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Pest Control/Mice keep coming back, is it the hamster?

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Question
Hello,

I live in a very busy part of London and have quite an old appartment, and have been having mice coming in and out through holes since July. We got an exterminator in July, but after a few months the mice came back. We got another exterminator, and again one month of peace, then they came back again!

It's been three weeks now that we've been seeing them, and we finally got one last guy to come and he discovered the main hole and blocked it, but it seems that either a whole family is still stuck inside the appartment, or there is still a hole.

My flatmate is really scared of mice and thinks that it may be the hamster attracting the mice (the food maybe?). It's true that right after we got him we started seeing the mice again, but considering we've had so many infestations on and off it could just be a coincidence.

I've put the hamster food in sealed containers this week and all that remains is his little food pot. I'm really really skeptical about this hamster-attracts-mice idea, because I had a hamster when I lived in NYC and we had one mice infestation once too but they never came in my room where the hamster was.

I'm especially afraid the landlord will think it's because of the hamster and make us pay for the exterminator!! We are students!! Haha

Anyway,
sorry for the long question, just hoping you can give me your opinion on this.

Thanks,
Juliette

Answer
Dear Juliette,

The only thing that mice would find attractive regarding a hamster would be its food.

It is unlikely that the food in the pot is being exploited by the mice. I say that because both mice and hamsters are typically nocturnal in their feeding habits, so the mice would have to compete with your hamster to feed from his/her pot.

As long as you are securely storing all the things mice like, and the hamster is protecting the food in its pot - the only other thing I can think of is to be sure mice aren't feeding from the hamster's food caches. Be certain that you know where ALL the caches are - and that you can protect them from mice.

Because mice can squeeze through an opening as small as 1/4 of an inch, I would make sure that the previous rodent proofing job (sealing up holes, etc.) was as thorough as it should have been. It is common practice within the pest management industry here in the States to do follow-ups on rodent issues. So, if you find new openings, or old openings where the sealing job has been compromised, call the pest control company and ask them to come back.

If you find that trapping the mice becomes necessary, Juliette, consider confining your hamster at night and putting out mouse traps at bedtime and then pick them up the next morning.

I sincerely hope this helps, and I wish you good luck,

George

Pest Control

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George E Serdes

Expertise

My knowledge is in the areas of structural insect or rodent pest problems. I do not know enough about lawn and garden pests to be of any help there...

Experience

I've retired from the pest control industry in Central Florida. I spent 15 years in all areas of the industry (sales, night technician, integrated pest management specialist, service manager, and branch manager for both National and local companies.

Organizations
Formerly sat on the Florida Pest Management Association's Board of Directors (Region IV)

Education/Credentials
Retired Florida State Certified Pest Control Operator -

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