House Mouse

Mouse white backgroundThe house mouse goes under the Latin name Mus musculus.

The Appearance

A house mouse comes covered with gray, black or light brown hair. The belly hair is lighter. The tail and the ears also have some hair, but these areas don’t have as much hair as the others. The adult will weigh from 12-30 grams and they can grow to 2 cm starting from the nose to the tail tip. They have droppings that are rod shaped and they are actually pointed at the ends.

Behavior and Diet

In normal circumstances, the mouse makes a home within farm fields, wooded areas, and even grassy areas. They build their nests within areas which are quite dark and well protected from the elements. They also like to be close to areas where there is a food source.

The house mouse is quite inquisitive by nature and this means that it can spend quite some time as it roams its own territory and exploring all things that may be new or not ordinary. Nuts and seeds are preferred within the diet of the diet when available, but the house mouse is actually opportunistic and can feed on almost anything which is available.

When temperatures start dropping, the house mouse will start looking for a warmer area because they do not hibernate. They are most often attracted by food smells and warmth that is provided by structures. The mouse can also use an opening such as the gap beneath a door, a pipe opening and utility line so as to enter the home.

Reproduction

The house mouse is well known by the ability of quick reproduction. A female can actually produce eight litters every year. Each litter can have up to 6 pups. The gestation period is 21 days and the pups will be born blind and naked. This makes them dependent on the mother. They are weaned at around 21 days and at this time, they can start taking trips from the nest so as to explore surroundings. Sexual maturity is reached at around the age of 35 days and mating can start when they are six weeks old.

Signs of a mouse infestation

Sightings: a mouse gets active during the evenings, but you can see it as it roams in the house in broad daylight. When spotted, the mouse will scurry away and out of sight to places that are undisturbed.

Droppings: when there are mice, there will be droppings. You will find the pellets in any area where the animal has actually travelled through or visited. The pellets are usually around 3-6 mm in length. Droppings can also be rod shaped and with ends that are pointed.

People sometimes confuse droppings of mice with those of the American cockroach. The general appearance and size of the droppings can be similar but for the mouse, the droppings can have some hair embedded due to grooming. The cockroach droppings do not have pointed ends and, usually, they will have ridges on the sides.

Footprints: a mouse loves to explore and this means that you can find tracks and footprints at different surfaces. There is a very distinct pattern of the four toed and five toed prints of the front and back limbs respectively.

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