A NATIONAL trade body has issued a series of tips to prevent mice infestations in residential houses.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA), is encouraging householders in Whitchurch to take precautions against the nibbling nuisance.

Gaps around pipes, cables and vents are often used as entry points by the pests, which can squeeze through holes the width of a pencil eraser.

Mouse-proofing a home is better than attempting to tackle an infestation and the association is urging people spending their first winter in a new home to take particular care.

Tips to avoid infestations include; removing potential nesting site; cutting back overgrown areas and clearing any piles of wood and debris; covering any household waste; storing food in airtight containers and installing door sweeps or door brush strips on exterior doors.

Technical officer at the BPCA, Natalie Bungay said: "Mice only need a gap of 5mm to gain entry.

"You will need to search for any potential entry points and seal these up with wire wool embedded in quick-setting cement.

"Check around pipes and windows, and double check the basement. Proofing all means of entry as much as possible will help to prevent an infestation."