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Pests & Wildlife

Pests & Wildlife

Mice

House mice are short-haired rodents, light brown to gray or black in color, with white or lighter bellies. Unlike Rats their tails and ears are furry (though less than on their bodies). Adult mice grow to about 6 inches long from nose to tail and weigh 1 to 2 ounces. House Mice are one of the top year-round pest problems in the Pacific Northwest.

Prevention

 

How do you know if you have Mice?

  • Mice are more curious than rats and so it is possible that you may see them in the evening scurrying along corridors from one place of safety to another.
  • You can also identify mice by their small pellet size droppings (3-6 mm), rod shaped and pointy ended.
  • Look for small footprints on the floor near baseboards and along corridors.

Prevention

It is a common misconception that you can simply eliminate mice with traps and bait. While these can are effective for extermination purposes, they do not address the circumstances that attracted the mice in the first place, nor to they close off the access points that allowed them to gain access to your home or property.  While long-term prevention usually involves the help of a professional, here are a few tips to help keep mice from being interested in your structure.

  1. Avoid having bird feeders, or at least having them close to the vulnerable places in your property.  Mice easily get access to the feed and then look for a safe, warm place to store it.  FYI, chicken coops are one of the main mice attractions in the Northwest. If you have a chicken coop, you can expect mice to come with it.
  2. Frequently inspect the access points to your home.  This includes windows, screens, garage doors, doorway entrances, laundry vents, exhaust fans, and many others.  Look for small holes, loose, thin or crumbled concrete, compromised wood structures.  Remember, a mouse can fit through any hole it can squeeze it's head into.  If you find small holes or compromised areas, have them sealed permanently and professionally.
  3. Look for tunnels and pathways from other animals.  While mice are not tenacious burroughers, they will take advantage of any pathway created by another animal.
  4. Keep trees, tree limbs, shrubs and other growing things trimmed and away from your house or property.  Mice can use these to reach the higher access areas of your structure.

Behavior

 

The most common species of mouse found in the Pacific Northwest is the common House Mouse. In the wild, mice build their homes close to available food sources in fields, grassy, and wooded areas.  Mice are inquisitive and curious creatures and spent most of their time investigating their surroundings.

 

Diet-wise, mice will eat most anything, but they prefer seeds and nuts for their regular diet.

 

The House Mouse is known for its ability to reproduce rapidly.  This is mostly due to their rapid rate of maturation.  A female house mouse can reach sexual maturity after 35 days and most start reproducing at six weeks. The average pregnancy cycle is only 21 days, which is followed by another 21 day weaning period.  This allows a mother to produce up to 8 litters a year with an average of 6 pups per liter. That's almost 50 babies a year!

 

Like all rodents, mice will seek our structures for warmth, safety, and close proximity to food sources.