Mice

Identification

  • Colour Brown or grey
  • Size From 150 mm to 170 mm long, including tail.
  • Description Have oversized ears relative to body size, and a long tail.

General Facts

Why do I have mice?

The two most common species of mice in Canada are deer mice and house mice. When they invade your home they are seeking food, water, and warmth, often due to falling temperatures as winter approaches.

In the wild, some mice like to burrow underground, while others live in nests on the surface. House mice prefer forested areas, pastures, grassy fields, and farmland, hiding in underbrush or other dense vegetation, such as tall grasses, shrubs, and vines.

However, in populated areas, mice like to live near humans. This gives them reliable food and water, warm shelter, and protection from predators. They often invade homes and businesses to build their nests in dark secluded places like wall voids, attics, pantries, and garages.

Once inside, the mice like to raid any food stores available.

House mice feed on a huge array of food sources, including insects, fruits, nuts, seeds, garbage, food scraps, and pantry goods, rice, crackers, and cereal, eating up to 20 meals a day.

Deer mice prefer small insects like beetles, earthworms, snails, seeds, fruit, and fungi. They are attracted to homes with plenty of insects or accessible pantry foods.

How worried should I be about mice?

Mouse feces and urine, as well as the tracks of detritus the rodents regularly leave behind, contaminate surfaces in living areas.

Deer mice can carry and transmit Hantavirus, a rare respiratory disease, in their saliva, urine, and faeces. This disease can be fatal in humans and there is no known cure. Even small particles of deer mouse waste in the air can spread the disease.

In general, mice contaminate about 10 times as much food as they actually eat. In doing so, house mice can transmit diseases such as salmonellosis, which causes diarrhea, fever, and vomiting, and parasites like fleas and mites, which can cause dermatitis.

Mice can also chew or bite through inorganic and normally indigestible materials, such as books, plastics, aluminum cans, drywall, insulation, siding, and wallboards, causing damage to products, property, and the building's structural integrity.

Deer mice store food in holes near their nests and can create food caches in basements, attics, and crawl spaces. As the mice multiply and increase activity, small openings in nearby walls may be progressively widened.

Mice can also gnaw through electrical wiring, causing power outages in buildings, provoking electrical fires, and forcing expensive repairs.

A mouse infestation can destroy businesses like restaurants, property management, and hotels, ruining their reputations, contaminating and damaging their food and facilities, and affecting their ability to operate, all with potentially major financial consequences.

But eradicating a mouse infestation alone can be challenging due to the sheer rate at which these pests breed. House mice can give birth to litters of six young mice up to 12 times every year. Deer mice can have litters of up to 12 young mice four times a year.

Newborns reach sexual maturity after a month or two. In the wild, the mating season is from early summer to fall, but indoors, mice breed all year round, meaning that a mouse infestation can quickly get completely out of control if left unchecked.

Working alone with snap or glue traps, you may be able to catch and remove a few of the pests, but to stop mice from returning, you need a sanitation program, strategic landscaping, possibly even structural changes, and professional pest control services.

How can I prevent mice invading?

Check wiring for chew marks and gnawing, Check the walls for rubbing marks or holes, Look out for small, pellet-like droppings, Keep food preparation areas clean, Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, Remove food sources, including bird feeders, Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly, Make sure trash cans are covered tightly, Trim back vegetation from building exterior, Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam, Fix leaky soda or ice machines and HVAC units, Remove any standing water outside, Don't leave doors open for a long time, Install weather strips around doors and windows

Other pests related to Mice

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