How To Deter Mice

Mice

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House Mouse

Color

Varied; usually light brown or dusty gray on top, with a light gray or cream belly.

Characteristics

This mouse wins the gold – it's the number one pest in the world, and also the most easily identifiable rodent. If, by some chance, you've never seen a mouse, description includes: smooth fur, pointed nose, small eyes, large ears with some hair; short and broad feet; dark, hairless, scaly tail. They are extremely nearsighted and could probably use a tiny pair of mouse spectacles. They can only see clearly 6 inches in front of them. Also, they're color-blind. On the other hand, they are natural athletes. They can climb, run up rough walls and along pipes, ropes, and wires, jump 12 inches high and down from 8 feet, and can sometimes swim.

Droppings

As much as you love finding their little 'presents', you'd probably rather not study them, so we'll just tell you. Adult droppings are ⅛-¼ inch (3-6 mm) long, and rod-shaped with pointed ends, but without ridges.

Where Found

Mi casa es su casa. They are thought to have originated from Central Asia and made their home in Israel 2,000 years ago, but of course, now they are everywhere.

Habitat

Do not disturb. House mice love dark, secluded places with plenty of privacy and comfort to nest in. They make nests of paper, fabric, insulation, packing materials and cotton.

Food

They love seeds and sweet liquids. They feed mainly at dawn and dusk. They absorb moisture from food, but will also drink water, especially when bulking up their diet with protein.

Biology

Community-oriented. "Community nests" are made up of multiple females sharing the same nest with their own broods. Which can get pretty crowded – pregnancy takes 18-21 days, with 5-8 per litter, 8 litters per year, and 30-35 weaned per year. As a female can have a litter every 40-50 days, there may be more than one litter in the nest at a time. House mice are very social; related males and females are compatible.

However, unrelated males are aggressive, and mature house mice are aggressive toward any and all strangers. Territories are small and marked with, what else, urine. A dominant male rules over the rest of the lower-ranking community. Maturation takes 35 days. Lifespan depends on a number of factors. Indoors and with plenty of food, they may live up to 2 years or more.

Damage

Besides gnawing a hole through your favorite slippers, they will eat and contaminate stored food, and transmit disease through droppings, urine, bites, as well as direct contact, or contact with cats, fleas and mites.

Invasion

A house mouse can squeeze in through any opening larger than ¼ inch.

Good Riddance

Overall, the key to control rodents includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures.

Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous. Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions.

Disclaimer

Although Western personnel provided the audience for the world-premiere screening, we do not in any way promote the extreme pest control required to eliminate the tiny mouse featured in the hit movie "Mouse Hunt."

Such measures and equipment utilized by both professional exterminators and amateurs are drastic and do not define the typical measures necessary... But then the star was not the typical mouse.