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Facts You May Have Never Known About Mice

House mice are said to be the most common mammal in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that many homeowners report dealing with infestations at one time or another. Because mice are so common, you may think you already know all there is to know about this household pest, but think again!

1. If you have a mouse infestation, rest assured you are not alone.

Each winter, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 millions homes in the United States. Mice typically enter our homes between October and February, looking for food, water and shelter from the cold.

2. Mice have big appetites.

Despite their tiny bodies (and even smaller stomachs!), mice eat between 15 and 20 times a day. Because of their frequent eating habits, they prefer to build their homes near food sources.

3. They are little gymnasts.

Mice are good jumpers, climbers and swimmers. In fact, mice can jump a foot into the air, allowing them to easily climb up onto kitchen counters or into pantries to access food. To prevent mice and other pests from getting into your food, store all pantry items items in hard, plastic containers with a tightly sealed lid.

4. …and little Houdinis!

Mice can squeeze through openings as small as the size of a dime. This means that a small crack or opening on the exterior of your home (such as where utility pipes enter) is like an open door for mice. Prevent mice from gaining access to your home by sealing any openings on the exterior with a silicone caulk. You can also fill gaps and holes inside your home with steel wool.

5. They have relatively short lifespans.

In the wild, mice usually only live for about five months, mostly because of predators such as cats, snakes and foxes. In a lab setting, mice can live for up to two years.

6. They spread more germs than you know.

Sure, you know that mice can spread diseases like Hantavirus and Salmonella, but that’s just the beginning. In fact, mice can actually carry as many as 200 human pathogens!

7. Mice aren’t potty-trained.

Okay, so you already knew that. But did you know that a house mouse produces between 40 and 100 droppings per day? In addition, house mice constantly give off micro-droplets of urine as they travel around their territory every day. However, if you’re looking for a silver lining, house mice (like all rodents) do not vomit.

One mouse can turn into many mice…quickly!

A female house mouse can give birth when they are only two months old, and they are able to have to up to a dozen babies every three weeks. This means she could have as many as 150 offspring in a single year! If you spot a mouse in your home, it is safe to assume there are more or there will be soon.

Mice typically grow from 1 to 7 inches (2.54 to 18 centimeters) in length and weigh between 0.5 and 1 ounce (.23 to .028 kilograms). The African pygmy is the smallest known mouse on the planet. It measures 1.2 - 3.1 inches (3.04 to 7.874 cm) and can weigh less than .35 ounces (.01 kg). These measurements do not include tail length. Some mice have tails that are as long as their bodies.

Where do mice live?

Mice are hardy creatures that are found in nearly every country and type of terrain. They can live in forests, grasslands and manmade structures easily. Mice typically make a burrow underground if they live out in the wild. Their burrow helps protect them from predators. Their natural predators are cats, birds, wild dogs and foxes.

Mice are nocturnal, meaning they like to sleep during the day. This is why pet mice or house mice can be heard playing or foraging during the night. Most wild mice are timid toward humans and other animals, but they are very social with other mice. Domestic mice are very friendly toward humans and can make good pets for older children and adults.

According to the RSPCA, mice are very territorial. Even domestic mice like to have a large area that they can claim as their own.

 

 

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