Meet the Common House Mouse

There’s nothing that can make you feel more uneasy in your own home than spotting a house mouse. When you realize you have this problem, it helps to know something about the common physical characteristics and behaviors of the house mouse.

In addition to causing significant damage, house mice carry many pathogens that can create allergic reactions and cause illnesses. If you think you may have these unwanted house guests, meet the common house mouse. By learning more about their physical characteristics and behaviors, you’ll be more able to control them.

Distinguishing Features

Some of the distinguishing traits of the house mouse include:

  • An adult body that’s about 3” long
  • A long tail that’s almost the size of the mouse’s body
  • A light to dark-brown or grayish color
  • Short fur and ears with minimal hair
  • A somewhat pointed nose
  • Slightly protruding eyes
  • High-pitched squeal

Common Habits

  • Whenever they eat or fight, house mice arise from the hind legs, supported by their tail, which is a called “tripoding.”
  • These rodents can jump as high as 13”. Besides being superb jumpers, they can even travel on ropes and other rough materials.
  • House mice can swim and climb.
  • Although they’re mainly vegetarian, house mice are omnivores, meaning they also eat meat.
  • Unlike most other types of rodents, these mice don’t vomit.
  • Most house mice are nocturnal are don’t like bright lights.
  • Because of their poor eyesight and color-blindness, they depend on their exceptional sense of smell and hearing.
  • By scouting out an environment, they can memorize where pathways, water and food sources are located.
  • They know when new items are placed in their surroundings.

Evidence Suggesting House Mice Are in Your House

If you don’t see an actual mouse, some of the ways you can know they’re in your house include discovering:

  • Mice feces, which are tiny, dark and rod-shaped
  • Holes in floorboards and walls
  • Mice tracks in muddy, grimy or dusty spots
  • Nighttime noises
  • Odorous urine in poorly ventilated areas
  • Gnawing marks on bar soaps

Mouse Proofing Your Home

The best way to control house mice is to prevent them from entering your house. For example, check openings that are ¼” or larger to keep mice out. Look for cracks and openings around pipes, vents and utilities to prevent them from gnawing or yanking out patching substance used for smoothing surfaces.

Be sure all your windows, doors and screens are shut tightly. Store grains, meats and processed foods in airtight canisters and resealable containers.

Common Control Methods

The primary ways to get rid of house mice include methods such as using glue boards, snap traps or a variety of mouse traps. The benefit of trapping mice is that you don’t have to deal with the obnoxious odor of decomposing corpses. Another bonus is not having to worry about pets and children getting into poison baits.

  • Glue boards work extremely well. Just be sure to staple the boards to the floor because mice can easily move them. Also, don’t store your glue traps in hot vehicles during warm weather as high heat can cause them to melt.
  • Snap traps can also be effective.
  • Use a variety of traps, such as placing a glue trap and a snap trap near each other, roughly an inch apart.
  • Some people use chemical repellents, but they’re not considered a practical way to solve a house mice infestation.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Avoid having boxes and paper in closets because house mice will chew on these items and use them for making nests.
  • Inspect places that are rarely accessed, such as underneath cabinets, shoeboxes and drawers as these can be nesting places.
  • When removing mice droppings, always protect your hands and breathing by wearing gloves and a face mask.
  • Place mouse traps strategically for best results in places where they nest or run.
  • Use protein baits, such as a dab of peanut butter, that’s about the size of a pea.

Getting rid of house mice is a job that most people gladly hand over to a professional exterminator. This is especially the case when you have an infestation. A highly trained and experienced Miller Pest and Termite Control exterminator can not only solve your mice problem, but can also check for openings where rodents are entering and then seal them. Please contact us for all your pest problems.