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House Mice

Category: Mice


The house mouse (Mus musculus) is a small, slender rodent that has a slightly pointed nose; small, black, somewhat protruding eyes; large, mostly hairless ears, and a nearly hairless tail with visible scale rings. The adult mouse weighs about 2/5 to 4/5 ounces. They are generally grayish-brown with a gray stomach. The house mouse often lives in close association with humans and therefore is termed one of the "commensal" rodents along with Norway and roof rats.


House mice live in and around homes, farms, commercial establishments, as well as in agricultural lands. The onset of cold weather each fall causes mice to move inside in search of shelter and food.

House mice are mostly nocturnal animals; although some daytime activity may be seen. Seeing mice during daylight hours does not necessarily mean there is a high population present, which can be true for some other rodents. Mice have poor eyesight (considered colour blind), relying on their hearing and sense of smell, taste and touch.

House mice are excellent diggers and can burrow into the ground or around structures, making their nests, when other shelter is not available Nests generally have the appearance of a ball of material loosely woven together. These nests are usually 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

Mice may breed year-round and a female may have 5 to 10 litters per year. Mouse populations can therefore grow rapidly under good conditions. During its daily activities, a mouse seldom travels more than 30 feet in diameter from their nests to obtain food or water. Mice memorize the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter and other elements in their vicinity. This behaviour should be remembered, and is important in proper placement of baits when catching them.


The best solution for problems with house mice is exclusion. Seal entry holes with ¼ inch (6mm) hardware cloth, sheet metal or metal wool. Pay particular attention to any hole approximately the diameter of a pencil. In some situations, perimeter trapping may prevent a population from becoming established indoors. In addition, avoid storing pet foods and other food products in accessible areas such as garages and eliminate any water sources that may also prove attractive.

Once house mice take up residence indoors, virtually any techniques used to control house mice are effective, including baited and unbaited snap-traps, windup multi-catch mouse traps, glueboards, and anticoagulant rodenticides. Their inquisitive nature makes them easy to trap. Often times, a rodent infestation is underestimated, ensure to use a sufficient amount of devices for the job.

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