Vancouver is home to primarily two different types of mice- the common domestic house mouse, and the more rarely encountered deer mouse.
Deer mice are more widely seen in forested areas, while the domestic mouse is almost always seen living amongst humans within their environments.
Deer mice (Peromyscus sp.) and domestic mice (Mus musculus) have an adult body length of approximately 12 to 20cm in length- including the length of the tail, and typically weigh in between 10 to 25 grams. Domestic house mice are generally a light to dark brown in color, while deer mice quite often tend to be two-toned in color. The eyes of deer mice also tend to be larger than that of a house mouse.
Mice, like rats, are prodigious breeders, and can become sexually mature within 6-8 weeks of birth. Females can have litters 5 to 10 times per year, with the gestation period taking approximately 3 weeks. Births average 6 to 8 individuals per litter, and if unchecked mouse populations can quickly explode and become a large problem.
Here are some numbers:
- A family of 6 mice can grow to 50-60 mice within 3 months.
- A group of 28 mice can become 2000 mice with 8 months.
Like rats, mice are omnivorous and will eat almost anything- including items thought to be inedible such as aluminum cans, plastics, drywall materials and other things. In the wild, mice are almost exclusively herbivores, but in proximity to humans they quickly adapt and will eat almost anything. Primary aspects of their diet include fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and cereals. Unlike rats, mice do not need to seek out water and can extract the water that they require from the food that they eat.
Mice are extremely intelligent creatures and have a brain weight to body weight ratio very similar to that of a human being. Mice can become aware of efforts to trap or poison them, and sometimes careful planning with a variable baiting and trapping is necessary in order to take control of the infestation. It is not uncommon for mice to completely avoid snap traps and glue boards based on their previous encounters with them. Mice also can learn to associate death with bait stations if the poison kills them too quickly, so care must be taken to make all equipment appear to be as “harmless” as possible.
Mice carry disease, and proximity to disease ridden mice can result in these diseases being contracted by humans. According to the Centers For Disease Control, Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, and Salmonellosis are just some of the diseases that domestic mice and deer mice are capable of transmitting to humans. In addition to these diseases, mice can also contaminate living area surfaces and food products by way of feces, urine or the simple act of just coming into contact with it. Ultimately, though, mice will cause damage to your structure. They dig, and tunnel, and chew, and all of this will inevitably cost you money- particularly when a single mouse becomes a large population.
In the end the best defense against mice is to deny them a foothold in your home or business. There are very effective things that you can do to reduce the risk of a mouse infestation on your property, and these include:
- Exclusion. Do your best to make your property mouse proof. Patch up noticeable holes in walls and ceilings, and seal off visible entry points.
- Good housekeeping habits are essential. Mice will not stay someplace where there is no food available. Would you? Clean under your stove, behind your fridge and make sure foodstuffs are stored in proper containers.
- If possible, place a few snap traps in out-of-the-way places along perimeters within your home. Should a mouse get in, this may very well take care of a small problem before it becomes a large problem. Make sure you place them in areas where pets or small children will not encounter them.
In some cases, mice are very difficult to deal with. If you have followed the suggestions above and are still having issues with mice, you may need a professionally designed Pest Management Plan.
Please contact Local Pest Control and we will be happy to provide you with a free quote on a Pest Management Plan that will get your mouse problem under control.