Portland OR, Vancouver WA
If you live in an urban area, chances are you’re sharing it with the most common mammal next to humans: the house mouse. Not limited to urban areas, the house mouse is a species that has successfully spread across North America, and is considered among the most troublesome rodents in the United States. With their small size that fits in walls and floors and their capacity to breed rapidly, a house mouse infestation is a very costly occurrence.
Facts about the House Mouse
The house mouse is a small creature, weighing between 2/5 to 4/5 ounces, and are 5 ½ to 7 ½ inches in length. They’re usually grayish brown with grey or light-yellow bellies. They’re primarily nocturnal creatures and have poor eyesight, relying other senses to find food and shelter. House mice love making nests from shredded fibrous materials, such as paper and burlap, and fashion them into balls about 4 to 6 inches in diameter. They have physical capacities, such as gnawing, climbing, jumping and swimming, allow them to gain entry to structures; very persistent and resilient creatures!
House Mouse Life Cycle
They are commensal creatures, which is defined as animals often like to live in close association with humans, like Norway and Roof rats. Litters of 5 to 6 mice are born 19 to 21 days after mating. Mice reach reproductive maturity at 6 to 10 weeks of age. To give an idea of what their population growth potential is, 6 mice in home can turn into 18 in 3 weeks, and continue on from there! In the course of a spring or fall, the two seasons they’re most likely to mate, a house mouse population can get out of control.
Identifying a House Mouse Infestation
Because of their lithe builds and nocturnal activities, house mice are difficult to catch in the act. The most telling signs are the damages they create through gnawing and nesting, coupled with found droppings, paw prints, and urine stains. Some common things they gnaw in a home are:
- Food sources: garbage, pet food, and left out food.
- Structural entry points and nest building materials: walls, electrical wires, electrical appliances, books and documents (for nest lining).