Regrading the council service.
I have spoken to someone who works for a well known pest control company and when i mentioned the borough that i live in they said that they were not very good for dealing with problems such as this even though they have a duty to do so under a regulation that was mentioned.
I agree, a rescue cat ideally as they are often used to having to catch their own food to survive!
I have never seen a mouse in our flat and attribute this to having 2 cats.
I used the council and found them fairly useless and a waste of money. They just looked at where the problem could be coming from (but made me move all the furniture for them because they said they wouldn't do that) and then told me to block those points. They laid out some poison but you could do that yourself
I had a serious rat problem, I did try the council, who were no help at all, and another local firm. David Parnell was the only person who took the problem seriously and sorted it. He says you need to look for the source of the problem. It is no good just putting down poison or traps as this will not work, you will kill a few pests but the source is still there. His first two questions are do you have decking and do you have pets (no to both in my case). He says pet food can attract pests. I mentioned David before on HoL, not because I have any connection to him but because he is very knowledgeable.
Just to back up what you have seen above, David 'did' our mouse-ridden house and was genuinely brilliant. What I wrote about standard pest control people three years ago (see below) stands - David Parnell is something else, and 500% more effective.
Just want to second this, we had David round earlier this week and he was brilliant. No messing around with traps or bait (our mice had quite quickly learnt to avoid the traps I had been setting, which were successful initially), David got to work sealing off all the entry points (literally taking apart the kitchen where necessary and re-assembling). Since he's been, not a hint of a mouse - previously, we were cleaning up mouse droppings from the kitchen every day. To cap it off, he's a friendly guy and the price was reasonable too. Totally recommend him if you have any kind of pest problem.
David also helped us in November with a cockroach infestation. He came over on a Sunday, at short notice and treated the house thoroughly.
He has since carried out two further visits (without charge) and no we are cockroach free (fingers crossed)!!
Pest control firms are a waste of money generally - you pay someone money to put poison down which you can do yourself, and mice are so endemic in Harringay that they will be back the next time it gets cold. The last lot of professional pest control people we had round told us vaguely where the mice were getting in, killed a few and left us to it. Not really worth £200.
Cats are even more expensive than pest control people, and even if they do work (and I'm not convinced), you are just trading one furry parasite for another :-)
Ultimately, you need to get down on your knees with a bundle of wire wool and force it into every hole in your skirting board, and especially behind your sink/bath and in your under-stairs cupboard/basement if you have one. Eventually you will block up their point of entry and they will leave you alone until they find another. It is an ongoing battle, I'm afraid.
Clue: there's a good chance that there entry point is somewhere near where you see them and their horrible poo most often.
There are firms who do mouseproofing now, and I would be happier to chance my arm with one of those than ever spend another penny on pest control.
If your neighbours are filthy, it doesn't help. I am interested to see whether the ongoing gentrification of Harringay will help to strike a blow against mice, who specialise in terrorising neglected properties (especially HMOs with crappy landlords).
I only moved here just under 2 weeks ago and was already presented with a gift by George - below.
Got 4 cats but 3 are lazy bums, George got me 2 pressies in 1 day, how sweet. He has been flat as a pancake by the cellar door since but no more mice were brave enough.
But the "get a cat" may not work if you get a lazy one like my 3 out of 4, only George is aware of what/how to do..lol