House Mice

Mus musculus Linnaeus

Color: Dusty gray with a cream belly
Shape: Round
Size 2 1/2 ? 3 3/4 inches long
Region Found throughout the U.S. and the world

Overview

The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the U.S. It can adapt quickly to changing conditions and breeds rapidly. In fact, a female can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year.

Habits

House mice usually live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. They prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation, and fabrics. They are excellent climbers and can jump to a foot high. House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food.

Threats

House mice are not only a nuisance; they can also cause serious property damage by chewing on materials. In fact, they have been known to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires inside homes and behind walls. House mice can also eat and contaminate stored food, and are a vector of Salmonella, taepworms, and the plague (via fleas), among other dangerous organisms.

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