There are more than 1000 species of mice. Here is a list of the 23 most common:
Deer mice are most commonly found from Mexico to northwestern areas of Canada. It is also known as field mice because they are typically seen near open fields.
This mouse is 4-9 inches long, including the tail, and weighs 0.38-1.25oz. Its head and back are deep red with white color on its belly, and fur is pale gray. Moreover, its tail is bi-colored and long, covered with tiny hairs. Each hind foot contains six pads.
Their gestation period consists of 21 to 24 days. The reproduction rate is three to five mice per litter (offspring), having two to four litter per year. Due to the high predation of deer mice in open fields, its life expectancy is just 2 to 24 months.
It is a nocturnal creature, which comes out at night in search of food. This mouse is excellent at climbing, so be aware while you are in bed. Most importantly, deer mice are the primary carrier of hantavirus that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in humans. Furthermore, it gets inside holes for shelter, particularly in winter. It lives in structures secured with wood and other items.
House mouse is the most popular of all mice in the world. You can found it almost in every country. It remains active the whole year; therefore, it can enter your house or business at any moment. Moreover, it contaminates and eats your stored food, especially in a restaurant. Plus, it transfers diseases through its urine, droppings, bites. Their exposure to cats and other animals aid the spread of fleas, mites, ticks, and lice.
House mouse body length is 5 to 8 inches, including the tail, and weighs 0.5 to 1 ounce. Its stomach is light gray or cream in color, and fur is usually dusty gray on the back. Have small eyes with a pointed muzzle and naked scaly tail. Furthermore, adult house mouse droppings are ¼ inch in length having a rod-shaped with tapered ends.
Its gestation period consists of 18 to 21 days. They have a reproduction rate of five to eight mice per litter with eight litters per year. Approximately after 35 days of birth, it gets sexually matured. House mice have a very short lifespan of at most one year or less, depending on their protection.
You can find house mice usually on the ground or in caves, although they know climbing as well. These are curious and always stay ready to explore anything new or changed. Moreover, they usually eat a small amount of food in one go, yet eating 15 to 20 times per day. They eat particularly seeds and sweet liquids but can eat anything they find for food. Their feeding period is from dusk to before dawn. In addition, they like to reside in secluded and dark places with the most privacy available.
Exist in North America’s western border. Plus, you can also found them from southwestern Canada, California, Arizona, and along the way to Mexico.
Its entire body size is 6 to 9 inches with a tail and weighs 0.23 to 0.6 ounces. Have large hairless ears with soft brown or gray fur on top of the body, while the belly and feet are of lighter or white color.
Western harvest mice have 24 days gestation period. It reproduces two to nine mice per litter. Except for the extreme winter season, it breeds throughout the year. The life expectancy is short, of one year hardly.
These are nocturnal creatures and make spherical nests on the ground or in low vegetation. Moreover, taking the benefit from the tunnels and runways of other small mammals, they usually escape. Their diet is seeds, plants, and insects.
These mice can be seen in the Eastern United States and the West, depending on the weather conditions. They like to live in wooded areas or warm and dry places.
The White-footed mice are 0.37 to 1.5 ounces in weight and the 5 to 8 inches long plus tail. The belly and feet are white, while the fur on the head and back are grayish or reddish. It Has short hairs on the rear and six pads on each hindfoot.
The gestation period is 21 to 24 days, with the reproduction rate of two to six mice per litter and reproducing two to four litters per year. In the wildlife, their lifespan is two to three years, really long in comparison to other mice.
White-footed mice usually built a nest in concealed places to seek warmth, For instance, garages, sheds, homes, and even sometimes in infrequently-used vehicles. Similarly, these are nocturnal rodents and drum their feet when they feel scared.
5. Kangaroo mouse
From the Microdipodops megacephalus or the Microdipodops pallidus species, the kangaroo mouse can be the dark kangaroo mouse or the pale kangaroo mouse, respectively. They obtained their name due to their extraordinary skills and ability to jump from one place to another. Also, they have unique bipedal locomotion that contributes to their resemblance to kangaroos. Mostly, these species of kangaroo mouse are native to the United States of America’s southwestern deserts. Kangaroo mice are predominant in the state of Nevada.
Kangaroo mice have giant heads and ears, features that make them easily identifiable in the desert regions. Like kangaroos, these species of mice have short forelimbs and long hind limbs and feet. These species of mice weigh approximately 7grams to 17 grams, and their bodies measures around 7cm to 8cm long. They have a long tail, around 6cm to 10cm long, for balance since their locomotion is mainly through bounds and leaps.
6. Pocket mice
Pocket mice are rodents that belong to any of the 36 American species. They are identified as pocket mice mainly because of their external physical appearance. These rodents have cheek pouches externally fur-lined while opening alongside the mouth section. While the rodent searches for food, it uses these external cheek pouches to store seeds and any other food. Unlike kangaroo mice which are bipedal travelers, pocket mice use their four limbs to move around.
Pocket mice are primarily active during the night and mostly live introverted life. They love eating succulent plant parts, seeds, and nuts. The silky pocket mice incorporate nine species with standard features like extra small-sized. They also weigh approximately 5grams to 30 grams and are 6cm to9cm long. They also consist of long hairy tails ranging from 5cm to 10cm. The coarse-haired pocket mice incorporate fifteen relatively larger species, weighing 15grams to 47 grams with a body length of 8cm to 13cm. Their hairy tufted tails can be as long as 15cm. The spiny pocket mice and forest spiny pocket mice have five and seven species, respectively.
7. Spiny pocket mouse
The spiny pocket mice consist of five species of the Liomys genus. They are predominantly present in the southern regions of Texas. You will also find the spiny pocket mice in the semiarid southern areas of Mexico as you head to Panama. All the five spiny pocket mice species have common characteristics like a gross bodyweight that ranges from 34grams to 50 grams.
They are also relatively long, measuring 10cm to 14cm in length. Their tails are long enough, measuring up to 16cm. Spiny pocket mice have tiny and round ears. Their backs are full of flexible spines and long hair. The bodies of these species of pocket mice are adapted to living in rough, rocky, desert terrains. They are nocturnal and mostly hibernate during the hot seasons.
8. Brush mouse
This rodent species belong to the Cricetidae family. It is primarily present in the hilly grounds of Mexico and the western regions of the United States of America. This species prefers living in altitudes that are more than 2,000 m above sea level. This species of mice have unique characteristics that make them stand out from the rest mice species.
Unlike pocket mice, brush mice are medium-sized. However, they also have long tails and tiny ears. They are easily noticeable due to their bodies’ yellowish-brown appearance. Their underparts are grayish, with most of their tail parts incorporating sparse hair and a brush-like tuft at the tail tip.
The name brush mice come from its habitat. The brush mice love living in the brushy environment, such as crevices and tree cavities. Like many other rodents, brush mice like living in groups. However, like most rodents, the brush mice have a limited lifespan of 1.5 years for the lucky ones. Most of them die before reaching 12 months. Although there is little information on their mating systems, brush mice breed throughout the year. Their breeding nests are primarily in their cavities and crevices hideouts.
9. Florida mouse
Did you know that among the mice species in the Podomys genus, Florida mice are the largest? The most oversized Florida mouse can have a maximum length of 20.3 cm and weigh 37g to 49g. Florida mice have conspicuous appearances as they are orange on the sides and white on the underparts. The rest of the body is yellowish-brown. Florida mice love feasting on fungi, insects, plants, and seeds. Like other mice species, Florida mice also reproduce throughout the year, with the fall and winter being the peak breeding seasons.
These species predominantly inhabit the xeric uplands that are well-drained soil ecological communities. Florida mice inhabit peripheral peninsular counties such as Alachua, St. Johns, Taylor counties, Clay, and Putnam. They produce approximately two to four young ones per litter. Florida mice wean their young ones at not more than four weeks.
10. Golden mouse
Scientifically, golden mice are Ochrotomys nuttalli. They are commonly thriving in various habitats, which makes them have minimal conservation concerns. Typically, golden mice are approximately 5 inches to 8 inches long. A golden-looking fur covers their upper bodies with the belly consisting of creamy, white, to cinnamon orange fur. They are easily identifiable due to their passive nature. In most cases, these rodents use their tails to grip on tree branches when searching for food or as a form of movement.
Suppose you live near the Mississippi River valley and Ohio River valley in the southeastern regions of the United States of America. In that case, you may often see these rodents. Additionally, you can also find them in east Texas. Golden mice can live in diverse habitats, ranging from swamps, forests, brushlands, and scrublands. They mostly hunt for sumac seeds, honeysuckle, greenbrier vines, dogwood, and cherry. That’s not all, as they also feed on small insects.
11. Wood mouse
Most people tend to confuse the house mouse and the wood mouse. Although these two rodents have a close resemblance, they have differentiating features. Wood mice have eyes and ears that are larger than those of the house mouse. Other features that they share with house mice include their small size with brown body appearance. However, they are larger than the harvest mouse.
Their underside is primarily pale. They are more common in the garden. Apart from the garden, wood mice also prefer living in rough grasslands and woodlands. Some people refer to these mice species as the long-tailed field mice.
Because it is the most common rodent in your garden, it often falls victim to predators like owls, foxes, and domestic cats. In fact, tawny owls largely depend on wood mice for an appropriate diet during breeding. Wood mice’s feeding behavior consists of gathering seeds and berries’ food stores during the autumn and hiding them underground for later use. Like other mice species, wood mice breed throughout the year, including during the winter, as long as the food is abundant in the nests.
12. Yellow-necked mouse
As the name suggests, yellow-necked mice are rodents that consist of an easily noticeable yellow strip around their neck. Additionally, the belly of a yellow-necked mouse is whitish. The rest of the body consists of light-brown fur. Parts of its body features are an adaptation to help it survive in an ecosystem full of predators.
For instance, yellow-necked mice have large eyes and ears to help them detect danger from afar. Like most other mice species, they also have long tails. You can easily confuse it with a wood mouse without observing it closely and carefully, although wood mice lack yellow neckbands.
Yellow-necked mice prey on a wide range of invertebrates, including insects. Also, they love feeding on seeds, nuts, plant bulbs, and fruits. One fact that you probably didn’t know about yellow-necked mice is that they can shed their tails’ skin to break out of a predator’s wrath. However, they can only use this adaptation once in their lifetime since the skin doesn’t grow back.
Yellow-necked mice have high reproduction rates, whereby one female mouse may reproduce a manifold of litters consisting of 2 to 11 offspring within one year. The only places that you can find yellow-necked mice are in central and southern Wales, sections of Midlands, and southeastern regions of England.
13. HARVEST MOUSE
Scientifically, harvest mice are Micromys minutus. They belong to the Murinae subfamily and have close relationships with the wood mice. They mainly originated from Asia and Europe, the main reason they people also refer to them as the Eurasian mice.
They are nocturnal. During the day, they scavage around farmlands, grasslands, and trees in search of food, including invertebrate animals and plants. In the united kingdom, harvest mice are the only mammals that make nests above the ground level. According to many people, harvest mice are cute enough to be home pets.
Recently, harvest mice started becoming scarce. Speculations suggest that the population decline of harvest mice may be attributed to agricultural practices and habitat management changes. Although the harvest mice are not yet an endangered species, they have been identified as Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.
In Europe, harvest mice are the smallest rodents. They consist of easily identifiable features like tiny eyes, tiny hairy ears, and a blunt nose. In winter, harvest mice’s soft fur is somehow thicker than in summer. Additionally, it has broad feet for climbing tree stems. This species tails are almost the size of their bodies and are furless at the tip.
14. CACTUS MOUSE
Scientifically, the cactus mouse is Peromyscus eremicus and belongs to the Cricetidae family. The cactus mice have a close relationship to the New World mice or the deer nice. It is predominantly found in western North America’s desert regions. They are small-sized rodents that have conspicuous large eyes and ears.
You will also identify a cactus mouse by its large mono-color tail and a pointed snout. An adult cactus mouse has an approximate weight of 18grams to 40 grams. As with most mammals, female adult cactus mice are slightly heavier than males. Also, females are slightly larger in length and ear size.
Cactus mice are predominantly present at rough terrains such as mountain foothills, steppe, and dry habitats, especially in northern Mexico and the southwestern united states of America. Cactus mice primarily feed on hackberry nutlets, mesquite beans, seeds, insects, and plants. During the winter season, cactus mice mainly feed on insects and seeds in the spring season. A significant percentage of cactus mice are active during the night and sleep during the day. However, during the full moon, they appear to be less busy.
15. COTTON MOUSE
Cotton mouse mainly got their name from their habit of building nests using raw cotton. Apart from their behavior of using natural cotton to build their nest, they are also identified by their physical characteristics. With that said, cotton mice are rodents with whitish bellies and feet. The rest of their bodies incorporates dark brown fur. Unlike most species of mice, cotton mice have relatively short and sparsely-haired tails.
They are primarily found in the southeastern parts of Texas, Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia.
You will likely find them in swamps, hardwood forests, scrub, salt savanna and dunes, and rocky bluffs in these areas. Like most mice species, cotton mice are also nocturnal and solitary small mammals. It means that they mainly search for food during the night hours. Cotton mice love swimming and climbing tree branches. The feeding diet of cotton mice consists mainly of insects, seeds, berries, and fruits, making them omnivorous.
16. WOODLAND JUMPING MOUSE
Some people confuse the woodland jumping mouse with the North American one mainly because of similar sizes. However, the woodland jumping mouse has several body features that differ from the North American jumping mouse. Woodland jumping mice have bright body colors with a white tail tip. The rest of the tail has dark-brown fur on the upper side and creamy white hair on the lower side. Also, they have reddish-brown or yellowish sides. They have white bellies and feet.
These species of mice have high populations in North America. Although you can find woodland jumping mice in bogs, riparian areas, and swamps, they mainly inhabit cool and moist boreal woodlands and hemlock-hardwoods.
They are also nocturnal and solitary rodents. They mostly spend their resting time in burrows or nests. In most cases, woodland jumping mice have separate chambers for sleeping, hibernation, and storing food for future or hibernation purposes. As their name suggests, they move through jumping.
17. CALIFORNIA MOUSE
Although California mice are abundant in most parts of the world, they are available in high populations in the southwestern regions of the United States of America. The fact that California mice are very adaptive has contributed to their widespread breeding globally. They mostly prefer dry or wet habitats. However, they dislike humid environments and habitats. Since they love moist habitats, you will likely find their nests close to water sources such as rivers and small water streams. One interesting fact about California mice is that they have large ears that sometimes cover their eyes.
They are approximately 12.7cm long and have several predators, including hawks, snakes, and owls. On the other hand, they mainly prey on arthropods. Their main fear is losing their natural habitats. Since they are spread worldwide in abundance, their conservation status is the least of concern.
Like most rodents, California mice have a one-year lifespan in their natural habitat, although they can live up to five years in captivity. Female California mice can produce up to six litter and three litter annually, in captivity and natural habitat, respectively.
18. African pygmy mouse
The African pygmy mouse is one of the smallest rodents since it can only grow to a maximum of 5 inches long. However, unlike most mice, the African pygmy mice have a relatively longer lifespan as they can live up to 2 years. Depending on their habitat, some have typical red coats while others have blue coats.
Their underside is pale. African pygmy mice dominate most parts of Africa, including eastern Africa, central Africa, and South Africa. They have a body system that is ideal for living in a wide range of habitats.
Some people keep this mice species as pets. In this case, it is best to keep them in pairs or colonies. In their natural habitat, they like living in caves where they live according to their family units. Interestingly, African pygmy mice have a productive breeding cycle that incorporates a reproduction of a maximum of 6 mice at an interval of 20 days. During birth, the entire litter is usually blind and hairless. However, they open their eyes after two weeks, and weaning begins when they are one month old.
19. Pilliga mouse
Pilliga mice are rodent species that belong to the Muridae family. They have a widespread distribution in Australia’s Pilliga forest. Additionally, researchers have obtained pilliga mice specimens in Weetalibah Nature Reserve and Warrumbungle National Park.
They are small-sized, consisting of white bellies and grey-brown upper sections. Their head and russet flanks are also grey-brownish. You may quickly identify them because of their pale pink feet that incorporate white hairs. Pilliga mice are approximately 73cm to 80cm long, with their tail almost the length of their bodies.
20. Striped field mouse
What makes striped field mice easily identifiable is that they incorporate bodies that are grayish-brown on the upper sections and an outstanding mid-dorsal black line. They have relatively small eyes and ears, while their undersides are usually grayish and paler. Striped field mice are widely distributed throughout eastern Asia and eastern Europe.
However, researchers point out that their extension and population expansion across eastern European regions seems to be recent. Speculations further point out that the species might have reached Australia in the late 20th century. The main typical habitats of this species include marshes and grasslands, gardens, pastures, urban areas, and woodlands.
Interestingly, striped field mice are social mammals and are famous for digging burrows for sleeping and breeding. During the summer, they are primarily nocturnal. They are also good swimmers. They are mainly omnivores that feed on green plants, nuts, seeds, berries, insects, and roots. They breed throughout the year, with females producing 3 to 5 litters annually. Each reproduction mainly consists of approximately six offspring.
21. Oldfield mouse
Oldfield mice are rodent species primarily active during the day. They belong to the Cricetidae family and dominate the sandy beaches, open timber tracts, cotton fields, and cornfields of the southeastern United States of America. They have varying coloration primarily because of their varying inhabitant geographic location. For instance, the populations that live in the inland areas are mostly fawn-colored, while those that live in the coastal regions appear to be white or lighter. They mainly feed on insects, seeds, and fruits. Like most other rodent species, they habitually dig burrows for sleeping and raising their young ones.
Females give birth to litters of around three to four young ones that begin weaning at about 20 to 25 days. At 30 days, female offspring are ready for mating and reproduction. They produce pinkish newborns that are 1.1 g to 2.2 g light. In captivity, they can live up to five years. Conservationists have little to worry about Oldfield mice because they are widespread and abundant throughout most parts of the world.
22. Northern grasshopper mouse
Like most rodent species, the female Northern grasshopper mice are averagely heavier and larger than their male counterparts. Females can weigh approximately 1.3 ounces with a body length of about 5.75 inches. Interestingly, they have varying upper fur colors in their different life stages. Mostly, the juveniles appear grayish, and adults have a buffy to reddish-brown appearance. Once they get old enough, their fur turns black or grey. However, you will quickly identify one through its white belly, feet, and legs. It also has a short and thick tail that is white on the underside. Northern grasshopper mice live in various open habitats, including sagebrush desert and grasslands. However, they mostly prefer silty and sandy soils.
Their carnivorous feeding habits incorporate approximately 80% of animal matter in spring and 60% in midwinter. The male adults help their female counterparts raise the young ones who start weaning at their three weeks. They are highly territorial rodents marking their boundaries using scent.
23. Shark Bay Mouse
Some people refer to this rodent species as shaggy mice primarily because of its shaggy-like fur. The back fur has an unusual grey and pale yellow-fawn appearance, making it look grizzled. They are long-haired and robust rodent species with their tail slightly longer than their head. They have white bellies with their head and bodies covered with grey fur.
The shark bay mice have limited distribution patterns because they are rare species only available in the Shark Bay area, Bernier island, in the western regions of Australia. However, two translocated populations live on Faure Island and North West Island. Its most preferred habitats are sandy areas, where they feed on spiders, leaves, insects, and flowers.
The shark bay mice are primarily solitary and nocturnal. They mainly use their burrows for breeding. Instead of caves, shark bay mice prefer building tunnels and runways between vegetation. Their diet and nutrition consist mainly of green foliage and flowers since they are primarily herbivores. However, they also feed on spiders, fungi, and insects.
Mice belongs to rodents, class of mammals. These are small that’s why you see them in your house most of the times, especially at the start of winter.
They normally come into human houses for food, shelter and to get protection from there predators.
You can find them in less used or dirty places at your home.
Mice have some benefits for us; however, when there is a light there’s a shadow, means mice also have many detriments like they bring diseases with it.
Appearance and Features of Mice
The name ‘mouse’ applies to all those small rodents having the following characteristics. A pointed nose, large ears, round or spherical body with brown or grayish color, hind feet, and a long tail are often hairless. The significant difference between all rodents is in size. For instance, a rat is a rodent larger than a mouse.
We will discuss common types of mice in detail in the later section of the article. Let’s discuss the mice’s appearance and their general features.
Size and weight
Mice can be found in various colors, but white, gray, and brown are the most common colors. It also varies in size that range from very tiny to a baked potato. The usual size of mice is between 1 to 7 inches (2.54 to 18cm ) long. Typical weight is 0.5 to 1 ounce (0.23 to 0.28kg). The smallest mouse is the African pygmy, which has a length of 1.2 to 3.1 inches (3.04 to 7.874cm) and weighs less than 0.35 ounces (0.01kg). This length excludes the tail because some mice have a tail equal to their body’s length. On the other hand, the largest mouse is 12 to 20 cm, including the tail, and weighing 12 to 30grams.
Interestingly mice have a less or noncolored vision. Although light is absent in mice’s eyes, they can see clearly as humans. Mice can only see the world in shades of gray, dull yellow,, or blue. So now you think that we (humans) can see a mice running very fast and we cannot catch them quickly. So how is it possible without a a good and clear vision?
The reason is written in the research from the United States National Library of Medicine, which says that mice primarily run along the wall side or parallel to other things if you have noticed. It is because mice use their whiskers for guidance and to explore nearby spaces, and the process is known as “whisking.” Moreover, mice hear very clearly due to their much-oversized ears, which also compensate its lacking of eyesight.
For communication purposes, mice use their pheromones to convey their messages, whether for defense, social, mating, or marking territory. For instance, adult male and pregnant female odor convey a message, which speeds up sexual maturity in other females. Similarly, a strange male mice odor terminates the pregnancies sometimes. A research backs the trait mentioned above by RSPCA.
Furthermore, mice communicate by their mouth through squeaking, if you have heard sometimes. According to researchers, mice communicate through ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) by singing like birds. They often sing to convey messages from mother mice to their pups, and male mice sing lovesongs to attract females.
Mice can be found in every country and terrain, from America to Asia or in Africa. They easily adjust to artificial structures, forests,, and grasslands. In the wildlife mice usually live underground in their burrow. However, the house mouse (mus musculus) makes its nests in hidden areas near food sources. Homeowners mostly found them residing in their house attics, under cabinets, and in-wall voids.
Predators of Mice
Where ever mice go, it brings some predators along with them. Some of these predators are even more dangerous than mice and can cause severe harm to humans. Similarly, due to the fear of these predators, mice get into your humans’ houses for their survival and shelter. Following are the common mice predators:
Cats are the top predator of mice.
Mice can hear better than humans. Do you know why? Because they hear at a frequency above the human hearing range, which is called ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs). According to research,, mice can hear USVs up to 90kHz! These ultrasonic sounds are also used to irritate the mice because it scares them. As a result, mice migrate from your house, and you can have a mouse-free home.
Mice are nocturnal, keep sleeping during the day, and coming out at night for food and play. The wild mice are timid towards humans and other animals but very social with other mice. However, the house mice can become friendly with humans, and some adults keep them as pets. Usually found indoor throughout the year, especially in winter months, while they are present outdoor in the warmer seasons like spring and summer.
Mice are not fond of cheese, but their favorite food is chocolate or peanut butter, irresistible for mice. Similarly, they like to eat seeds, fruits, grains, nuts, spiders, worms, and vegetables. They are omnivores so can eat plant and meat both. The house mice can eat anything they find, even when there is a food shortage, so that they can eat each other for their survival. Due to their voracious appetite, Mice eat less at a time but eat 15 to 20 times a day with some gaps. Therefore, they make homes near to food for easy and quick accessibility.
Mice have many breeds, so it sometimes becomes beneficial for predators and humans to get more food and do more research. Following is the mice breeding procedure:
Firstly, male and female mice get together for mating. The gestation period starts and continues for 20 days.
The baby mice are born. In one doe, there are 5 to 10 baby mice (depending on the strain).
Baby mice are dependent on the mother’s milk till four weeks after birth. They become sexually mature after eight weeks of delivery and start mating with other mice for further offspring.
Remember that weaning and litter size can vary, depending on the individual mouse.
Benefits of Mice
1. Use of Mice in Bio-medical Researches
A survey conducted in the USA shows that an estimate of 111.5 million mice is used in laboratories each year. That’s 95% of the animals' participation in research. Mice are the subjects of bio-medical researches since 1980s. During that time scientist made mouse of desired traits by breeding various mice. Moreover for the purpose of research on cardiovascular diseases obese mouse are quite useful. Surgical procedures and other tests are conducted on them. As mice are highly social rodents therefore they are frequently used in behavioral neuroscience researches.
2. Use of Mice to Study Human Diseases
Mouse is quiet related to humans in many aspects this provide opportunity to conveniently conduct researches regarding the complex human diseases. The genes responsible for Atherosclerosis and Hypertension are mutual between humans and mice. Researching over mice provides wholesome knowledge regarding the genetic risk factor in humans. Moreover mice develop disease likewise humans, such as diabetes and cancer because there cardiovascular system, skeletal system nervous, system and endocrine systems etc. are quite similar to humans.
3. Mice as a Subject for Drug Testing and Theraphies
Mice not only spread diseases but they also serve as a subject in clinical trials for drug testing that are eventually used by humans. As mice develop similar diseases as human therefore the treatments are applied to mice first for the experimentation purposes. Researchers explore new therapies for genetic disorders in human through replicating them on mice.
Mice are used for the above mentioned purposes due to the following characteristics:
Primarily for the researches, the researchers need the subjects in a greater number. Since the mice have a high breeding rate, they give birth to the little one on the same day the male and female mouse mate and they can reproduce after every three week of time period. Hence they are easily found on a larger scale for research purposes.
Similarities with Humans
They are quite similar to humans anatomically, physiologically and genetically.
The rodents are the largest class of mammals in which mice come under the rodents’ sub-class called ‘Myomorpha,’ or ‘mouse-like rodents.’ This group contains approximately 1,100 species, and they are further divided into several families.
Low Maintainance and Cost-effectiveness
Mice are cost effective because they are easily available and inexpensive. As they are low maintenance hence they can eat whatever they get.
Mice are small size Rodents therefore they are easy to be kept and handled as well.
A mouse has a short life span. A thirty (30) years of age human and a one (01) year old mouse are equal. Researchers observe mice to to measure the effects of ageing. Those findings then contribute as references in studies related to human ageing.
Several Generations in a Short Period
As said earlier mouse usually have a very short life span. Hence they start reproducing just after 10 weeks of birth. In this regard multiple generations of mouse can be observed at a time. Therefore longitudinal studies can be conducted on mice.
Diseases Spread by Mice
No doubt mice resemble humans in several aspects, but they don’t meet the cleanliness standards of humans. Being around mice is no less than a warrant to human health.
Mediums of Disease Transmission by Mice
Diseases like Hantavirus, Salmonella, and Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV) whether the humans touch it or not.
Hantavirus is spread when humans breathe in the air infected by the dried waste matter of the mice. The early symptoms after contraction are fever, chill, aches, and pain. If Hantavirus is left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure and shortness of breath.
Salmonella is a kind of food poisoning that is prevailed through the waste material of mice. If the mice’s feces touch the countertops in the kitchen, this can contaminate the food so that someone prepares the food and may touch the contaminated area. common symptoms of this disease include fever, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea, and it can become severe if left untreated.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis is a virus that house mice usually spread. It affects the brain and causes neurological problems. Infection prevails in humans through the mice’s urine, saliva, and nesting material.
When a mouse enters a house, it’s not alone. On the furry black back of mice, there are live parasites. Diseases that are transmitted through parasites that dwell on mice are:
-Colorado Tick Fever
-Bubonic Plague (spread by fleas that mice carry inside)
Mice don’t bite usually, but if they bite accidentally, humans can contract Rat-Bite fever. It can be caused by; a direct bite, touching a dead mouse with an infection, or eating and drinking food infected by the mice.
How to Stay Safe from Mice:
Here are some tips on how to protect your home from mice infestation.
1. Keep your Habitat Clean
Keep your place clean from outdoor as well as indoor. Clean the garbage bins every night, don’t leave food particles out in the open.
2. Store Food Wisely
Keep all sorts of food items in rodent-proof jars. Don’t leave behind any treats for them.
3. Clean those Piles
Mice can hide in nasty spots, so be sure not to let any garbage pile up in that yard of yours.
4. Make Use of Different Smells
Use smells of those cringe mice to repel them, such as cloves, vinegar, mint, cinnamon, clove oil e.t.c.
5. Close All the Gaps
Secure all the teeny tiny cracks and holes present at your place, with rodent-proof materials available in the market. Steel wool is the best choice when it comes to materials that mice can’t chew through.
6. Adopt a Cat
One can also choose to adopt a cat. Don’t worry if it is not a good mouse catcher. Its scent is enough for forcing these pests out.
Common Questions About Mice
Mice contaminate your food, spread diseases, and make your home yucky.
1) Do mice and rats differ from each other?
Yes, there are some critical differences between a mice and a rat. The most prominent one is length. Mice are shorter than rats. Adult mice comprise 7.5 inches long body, including the tail, while rats are 14 to 16 inches, excluding the tail, which depends on species.
2) What is the mice’s lifespan?
Although we have discussed the lifespans of different mice, if you have a pet house mouse or might get one in the near future, you are worried about its lifespan. So usually, a non-pet house mouse lives at most one year. On the other hand, if it is your pet and you take care of it in terms of food, cage, and protection from predators, it can easily live up to three years.
3) What is meant by black rice-like things or shredded paper?
If you found any black rice-like thing, then it’s a red signal for you. Why? Because it means that there is a moue in the house. Besides, if there is one mouse, it is most likely that there are more as well. Mouse makes its nest from soft materials and shredded paper. As for the black rice-like thing, it is droppings of mice.
4) What is the best place to put mice traps?
If you want to catch the mice, then the best place to set the trap is where you see its traces like urine, gnawed items, or rice-like droppings. You can easily purchase the traps from your nearby home or garden store. Some traps are reusable, while others can only be used one time, which are intended to hide the mouse from your sight.
5) What is the Alternative option if your mice trap doesn’t work?
Your mice trap doesn’t work because mice are curious and always investigate changed or new things. So, in this case, place your mice trap where food or water is available or where you found out the new signs. If you keep doing this, you will surely catch the mouse in some days.
6) What are the baits for mouse traps?
Let me clarify this myth that from childhood, we thought that mice loved only cheese. That’s not true. Mice’s favorite food is chocolate or peanut butter. Therefore, place peanut butter in the trap. However, it gets dry and stiff after few days, so you should replace it. Other options for baits can be sticky candies, dried food, or nuts. For an effective trap, the bait should be attached securely.
7) How can you know that all mice are gone from your home?
When you don’t find any signs of the mouse infestation, such as gnawed items, droppings, urine smell, or sounds of the walking mouse from your wall, then there are likely chances that mice have either gone or died. For more confirmation, go and check out your less-used parts of the house.
8) How do mice invade your house?
Mice are experts in invading human houses. They can slip from holes or gaps as tiny as ¼ inch or roughly a pencil size. If the mouse does not have enough space to squeeze from, then it will gnaw it until it becomes easy for the mouse to pass from it. Moreover, mice can jump up to 13 inches and run along wires and ropes.
9) Can mice go upstairs?
Yes, It’s proven that mice are good climbers and swimmers. They can easily climb a set of stairs and can also jump from outside the house. Therefore, forget that you are safe from the mice if you are on the upper floor. In fact, your attic is the most favorable place for the mouse because they are fond of places with rarely any humans.
10) How do I get rid of mice from my home?
You are probably most worried about how you can get rid of mice in the house. So there are several methods for it, the use of rodenticides, baits, or traps, for example. These are the most common DIY methods. We would suggest using these first and if you don’t found these effective, call a professional pest control person.
However, these are not safe because you might have to leave your house for some days due to its aftereffects. Trapping is the most common and safest method applicable in homes.
11) When can you expect mice to come into your house?
You can expect mice to come any time into your house because house mouse stays active all the year. Especially in rodent season, the chances of invasion are high. At the start of the winter season, mice start searching for a warm place for their survival.
The best site is your house because they don’t hibernate, so they need food all the time nearby. The rodent season starts from August to October in the United States, but it varies with every country. After November, if you haven’t found any mice signs, there are fewer chances to get any new mouse infestation.
Interesting Facts About Mice
1) Obsessed with edges
When it comes to traveling, these sneaky beings tend to run along the edges of surfaces and adjacent to walls in search of food as they have weak eyesight. So consider setting traps on such areas with the intent to control an infestation of these irritating life forms.
2) Tiny gymnasts
With their lightweight and round-shaped body, mice cannot only jump to a height of almost 25.4cm in the air but also scale any rough vertical surfaces up to 2 meters high is an effortless task for them. Not to mention the insane climbing skills that leave them with the advantage of hopping on your kitchen counter, so better not leave food for them.
Not to be scary, but they can easily climb onto your bed. Better kick out these tiny gymnasts before they slither in bed with you.
3) Squeezy devils
These tiny rodents have a specialty for squeezing through gaps as minute as 6mm. Still and all, it remains a myth that mice lack a skeleton. They have some flexible bones such as ribs and that of the skull. So this winter, check your place for any such holes that can prove to be gateways for these uninvited pantry visitors. You can secure them using wire wool, rubber, or expanding foam.
4) Never-ending teeth growth
Caution! These cute-looking creatures may bite! Because when it comes to teeth growth, mice have an exceptional one. Their teeth grow at an average rate of 0.3mm a day! So to minimize them to a comfortable size, mice continuously gnaw and chew on items.
5) Brief lifespans
Life for this animal is not easy-going, but they don’t have to suffer much longer. In the wild, they live a life of around 11 to 12 months. Mice infesting a house or living in lab conditions can live for up to 2 to 3 years. The lifespan of mice varies with the presence of shelter and food along with predators.
6) A Mice God?
In Greek mythology, Lord Apollo was regarded as “Apollo, the Lord of Mice.” Hence often called “Apollo Smintheus.” As depicted in paintings, Lord Ganesh, a Hindu god, is believed to have a mouse as his vehicle.
7) Great appetite
Mice, like their fellow rodents, are found to have a huge appetite. Regardless of possessing such little bodies, they consume a reasonably large amount of food.
About 15 to 20 times a day, to be exact. Their greediness for food gives us the explanation as to why mice usually build their homes near food sources; they prefer to live close to where they like to munch, just as many folks enjoy residing near their favorite coffee shop or restaurants.
8) Not a big fan of cheese!
Remy from Ratatouille might have personally loved cheese, but in general, mice don’t have a thing for cheese. Science has now proven that mice prefer food rich in carbs, like chocolate and peanut butter. But in the case of cheese, it is more of a good source of protein. It’s just another myth!
During the Middle age, people stored meat and grains wisely, hanging them up or stocking them in glass jars appropriately. However, they left cheese to age on the shelves. Therefore it was more convenient for mice to go for cheese.
This whole scenario made the people believe that mice always loved cheese, or so the myth tells. Since then, many movies and cartoons have pictured mice being crazy about only one thing. CHEESE!
9) Phenomenal senses
Although being color-blind and having weak eyesight, mice possess some phenomenal senses. When it comes to their poor sight, their whiskers come in handy in identifying the surfaces they are crawling upon and perceiving temperature changes.
Mice have a sharp sense of smell that helps them lead to their food. Not to mention it can also aid mice in avoiding traps. It is so because they can smell us humans, and they seem to draw back from that smell.
Apart from this, they have phenomenal hearing too.
Studies reveal that Mice hear best between the frequency of 15 and 20 kHz. This helps them in escaping their hunters. They also have an excellent variety of taste buds that makes them crave more flavored meals on their table.
10) Act dead for the sake of life
When they feel they are in grave crisis and stand no chance of escaping, these rodents are believed to play dead to stay alive so that the predator assumes the mouse has departed this world. They can put up with this act till they are sure the danger has settled; this can be a few seconds to a few minutes long. I bet this makes you recall the good old Tom and Jerry show, for the fact that mice can act dead might seem fanciful to many.
What else is the best way of identifying if mice have entered your territory than their dozens of dropping around your place? They are ¼-inch in length and edged at both sides. Mostly Mice droppings are found near their hiding spots. They are known to leave behind 60-150 droppings a day.
12) Mice in researches
A survey conducted in the USA shows that an estimate of 111.5 million mice is used in laboratories each year. That’s 95% of the animals’ participation in research. They were first used for analysis in genetic research during the year 1902.
13) Troublesome nibblers
Mice being the annoying creatures they are, nibble on every item they find softer than their teeth, including electric wires in our homes. As a result, they harm the electric system and expose the wires, which risk walls catching fire.
14) A mouse never walks alone
If you run into a mouse inside your home, you might not consider it a big deal. After all, it’s just one mouse. But hey! There is a chance a horde of mice is breeding right under your nose. The long-tailed rodents are prominent for their rapid reproduction. A Female mouse begins childbirth just after 1 to 2 months and gives birth to litters of 6- 8 as far as ten times a year. By the time of a year, they can give rise to as many as 32 to 56 pups.
15) Night dwellers
Like many other rodent, mice carry out all their business in the darkness of night when most of their predators are usually asleep. That being said, mice are nocturnal creatures that dwell around the place searching for food from dusk till dawn. But if you do encounter one in broad daylight, this is probably a red flag that the infestation is already out of control. There is a possibility that you need to concern a professional pest service ASAP.
16) Known to be Sleepyheads
Mice enjoy a sleep of 12 to 14 hours a day! They are big sleepers of the day but get pretty active in the dark hours.