Mostly in winter, mice try to get in your building really fast. They come searching for food and shelter to survive the cold winter months. They slip inside through the smallest cracks, an opening not even bigger than five mm is enough for mice to get in. They often hide in dark places. When they find enough food, they multiply rapidly which can lead to a lot of nuisance and even damage to your house.
Who is responsible for the extermination of these unwanted guests?
The Flemish "house rental decree" states that the tenant is responsible for the extermination of mice and other vermin unless they were already present at the start of the renting period. If structural problems, such as cracks in the floors and in the walls are to blame for the presence of mice, the landlord is responsible for solving the problem.
What can you do to prevent mice?
The most important thing to do is to make sure the mice won’t be attracted by food. Mice are no picky eaters and they can survive on only three grams of food a day.
Some practical tips:
- Store your food in sealed metal or glass jars or in hard plastic boxes. Mice can easily eat through paper, cardboard and soft plastic.
- Don’t leave food scraps lying around and wash your dishes after you're done cooking.
- Throw your waste in a bin with a closed lid.
- Clean your house and kitchen regularly and don’t forget to clean under the refrigerator and the stove. These are the places where often a lot of food scraps end up.
How can you exterminate mice?
Prevention is the best way to exterminate. When no food can be found in your house, the mice will leave soon. If you think there are only one or a few mice in your house, you can place mousetraps without poison. This is a healthy and safe way of exterminating mice.
However, if you are dealing with an infestation, mousetraps will not solve the problem and you will have to use poison. These products kill the mice in two to six days after they've eaten a lethal dose. The dead mice dry out and won’t start smelling.
These toxic products are harmful to other animals and humans and have to be used with great caution.
When the plague is very serious, discuss with your landlord hiring a specialized pest control company.
What about bed bugs?
Bed bugs may be even more troublesome than mice, as you also run the risk of bringing them home or on vacation with you. Generally, a bed bug infestation is the responsibility of the tenant(s), unless they were already present before the start of your lease. If there are bed bugs in your building, it is best to get help as soon as possible.