House Mice


House Mouse mus musculus

House Mouse can be found in: All 50 States

Color: Pale brown w/white underbelly
Legs: Four
Shape: long
Size: 169 mm including tail
Antennae: no
Flight: no

Although these mice are destructive when allowed to run free, they are widely used in laboratories as subjects for biological, genetic, and medical studies.

Although largely nocturnal, house mice are moderately active during the day, chiefly in their quest for food. In the wild they feed on a variety of plant material, including seeds, green stems, and leaves. Alfalfa hay, either in shocks or in stacks, affords an ideal source of food supply and, consequently, it is frequently infested with these mice. As commensals, house mice feed on practically any type of food suitable for the use of man or beast.

As commensal animals, house mice live in close association with man — in his houses, outbuildings, stores, and other structures. Where conditions permit, feral mice may be found in fields, along watercourses, and in other places where vegetation is dense enough to afford concealment. These feral animals make runways through the grass similar to those of Microtus or Baiomys, or they may utilize runways made by cotton rats and other meadow-inhabiting species. In the agricultural regions where irrigation is practiced house mice often are found in the vegetation along irrigation ditches, sometimes sharing common runways with native mice. Along the Rio Grande in Texas the patches of cane often are honeycombed with the runways of these mice. At one locality along this river several hundred trap-nights yielded only house mice which suggested that these animals had evicted the native mice from the area.

They are particularly obnoxious around granaries, feed houses, and stores and may do considerable damage in destroying or contaminating food supplies intended for human consumption. In addition they will feed on such animal matter as insects and meat when available. When ranging free they do a considerable amount of damage although they are not nearly so troublesome as the introduced rat.

Exclusion may be difficult due to ability to enter holes the size of a dime, however, plugging holes around plumbing, air conditioner lines, etc., may be helpful. Mice can be controlled in houses relatively easily with snap traps.