Description of the House Mouse
- ½-1 ounce
- 2.5-4 inches
- Dusty gray
- As long as body – up to 4 inches
- Small & somewhat protruding, color blind
- Moderately large ears
- 1-2 years
- ¼ inch long with pointed ends, dark color
About House Mice
The house mouse is the most commonly encountered and economically important of the rodents. House mice cause damage and destruction by gnawing, contaminating stored food, and are also a human health concern as carriers of disease. It is believed that they originated in Central Asia but they have a worldwide distribution and are found throughout the United States, including South Carolina.
House mice are prolific breeders reaching sexual maturity in 35 days and are capable of mating when 6-10 weeks old. They have an average litter size of 6, with around 8 litters per year. They have keen senses, except for sight which limits them from seeing clearly beyond 6” and they are color blind. They are excellent climbers and can run up most roughened walls. They can also swim but prefer not to do so. They can jump 12” high and can jump down from about 8 feet high without injury. Mice can survive and thrive in cold storage facilities at 14 degrees. They can run horizontally along pipes, ropes, and wires.
The most common way mice transmit disease organisms is by contaminating food with their droppings and/or urine. The most threatening organism spread by mice is Salmonella, a cause of food poisoning, spread via droppings. Other transmittable organisms include tapeworms via droppings, rat-bite fever via bites, infectious jaundice/leptospirosis/Weil’s Disease via urine in food or water, a fungus disease of the scalp either by direct contact or indirectly via cats, plague and murine typhus via fleas, Rickettsial pox via the mite, and possibly poliomyelitis. Another problem is house mouse mite dermatitis which is caused by these mites when they feed on humans.
Signs of infestations include:
- Gnaw marks
- Tracks / Footprints
- Rub marks
- Damaged goods