Common Household Pests – House Mouse

The house mouse is a frequent pest throughout most of the world. They reproduce very quickly, require very little food and water and are able to get into homes through tiny openings. Once inside they live in small nooks and crannies and cluttered spaces where they can find food crumbs and nesting material.

Mice not only create damage to your property, but they can contaminate food and transmit diseases from their droppings and urine. This rodent can also be problematic for those with asthma as they can trigger attacks and allergic reactions. That is why it is so important to keep this pest out of your home.

Below is a profile of the house mouse and ways to prevent this pest from infesting your property.

Identification
  • Adult house mice range from 4 to 8 inches in length
  • semi-naked tail that is typically the same length as the body and head
  • range in color from light brown to nearly all black
  • range from about 0.5 to 1 ounce
Behavior
  • Nocturnal
  • Leave the nest for food and water, but rarely travel more than 10 to 30 feet away
  • Omnivorous, feeding primarily on seeds and grain but also preferring food that is high in protein
Habitat
  • invade structures, but are also can be found around farms, in fields, and other outdoor spaces
  • harbor in various hidden spaces
  • create nests out of soft and fibrous material like paper or burlap
  • Nests are usually in a ball shape about 4 to 6 inches in diameter
Life Cycle

(Gradual or Incomplete Metamorphosis)

  • gestation period averages 18 to 21 days
  • Females can produce litters every 30 to 50 days
  • Litters range from 2 to 13 mice, with an average of 5 to 6 mice per litter
  • Females can produce up to 42 to 60 offspring a year
  • House mice are sexually mature at 6 to 10 weeks of age
  • average lifespan of the house mouse is a few months to a year
Seasonality
  • seasonal breeders, with peak production occurring in summer and fall
  • In temperature regulated environments, like inside homes and other structures, breeding can occur year round
Favorable Conditions
  • Clutter that allows hiding places and harborage
  • Poor sanitation liked open food packages and water leaks
Health Concerns
  • Can contaminate food as well as spread diseases or parasites
  • These can include salmonellosis, rickett-sialpox, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tapeworms, and ringworm
Signs of an infestation
  • Sightings of live mice
  • Droppings, urine stains and rub marks
  • Gnaw marks on wires, food packages, wood and other parts of the structure
  • Nesting material like paper, cotton, or other fabrics

What You Can Do to Prevent Mice in Your Home

  • Get rid of items they might use to build nests - cotton, shredded paper, rags, etc.
  • Remove clutter like stacked boxes, newspapers, piles of clothes
  • Seal cracks and crevices, openings or voids large enough to stick a pencil through
  • Keep food in sealed containers - metal, glass, heavy plastic
  • Don’t leave food out overnight - store in the refrigerator
  • Clean up spilled food and drinks immediately
  • Fix leaky plumbing and prevent standing water around the home
  • Empty garbage cans routinely and keep lids tightly closed
  • Trim vegetation away from your home since mice are good climbers

What You Can Do to Get Rid of Mice In Your Home

  • Identify areas they are nesting and what they are eating in your home
  • Remove their food and water sources
  • Use snap traps to eliminate the infestation - place traps along walls where droppings have been found
  • Safely remove and dispose of mice that have been caught using gloves
  • After all mice have been trapped seal up entry points and voids they are using as harborage using rodent proof material
  • Safely clean up mouse droppings and urine and disinfect the area using gloves