House Mice Facts, Identification, & Control
Botanical name: Mus musculus
House mice are rodents with short gray, black or light brown hair. They have light bellies as well. You will also find hair on their ears and tail, though most of the hair can be found on their body. Fully grown adult mice weigh between 12 and 30g, with length of about 20 cm when measured from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose. Their feces have the shape of a rod.
Habit, Diet and Behavior
House mice often inhabit farm lands, especially areas with lots of woods and grass. To protect themselves from the hot weather, house mice often build their nest in dark areas. They sometimes build their nest close to where they can access food easily.
Having an inquisitive disposition, a house mouse will spend a good part of its days exploring new territories. Their favorite meal is seeds and nuts, but they feed on just about anything.
Falling environmental temperatures forces them to search for warmer places to live. Food aroma and warmth attracts them in their numbers. Small openings like pipe openings, utility lines and gaps below a door, are large enough for them to find their way into a home.
House mice, just like most other rodents reproduce very fast. Female house mice produce as much as 8 litters per year, with each litter containing about 6 pups. The pregnancy period of house mice is 21 days, after which the mouse pups are born naked and blind. They will have to depend on their mother for the basic necessities of life. After 21 days of weaning, the mother mice will leave her new pups to roam the wild. It takes about 35 days for baby pups to reach sexual maturity –mating starts when they are 6 weeks old.
How to know when house mouse has taken over your home
Though mostly active during evenings, house mouse can still be seen roaming the home during the day. They are in the habit moving swiftly, scurrying along areas that aren’t so exposed.
The presence of mice droppings is a clear sign of mice infestation. They are known for dropping their feces along paths they travel, and places they visit. Their dropping is rod-shaped, measuring 3 to 6mm long.
Their feces are somewhat similar to that of the American cockroach. The only difference is that mice feces have hairs on them –hairs that fell off their body. Also, the feces of roaches aren’t pointed at both ends, unlike that of the mice.
House mice are in the habit of exploring their territories, and when they do, they leave traces of their footprint. When they do, they leave an impression of their 4 toed front and five-toed back.
House mice are notorious for chewing away items, including the valuable ones. A sign of this is when you see accumulated debris. When they gnaw at an item, they leave marks of their teeth, also creating a sizeable opening.
This rodent loves building its nest in dark areas with sufficient protection, preferably in insulated or soft material. When building their nest, they often stay away from areas covered in dust and cobwebs.
Another sign of mice manifestation is hearing scratching or gnawing sounds, especially during the evening hours. They sometimes run across ceilings, and when they do, they give off a squeaking sound.
House mice use their urine as a means of communication. They are known for marking off certain areas with the goal of attracting females or staving off other males. Their odor becomes strong enough for the nose to smell when they are large in number, or have inhabited a particular area for a long period of time.
Tips for controlling house mice infestation
To guard against house mice infestation, it is important to seal off all crevices, holes, gaps, and caps with cement, or any other suitable material. It is a bad idea to use wood to seal holes because a mouse can easily chew away the wooden blockage.
Mice often stay away from clean environments. Ensure all dishes are washed immediately they are used. Food items must be stored in metallic or glass containers with a tight lid. House mice source their water from leftover food. To keep them off, ensure no leftover food items litter tabletops or floors.
But if they have infested your home already, the best way to get rid of them is by engaging the services of a professional terminator.
More about house mice
House mice are small sized mammals which are known for leaving in the homes of humans. In terms of population size, they are the largest of all mammals, only next to humans. Originating from Asia, these rodents have found their way around the world. You will find them mostly where humans live. Scientist and biologist often use them for experiment.
They are capable of running, walking and standing on their four legs. By supporting their body weight with their tail, a house mouse can stand on its hind leg. They also use their tail to gain balance when running. Their sense of hearing is very sharp, and they communicate with each other by making squeaking sounds. While some sounds can be heard by the human ear, others can’t, falling into ultrasonic range. Adult house mice weigh between 12 and 22 g, measuring 20cm in length. Their color ranges from gray to black and light brown in some cases. They have short hair and light bellies.