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Mice Facts, Identification and Control


Scientific Order: Rodentia

Family: Muridae

Common Species:

  • House mouse (mus musculus)

  • White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)

  • Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)


  • Size: On average no longer than 4 inches in length, and no more than 1.5 oz. in weight.

  • Color: Brown, black, white, gray, and combinations thereof.

Behavior and Diet

Mice are mainly herbivores, meaning that they prefer eating plants, fruits, and grains. While they'll "sample" just about any kind of food, they prefer cereal grains. They can adapt to also consuming food scraps in urban environments if the need arises, however. 


Female mice can have up to 15 litters per year, and each litter contains on average between 10 and 12 babies. Once giving birth, a female mouse can become pregnant again within a single day, so it's safe to say that mice reproduce fairly quickly.

Other characteristics

  • Mice have hairless tails an inch or two in length. 

  • Mice can jump as high as 16 inches vertically from a flat surface.

  • A healthy mouse with access to food will live one year or slightly longer under the right conditions.

  • Mice infestations are much more common than rat infestations because mice are small and can fit through openings less than 1/4 of an inch in size. 

Signs of Mice Infestation

There are many ways to discover a mouse infestation. The signs are similar to those for rat infestations, but include droppings, urine orders, gnaw marks, nests, scampering noises, and damage to food containers in cupboards.

Treatment and Prevention

Ridding a building of mice can be challenging because they are so small, intelligent and prolific. Most people think that laying traps baited with poison will eradicate a population of mice. However, what you may not realize is that mice are instinctively cautious and will experience "bait shyness" after ingesting a tiny bit of poison. Because this small bite of poison does not kill them but only makes they sick, they now know to avoid the bait — and the trap.

Ultrasonic mice repellent devices do not work because mice quickly become accustomed to unfamiliar noises and soon ignore repeated "beeps" that humans can't hear. In addition, these devices are directional, so the sounds can't penetrate solid objects and tend to lose their intensity with distance. In fact, no scientific evidence exists that shows vibratory, auditory or magnetic devices will send mice, rats or any other creature fleeing from a building.

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