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Common types of mice

Mice are nocturnal creatures and are rarely seen by homeowners. This can make the job of identification quite difficult. They often forage for food at night or during dusk, when most of the other residents of the house are asleep. Even if homeowners do catch a sight of their mouse invader, it may only be for a split second and not enough to identify the species.

Luckily, Ehrlich’s rodent experts however have the expertise and know-how to help with identification, which will help to establish the right control method for your home or business and your particular mouse species.

Need help identifying which species of mouse is in your house? Call Ehrlich at 800-837-5520.

There are some species of mouse which are more commonly found in homes than others. There are certain characteristics you can look for, to help to identify the mice in your property. Alternatively, you may wish to learn more about the common signs of mice, which can also help to confirm if you do actually have a problem.

There are many different types of mice present in the U.S. The top 3 species considered to be a major pest in this country are the House Mouse, Field Mouse and White-Footed Mouse.


House mouse

House Mouse

(Mus musculus)

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


  • Size: 2.76 – 3.74 inches in length, with a tail around the same length.
  • Weight: 0.42 – 1.06 oz
  • Their relatively small feet & head and large eyes & ears distinguish them from a young brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).


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


  • Usually ground living and burrowing, but often climbs.
  • Preferred food is cereals.
  • Will eat around .1 oz. of food a day and can survive without any additional water. They will drink up to .1 fluid oz. a day if their diet is particularly dry.
Deer mouse

Deer Mouse

(Peromyscus maniculatus)

Deer mice, or field mice, are pests that prefer to live in wooded areas. They will, however, venture into homes, sheds, and outbuildings during in the winter months to seek warmth. They can be destructive to wood structures as well as carrying with them a number of potential health concerns, particularly hantavirus. This disease is often transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in air-borne urine droplets from infected deer mice.

Deer mice are nocturnal and spend their days in cup-shaped nests made of stems, leaves, and fibrous materials. Nests are lined with feathers or shredded cloth and can be found in tree hollows, fence posts, abandoned squirrel and bird nests, and the underside of logs and rocks. In homes, deer mice construct nests in low activity areas such as basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces. Deer mice do not hibernate and may invade homes during winter months seeking shelter in storage boxes, wall voids, and upholstered furniture.


  • Size: adult head and body 2.75-4” in length; Tail 2-5".
  • Weight: About 0.38 - 1.25 oz.
  • Pale grayish, buff coloring to reddish brown on top and side. White fur on the belly.
  • The tail is usually bi-colored and is very long, longer than half the length of the body and covered with short hair.


  • Field mice usually live between 2-14 months, but some in captivity have been known to live 5-8 years.
  • The female gestation period is usually 21-24 days and females have 3-5 young with each litter. They also have 2-4 litters per year.
  • The young will reach sexual maturity in 7-8 weeks.


  • Field mice are nocturnal, coming out at night to find food.
  • They feed at dusk and dawn and tend to prefer insects, seeds, nuts, and berries.
  • They are excellent climbers and will be found in even upper levels of structures like in attics and upper floors.
  • During colder months deer mice will seek shelter inside and will enter buildings during that time.
  • They are one of the leading carriers of the hantavirus, which can be very dangerous to humans.
White-Footed Mouse

White-Footed Mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus)

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


  • 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.


  • Homes located near forests and brushlands, or bordering agricultural lands, may be at risk from this rodent.
  • White-footed mice are nocturnal creatures and build their nests in concealed areas.
  • They feed primarily on fruits, nuts, seeds, and small insects.
  • When they become frightened, white-footed mice will drum their front feet.

Dealing with mice infestations

Mice can create serious problems. Ehrlich is an expert in mouse control and provides effective solutions for getting rid of these rodents from your home or business.

Control methods may involve trapping or bait stations. Our specialists are well-trained and will make sure the appropriate method is used to eliminate the infestation.

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