Learn how to identify mice and the threat they can pose to your home and family.
Mice are commonly grayish, but the color can vary. The body is roughly 3 – 4 inches in length, with the tail being of equal length. The muzzle is pointy, the ears are large and the eyes are small.
House mice prefer to nest in dark, quiet areas, where they can go undisturbed. An area with nesting material such as paper, cotton, insulation, fabric, etc. is ideal. An opening as small as a nickel is adequate for entry. Mice are inquisitive, and explore anything that is new and different. They are nibblers, and may chew on electrical wires, causing a fire hazard.
Mice will eat most foods humans eat, such as cereals, fruit, grains, meats, seeds, sweets and vegetables. However, mice will eat most anything when there is limited food available. They generally have 2 main feedings, one in the evening and another just before dawn, with numerous small feedings in between.
Life Cycle and Reproduction
Mice become sexually mature at about 5 weeks. Female mice can reproduce up to 8 times in their lifespan, with each litter ranging from 4-7 pups. Therefore, a single female mouse can produce up to 56 offspring.
Mice and rats transmit diseases through physical contact, bites, and contamination. They damage and destroy property by chewing wires, which may cause fires. They destroy labels on cans and damage sacks and other containers. They undermine buildings, gnaw pipes, chew water hoses, and cut through mortar and cement. They damage wood doors, floors, walls, clothing and furniture. Mice and rats carry diseases that are health hazards to both human and domestic animals – diseases such as typhus fever, trichinosis, plague, infectious jaundice, salmonella.