Do Mice Hibernate in Winter?

mouse hibernating in burrow

Alabama winters are unpredictable. Some years, our “winters” are warm enough to wear shorts outside on Christmas Day. Others are so cold that many resort to their own version of “hibernating” on the weekends.

In today’s blog, our pest control experts provide valuable advice and solutions for mice, one of the most common pests found hiding in human homes during the winter. Let’s begin by getting to know this pest’s wintertime habits better by answering the question: Do mice hibernate in the winter?

Do Mice Hibernate in Winter?

As we’ve recently addressed in previous pest blogs, hibernation is only one of the various ways critters navigate winter weather conditions. Pests like cockroaches, for instance, enter an overwintering state where their overall activity is limited, but they are not entirely immobilized.

Some rodents, like chipmunks and groundhogs, do hibernate for the winter, so you won’t have to worry about them trying to get into your house for the majority of the season. Their winter behavior can still be a nuisance to homeowners, however. These rodents hibernate by burrowing into the ground, which can uproot or drain all moisture from your lawn or even risk damage to your home’s foundation.

Mice, on the other hand, do not hibernate or overwinter. Instead, mice and other rodents look for warm places to nest, and there is no place more nest-worthy to mice than a cozy house warmed by insulation, a central heating system, and a fireplace.

Unfortunately, mice are not the most polite houseguests; they do not knock and wait at the front door for you to let them in. A mouse is more likely to quietly sneak into your house through your garage, holes in your roof, chimneys, and crawlspaces.

Wild Mice Are Pests, Not Pets

We agree that some tiny mice are cute-looking, and they’re known for their incredible intellect. That’s part of why human behavior researchers choose to experiment on mice in early trials. However, it is crucial to understand that wild mice are not safe to keep around like the ones in labs or sold at pet stores. 

It may sound like the most humane thing to catch a wild mouse and release it into the wild. Or if it’s a little baby mouse all on its own, animal lovers may be tempted to let it stay warm inside for a short time during the winter. However, whenever you see one mouse, there will always be more on the way (if you don’t already have an infestation). 

If you do choose to humanely catch and release a mouse, you must be sure that they can’t get back in. It is not always easy to know exactly which way they entered your house, and even if you patch up those places, mice booted back into the cold will almost surely make desperate attempts to force their way back in. After all, mice can fit through tremendously small spaces in comparison to their size; it can be perplexing to see.

In any case, you definitely shouldn’t allow wild mice to keep hanging out in your home, no matter how cold it is outside. Wild mice tend to carry parasites and diseases that they can transmit to people and beloved family pets. 

Your family’s health and safety should come first, so you need to know the signs of mice or other rodents nesting in your home, strategies for mouse-proofing, and when it is time to call an expert. Fortunately, you can find all of this information and more for free, right here

Effective Long-Term Pest Solutions 

Whenever you’re concerned about mice or other pets in your home this winter, it’s always best to consult a professional pest control agent.

At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, we not only destroy the presence of pesky rodent infestations in your home, but we also offer solutions for both short and long-term pest prevention.

Our team has proudly served families in Alabama since 1965, and we would love to help you, too! Call us at 205-663-4200 or contact us online today to learn more about our affordable, highly effective pest control solutions.

To learn more about pests in Alabama and how to prevent them, check out our pest blog.