or utility closets
- Heating systems and pipe chases
- Storage or warehouse locations
- Suspended ceilings, floors and wall voids
Batzner partners with businesses to eliminate pests from commercial office spaces. Our experts can recommend sanitation best practices and create a customized pest control protection plan to protect your brand. To schedule your free pest control evaluation, contact Batzner today or call us at 262-797-4160.