The house mouse is just about what you’d expect a mouse to be – small (5 to 7cm), grey-brown, with an almost naked tail as long or longer than its body and weighing less than 28 grams. The mouse, however, can eat about one-tenth of its weight each day.
As you may guess with the name house mouse, these creatures prefer life indoors, whether it be an apartment complex or single-family dwelling. They prefer the comfort of niches between walls and behind cabinets and appliances.
The house mouse has a very prolific reproductive system breeding year-round and having as many as eight litters annually. Females can start having their litters at the age of one and a half to two months. Life expectancy for a wild mouse is no more than one year.
Mice have a diet of a variety of foods, such as seeds, grains and nuts requiring only about 2 grams of food each day, and can live without access to fresh water if their solid food is moist.
One of the main problems faced from having a mouse in your house is their contamination of food with their urine and faeces. Their gnawing on wood, paper, cloth, books and insulation on wiring can also pose a real threat to any homeowner. This can be noted by observing gnawing leaves paired tooth marks about 3mm wide and seeing droppings which are rod-shaped and about 6 to 8mm long. Mice can also consume considerable quantities of stored seed and grains from farmers and granaries.
Mice can carry a wide variety of diseases transmissible to humans. A very real problem with the infestation of mice is the hantavirus which has been a threat in the arid southwestern part of the country. Another major concern is salmonellosis which is transmitted by mice and is a concern in food storage and preparation areas.
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