House Mouse

Category:

Actual Size: 5” to 8” long including the tail

Characteristics: Light brown to gray to nearly black. Large ears compared to the body.

Habitat: Outside, they build nests near trees. Inside, they inhabit wall voids, cabinets, and garages.

Habits: 

  • Reproduce rapidly to create giant populations.
  • Can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonella.
  • Will make as many as 200 visits to a food source in one night.

House Mice in Iowa

Here in Iowa, house mice are a common household pest. They’re dreaded for their ability to reproduce rapidly. House mice thrive throughout the year and can be found in homes, commercial buildings, open fields, and agricultural lands. However, they are drawn to being near people and will infest areas where people are most active. They contaminate food meant for humans and pets as they forage, dropping feces and urine along the way.  House mice cause considerable damage to structures by chewing through walls and transmit pathogens that cause several diseases.

House Mouse Habitat

When they are outside, house mice are often found in open fields. Indoors, mice will build nests in quiet undisturbed places like wall voids, kitchen cabinets, attics, and garages. Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks or rub marks indicate areas where mice are active. Nests are made from finely shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that reveals their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.

House Mouse Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

The house mouse is omnivorous but prefers grains and cereals. House mice contaminate food and are implicated in the transmission of diseases such as salmonella and bubonic plague. The house mouse can cause significant damage to structures by gnawing and tunneling through walls. Mice have also been implicated in the generation of fires and explosions in homes and buildings. Chewed, exposed wires inside walls can spark, causing interior walls to catch fire.

If you are dealing with house mice in your property, it’s time to contact your local rodent exterminators.