The House Mouse is the most common type of mouse in the USA. The House Mouse is only 1-2 inches long without its tail.The house mouse is a brown, grayish color, but many color variations are possible.The tail is as long as the head and body together and is without hair. The snout is blunt with large ears and small eyes.Their droppings are rod-shaped, about 0.5 inches.They prefer cereal grains. In cities, some mice may spend their entire lives inside buildings. In rural and suburban areas, may live in buildings, but is often found outdoors among shrubbery, weeds, foundations, crawl spaces, storage sheds, and in garages. Mice outside feed on insects and weeds seeds. During the colder weather, they may move inside as outside food sources become scarce. Once inside, mice set up their nests near food sources. Inside nests may be in closets, cabinet voids, ceiling voids, walls, within large appliances (under refrigerators and ovens), in storage boxes, upholstery of furniture, or drawers in desks and bureaus. Outside, their nest may be constructed from debris on in ground burrows. They use a soft material such as insulation of paper to make a soft nest that provides safety and comfort. Each nest is ruled by a dominant male, with territorial infighting among the population as they jockey for positions.
The mouse’s territory varies and is close to the food source. Average territories under “average condtions” range from 10-30 feet from the nest.
Mice are nibbers, making 20 to 30 visits short visits to various food sites within their territories. They establish feeding spots in secure and dark locations. Droppings and odor will be at these locations.
Deer/White Footed Mice
Deer and White Footed Mice are found in rural areas. A quick look at the habits of both will help you understand how to inspect and control the mice population. These mice seldom enter buildings and most often are found in rural locations. These mice are carriers of the hantavirus and Lyme disease thru feces and urine. They live in burrows. Control methods would be the same as for the House Mouse.
Difference Between Rats and Mice
A young rat’s head will be proportionally larger to its body a mouse’s head or their feet as seen in the Field Identification of Domestic Rodents.
How To Get Rid of Mice
The first step in controlling mice is to inspect feeding areas and exclude mice by closing entry access points.
Look for mice tracks, mice droppings and other rodent signs.
Click here: Inpecting for Mice Activity for more information.
If possible, get rid of human and pet food sources that the mice may be feeding. Enclose the food in tight fitting containers. Kitchen floors, sinks and counter tops need to be kept clean.
Read section on Sanitation as well; it is an important consideration in mouse control. Mice may contaminate food supply and carry diseases.
Look for openings that the mice can enter your home. They can enter through cracks in foundations, floors or walls. A mouse can fit through a very tiny opening due to their soft cartilages. They can also squeeze through small gaps around utility lines and drainage pipes. All openings greater that 1/4″ should be sealed to exclude mice. It may be difficult to find all entry points since mice can enter through such small openings.
For more information, exclusion tips will help detect possible entry points.
Mouse Control-Baits or Traps
After inspecting for signs of mice activity, set traps or place mouse bait in the detected areas.