Mice

Mice

Mice, most people think they are nasty animals, but they are interesting creatures. Mice, or house mice in this case, are rodents belonging to the Murdae family, just like several rats and mice, for example.

Outer characteristics

The house mouse is usually fairly slim and the colour of its fur varies from a brown-grey to brown coat with a grey to white belly. Mice that live indoors are generally darker than those that live outside.  Their legs are fairly short and they have a pointed nose. Their eyes and ears are large in relation to the rest of the body. They also have a tail that is about the same length as the whole body, which is on average between 7 and 10 cm. House mice also distinguish themselves by a typical musty smell.

Life

House mice eat almost anything in their path, from grains and seeds to worms or other insects. If good food is scarce, they will even venture onto paper or glue, for example. If food is scarce, mice will also find their food during the day, while mice generally prefer to be active at night. Mice need to find around 3.5 grams of food every day or night, and generally don’t need to drink water. They then spend the day in their den, or under the floor when they live indoors. The house mouse usually lives in family groups where there is a dominant male living with a few females and the young. In this cave there is also a nesting room and if they get the chance a food supply will be built here as well.

Production

Indoor mice reproduce throughout the year, which is necessary, as mice regularly only live for 6 months and rarely for more than a year and a half. Outdoor mice breed approximately from April to September. A female carries the young between 19 and 21 days and after that between 4 and 9 young are born. When they are born, the young are bald, deaf and blind. Yet the suckling period is only 18 to 20 days, and after three weeks they leave their nest. Males are already sexually mature after a few weeks. This repeats itself for a female on average 5 to 10 times a year.

Distribution and habitat

The house mouse has spread all over the world, even on uninhabited islands, but here we are talking about the western house mouse. This house mouse lives in America, most of Europe, Australia but also in parts of Africa. House mice actually always live close to people, houses, shops, factories, stables, they all live there. When they don’t live near people, they live in forests or open fields.

Natural enemies

The house mouse has many natural enemies, which explains its short lifespan. You have many species of owls and other predators that eat the house mouse. There is the barn owl, the fox, marten, rats and also the stereotypical cats. Nowadays, humans are also a natural enemy of the house mouse by controlling these animals.

Fighting

Although mice don’t hurt you, they can cause nuisance and transmit diseases. Poisons and mousetraps can be used to get rid of a family of mice, but there are also options where the mice don’t have to die. You can catch them alive, for example, or get a cat to chase them away on its own.

To prevent a plague of mice, make sure your house is clean and that all the holes through which mice could enter are closed.

Mice, they are beautiful animals that you would of course prefer to keep out of your house. Fortunately, you can always catch the mice alive and then release them 100 metres away, so that they can’t find their way back, but can still live on.

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