The house mouse, Mus Musculus, is one of the most troublesome of all the rodents we deal with. They thrive in a wide variety of conditions and be found in and around homes, on agricultural lands, and in open fields. The house mouse consumes and contaminates food that is meant for pets, humans, or livestock. For proper house mouse control and prevention, it’s important to familiarize yourself with this particular rodent species.
Identifying a House Mouse
The house mouse is covered in short hair, usually light brown, gray, or black in color. Some species have a light belly. The adult house mouse is small and about five to seven inches long, including the tail, which in and of itself is three to four inches long. The tail is nearly hairless with obvious scale rings. Their most recognizable features are pointed noses and small eyes.
House Mouse Behavior
The house mouse is mostly a nocturnal creature, although it can sometimes be seen during the day as well. The house mouse is considered to be color-blind and have poor eyesight, but it does have excellent senses of smell, taste, and touch. It will usually nest in the ground or any sheltered location in a nest constructed of fibrous materials, like paper or burlap. Upon invading your home, a house mouse can quickly become dangerous since it doesn’t need much time to grow in number. Mice are sexually mature at six to ten weeks of age and, in just one year, they produce about eight litters with four to seven pups each.
The House Mouse Diet
A house mouse will eat almost anything, but prefers cereal grains, seeds, and sweets. They get almost all of their water requirements from their food, so they don’t need much of it to survive. All in all, they often choose food that is high in protein, fat, and sugar, such as bacon, candy, chocolate, or butter. They eat many times a day and can eat about 10 to 15 percent of their body weight each day.
Signs of a House Mouse Infestation
The first sign of the presence of a house mice is usually mouse droppings, which are about 6 mm long and rod-shaped. Mouse droppings can be confused with those of cockroaches, since both the size and appearance are very similar; however, roach droppings are not pointed and usually have ridges on the sides. The presence of house mice can be determined by a number of signs:
- Gnawing may be visible on ledges, doors, in wall materials, or on stored materials or foods. The size of an entry hole is about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
- Sounds of climbing or scurrying in walls, running, and squeaks are often present when there are mice in your home.
- A characteristic musky odor may indicate their presence.
- Footprints or tail marks can be seen on dusty surfaces or along wall baseboards.
House Mouse Prevention
To prevent a house mouse from entering your home, seal all cracks, holes, and crevices larger than a pen cap. Also, store your food in tightly sealed containers. Because of the nature of these creatures, dealing with a house mouse infestation on your own can be of little help or even make it worse. A pest control professional is almost always your best bet for getting rid of house mice in your home.
Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different mice and use that knowledge when developing a mouse control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.