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Mice Species Considered as Pests in Britain

Mice are one of the smallest mammals known on earth. You can find those tiny, hairy, long tailed with big eyes and big ears, animals on every inhabitable continent. The mouse is primarily nocturnal with bad eyesight, but with remarkable remaining senses.

Being one of the most preyed species from other animals such as foxes, cats, reptiles or even some arthropods, mice have adapted to seeking shelter, where they can feel safe. Mostly this is a place close to a food source, which is not too far away so they don’t have to travel long distances exposed.
Mice Species

In UK you can find many different mice species, but not all of them are considered as pests. There are three most common mice types, which can threaten your home or business property from infestation.
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Most Common Mice Species Found in UK Homes

Field Mouse
House Mouse
Yellow Necked Field Mouse
  • Bigger threat to business, particularly farming and agriculture, because when the winter comes they will go to places where people store their vegetables. The wood mouse, which is another common name for the field mouse, is unlikely to inhabited buildings and homes.

    Wood Mouse Running in The Garden

    Apodemus sylvaticus

    Appearance

    • Head and body size 80 – 100mm in length, Tail 70 – 90mm;
    • A male Field Mouse can weigh up to 25g, Female – up to 20g;
    • The fur colour on the head and back is like sandy / orange;
    • Yellowish fur on the flanks, white on the belly;
    • Usually has a small streak of yellow on the chest.

    Life Cycle

    • Average lifespan is two to three months;
    • Breeding seasons is from March to November;
    • The gestation period lasts approximately 25 days;
    • During the the first half of the breeding season adult males can be aggressive towards one another and to the young;

    Habits

    • They feed with the high proportion of the seed crop of trees such as oak, beech, ash, lime, hawthorn and sycamore;
    • During the late spring and early summer days, when seeds are rarely available, small snails and insects are а good source of food. Mice also like to feed with apples;
    • Newly planted legume seeds are also part of the mice menu.
  • Is it true that mice are considered as a problem only during the winter time? No, because Mus domesticus, a.k.a the House Mouse is active year around, which means an infestation is possible at any time.

    House Mouse

    Mus domesticus

    Appearance

    • Can grow up to 7 – 9.5cm in body length and its tail grows around the same length;
    • An average House Mouse can weigh between 12 – 30g;
    • Their relatively small feet & head and large eyes & ears distinguish them from a young brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).

    Life Cycle

    • 4 – 16 young per litter, 7 – 8 litters a year;
    • The gestation period continues about 3 weeks;
    • Reaches sexual maturity between 8 – 12 weeks after birth.

    Habits

    • Usually ground living and burrowing, but don’t underestimate because it’s also a good climber;
    • Preferred food is cereals;
    • Will eat around 3g of food per day. Can survive without any additional water.
  • Yellow Necked Field Mice are seen as a threat mostly in rural areas. An infestation can pose a fire risk as they are known to chew through electrical wiring.

    Yellow Necked Field Mouse

    Apodemus flavicollis; Image Source: James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster

    Appearance

    • Head and body size: 95 to 120 mm in length, Tail from 75 to 110mm;
    • Weights between 14 and 45g;
    • Brown fur on the back, white on the underside and noticeable yellow fur around the neck;
    • Big ears, protruding eyes and a long tail.

    Life Cycle

    • Breeding season is from March until October and starts the year following the birth;
    • The gestation period lasts 25 or 26 days;
    • Young are fully weaned after about 18 days;
    • Lifespan: Usually no longer than 12 months.

    Habits

    • They can spoil or consume stored food;
    • Interfere with electrical wiring;
    • They prefer mature broad-leafed woodland and habitats such as hedges, rural gardens and buildings.
    • Much more likely to enter buildings and homes than wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus).

Difference Between Field Mice and House Mice

Altough the house and field mice look very familiar, each mouse species has distinctive features which are easy to spot with a naked eye. Some of them are:

  • house mice doesn’t have colour separation at the bottom of its body
  • most of the house mouse’s body is gray
  • field mice have sharp tails coloured in 2 different colours
  • field mice burrow under plants
  • the deer mice (field mice) have white bellies
  • each spreads different diseases – house mice are carriers of ickettsialpox and leptospirosis, while field mice are known for transmitting hantaviruses

Both mice species may cause structural damage or infections to any of your family members. To prevent this, call professional mice exterminators who’ll deal quick and efficiently with the rodents.
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How To Get Rid of Mice Infestation

Before taking any measures prior to engaging in any extermination or DIY control methods, it is very important to properly identify your infestation levels. If you want to get guaranteed results book a treatment with professionals. Contact your local pest controllers to arrange for an inspection and consultation.

5 Tips to Keep Mice Away From Your Home

  • Store your food in metal or glass container with lids;
  • Make sure your trash cans are well sealed, resilient and regularly cleaned;
  • Seal all possible entry points such as wall cracks, holes, crevices. Don’t forget to check around pipes, gas lines and dryer vents;
  • Use snap traps or glue traps. Keep in mind that they both require proper placement to be effective and may be dangerous for human and pets if not placed properly!
  • Baits! Small slices of hot dog, smooth or chunky peanut butter, strong smelling soft cheese, bird seeds or nuts are just part of the baits you can place. Mice are highly intelligent and this is why an intimate knowledge of mouse habits and behavior are required in case to use baits effectively.

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