The most widely known rodent associated with man is the house mouse. This tiny rodent reproduces often and can infest a structure in short order. They are opportunistic feeders, preferring seeds and insects but will eat almost anything. They live closely with humans but because of their size and habits can go undetected for some time. Usually the first sign is droppings left behind on counter tops, in pantries or behind appliances. Mice enter the structure through gaps as small as a dime. They set up nests close to a food source and begin to reproduce as many as 35 babies per year, per female. These rodents can bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into the home. Nests are made up of straw, paper, clothing, feathers and other items commonly found around the house. Droppings and urine left behind may contain bacteria that trigger allergic reactions in humans, as well as cause illness. Mice contaminate human food and are a serious economic pest. They also need to chew constantly. Mice are often the cause of electrical fires in homes as they chew through the wiring.
Color – Light brown, gray to black.
Length – 2” to 4”
Diet – They typically will eat plants and seeds. However, if meat is available they will feed on that, as well as dairy. A mouse needs very little water to survive. If food is scarce, they will sometimes eat their fecal droppings for any nutrients left in it.
Habitat – Mice prefer to live in some kind of a safe structure often living near a house or inside it if they can. They will also live in nests and as social creatures, will share their nest with other mice.
Impact – Mice are unwelcome pests in the home for a few reasons. They can taint food and water with their waste, trigger allergies and spread disease through their bites.