Mice

Common Name: Rodent – House mouse

Latin Name: Mus musculus
Common Family Name: Rats and mice
Latin Family Name: Muridae

Other Names: Field mouse

Origin: This species originated in Eastern Asia in arid grasslands, allowing it to evolve the ability to survive without needing frequent water. It now occurs throughout the world.

Biology: A prolific breeder, the House Mouse is sexually mature at 2 months old, has a gestation period of only 3 weeks, and averages 5 to 8 young per litter, but potentially up to 15. Each female may give birth to 8 litters. The life span can be from 2 to 3 years. The House Mouse is a nibbler, consuming small quantities of food at many feedings. They are “curious”, and tend to investigate new objects that are placed in their environment. Favored foods may be grains, dried fruits, nuts, and sweet materials. They are known reservoirs of diseases such as rickettsial pox (mites), typhus (fleas), and filth problems with Salmonella, tapeworm, roundworm, and others parasites.

Identification: Adults remain small, less than 7 inches long from tip of nose to tip of tail. They have hairless, scaly tails that separate them from meadow or deer mice, and ears relatively bare of hairs. A young rat looks similar to the House Mouse, but the rat has feet and eyes that are disproportionately large in comparison with its head and body.

Characteristics Important in Control: The full complement of traps and baits are effective on mice. Exclusion should consider closing any openings as wide as ¼ inch, along with elimination of any harborage sites that are not needed, such as waste piles, packing boxes, wood piles, or heavy outside vegetation. Like the other domestic rodents they prefer to remain against vertical surfaces, in contact with their “guard hairs” on their body, and control measures should be placed against these pathways.

Mice are pest due to their habit of living in houses, getting into food and gnawing on wood & wires. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Mice living in an attic
  • Mice scratching inside walls
  • Mice raiding the pantry
  • Gnawing of electrical wires
  • Concerns over health risks

For these reasons,  people wish to have these rodents trapped and removed.

Mice are smaller than rats, and actually a little easier to catch on snap traps.

Schedule an Inspection with Dixie Wildlife Control at 770-424-1300.  Our representative will perform an inspection of your home for the presence of mice.  At the initial interview, their will be questions regarding noises you may have heard such as scratching, scurrying or the pitter-patter running sounds in the attic or walls of your house. Acoustics can be tricky, so we need to do a visual inspection to know what rodent you are dealing with, squirrels, rats, or mice. All three will leave chew marks and nesting material, but mouse trails are very small and skinny.

Once Dixie Wildlife Control has identified the animal, in this case a mouse or mice, comes the most important step.  We will also Inspect the outside of the house or building entirely, and find all the open holes and gaps that mice are using to get inside. This can include vents, eave gaps, roof lines, loose siding, areas where pipes enter home, AC chase, etc. ANYWHERE. Any small hole or gap. Check from the ground up, and definitely the entire roof. Looking  for VERY SMALL areas, like a quarter of an inch, or a hole the size of a dime. It takes great attention to detail. Whenever these areas are located, it is necessary to seal it up. We will never be able to remove all the mice unless we can first stop them from getting inside the building in the first place.

Once Dixie Wildlife Control has sealed the structure, then it’s time to trap and remove the mice.

Dixie Wildlife Control will also return to check the traps for new captures, and inquire from you along with listening for more scratching or running noises in the ceiling or walls. Look for new and fresh mouse droppings. If all of these stop, your problem is solved.

You want to remove all of the droppings and soiled insulation. This is for health reasons, and to get rid of the scent of mice, which can actually attract new mice to try to chew into your house in the future. Learn more about the attic cleanup process, including methods and products, in my attic cleanup page.

MOUSE BIOLOGY:

The House Mouse (Mus musculus) is a common rodent pest inside people’s homes. They are usually around three inches long and weigh less than an ounce. They’re quite a bit smaller than rats. They can have up to a dozen litters per year, and up to a dozen baby mice per litter. That’s gross! Average litter size is closer to six. They rarely live longer than a year in the wild.

Mice have excellent hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight. They often travel via urine or pheromone pathways. They have excellent speed and balance, and can easily climb most surfaces. Because they are so small, mice can fit through very tiny holes and gaps in building architecture. I mean, like 3/8 inch gaps, and holes the size of a dime! If they can get their tiny skulls through, the rest of the body slides through like putty.


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