The house mouse almost always lives near people. They nest in farms, fields and other areas surrounding houses. Mice find shelter in hidden or covered locations, such as barns and garages. Often, they enter homes through tiny holes and cracks—sometimes as small as ¼ inch in diameter—to find food and warmth.
Indoors, mice look for hidden or out-of-the-way places to build nests. They’ll live in basements and attics, where they can nest in boxes or stored furniture. They can also live in ceilings and walls, while upholstery provides materials with which they can build nests.
The urban house mouse will live completely indoors in apartment buildings and other structures. Their ability to squeeze through small cracks makes them skilled at moving from one apartment to another. Pipe openings and the space beneath doors lets mice enter without much difficulty. In non-urban areas with cooler climates, mice will move indoors during the winter.
House mice are nocturnal pests but they’re sometimes active during the day as well. They are agile animals that can run quickly or stand on their hind legs, using their tail to balance. House mice can jump over 12 inches into the air to reach food.
You might hear a mouse squeak as it communicates with other mice in the area but some of their squeaks are too high-pitched for humans to detect. House mice generally wander around the building they inhabit for most of the time they’re awake, looking for food. They can climb rough, near-vertical surfaces and balance on cables or piping as they navigate the building.
House mice primarily eat seeds, grains and sweet foods but their diet includes a huge variety of things. The fall harvest is another factor that drives mice indoors, as it removes much of the seeds and plants that they eat. These pests require very little water because they take in most of what they need from food.
Mice eat insects and meat, as well as household materials like glue and soap. They often damage furniture and items in storage as they collect materials for their nests. Packing materials and paper are other common parts of mouse nests.
The average lifespan of a mouse is between 9 months and a year. A female house mouse can produce fifty offspring or more in a year, so infestations can occur quickly and become impossible to manage without professional help.
Mice enter homes looking for food and warm shelter. They can easily get into foods in the pantry that aren’t sealed in glass or metal containers. Crumbs and leftovers that aren’t put away also bring mice indoors, following the smells.
Many areas of the home serve as shelters for mouse nests. Wood, mulch and shrubs let mice nest around the outside of a home, where it’s likely that they’ll smell food and find a way in. Mice that typically live outside will move inside during colder weather or periods of heavy rain.
House mice are skilled at finding ways into buildings. They get their water from the food they eat, so they can survive in a wide range of hot or dry environments. Homes contain many food sources for mice and plenty of hiding places. Controlling mice starts with preventing them from getting in. Follow our tips to keep them away from your property:
Keep landscaping clean and move piles of wood, bricks, stones and leaves away from your house.
Seal tiny cracks in exterior walls and stuff holes with steel or wool mesh.
Use weather stripping to close the gaps beneath doors.
Keep your garage organized and decluttered to discourage any mice that get in from nesting there.
Call your local Aptive branch to discuss a house mouse control plan.
An infestation of house mice can quickly become too much for a homeowner to handle alone. Call Aptive Environmental for professional pest control services. Using eco-friendly, pet-friendly methods, we conveniently remove infestations of house mice from homes and businesses.
Get back your peace of mind with Aptive’s Four Seasons Protection Plan. Our pest professionals will treat your property at the beginning of each season to ensure year-round pest control. Aptive prioritizes your family’s comfort as we manage house mice and other pests for you.