Common Mouse Species

There are many different types of mice present in the U.S.

The top 2 species considered to be a major pest in this country are the House Mouse and Field Mouse.

Field Mouse / Deer Mouse

(Apodemus sylvaticus / Peromyscus maniculatus)

Field mice (also referred to as Deer Mice)  rarely venture into inhabited buildings but in the winter months, they will enter sheds and other backyard structures where fruit and vegetables are stored.

Field mice are a big threat to businesses operating in farming and agriculture.

Appearance

  • Size: adult head and body 80 – 100mm in length; Tail 70 – 90mm.
  • Weight: Male can weigh 25g, and the female 20g.
  • Sandy / orange brown fur on the head and back.
  • Yellowish fur on the flanks and white on the belly.
  • There is usually a small streak of yellow on the chest.

Lifecycle

  • Their lifespan averages two to three months, but they can survive as much as 20 months in the wild, or two or more years in captivity.
  • Breeding seasons are March/April to October/November and gestation lasts approximately 25 days. They grow their first fur after six days; their eyes open after 16; and they are weaned at around 18 days old.
  • Survival of the young and adults is poor during the first half of the breeding season as adult males can be aggressive towards one another and to the young, who are then driven from the nest.

Habits

  • They eat a high proportion of the seed crop of trees such as oak, beech, ash, lime, hawthorn and sycamore.
  • Small snails and insects are particularly important sources of food in late spring and early summer when seeds are less available.
  • They also eat apples and will attack newly planted legume seeds.

House Mouse

(Mus domesticus)

House mice are active all year round, which means you could find them invading your home or business at any time.

Appearance

  • Size: 70 – 95mm in length, with a tail around the same length.
  • Weight: 12 – 30g.
  • Their relatively small feet & head and large eyes & ears distinguish them from a young brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Lifecycle

  • 4 – 16 young per litter; 7 – 8 litters a year.
  • Gestation period of about 3 weeks.
  • 8 – 12 weeks from birth to sexual maturity.

Habits

  • Usually ground living and burrowing, but often climbs.
  • Preferred food is cereals.
  • Will eat around 3g of food a day and can survive without any additional water. They will drink up to 3ml a day if their diet is particularly dry.

White-Footed Mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus)

The White-footed Mouse can be found in eastern U.S. from mid-Maine south to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama; west to Montana, Colorado, and Arizona.

White-Footed Mouse, Peromyscus leucopus

Appearance

  • The White-footed Mouse is a relatively small rodent with a combined head and body measurement of just 3.5 to 4 inches.
  • Not surprisingly, the feet are white and so is the belly. Upper parts of their body are grayish to reddish-brown and the tail is the same two colors.

Habits

Homes located near forests and brushlands, or bordering agricultural lands, may be at risk from this rodent.


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