How to Identify a Mouse Problem
The sooner you can identify a mouse problem, the sooner you can get rid of them in your home.
By far the most likely type of mouse to be found in your home, House Mice were brought to North America by settlers from Europe over 200 years ago and were given the name “house mice'' with consideration to having always lived nearby to humans since the beginning of time. House Mice are the smallest types of rodent and have grayish black fur with large ears. An adult house mouse can range between 6 to 7 inches in length and weigh around 28 grams (1 oz).
At full health, a female mouse can birth up to 10 litters of 6 baby mice every year. Mice pregnancy can take up to 6 to 10 weeks as their life span is a maximum of 1 year. For these rodents to thrive, mice prefer to nest in secluded areas that are less frequented by humans and animals but still only 10 to 30 feet away from a source of food and water.
Given how quickly House Mice produce, it is important to take action in your home if you identify these rodents.
Named after the same colour of fur that they share with deer, Deer Mice can commonly be found in fields and are also referred to as Field Mice. This mouse species can grow as long as 20cm (8 inches) in total length and weigh around 1 to 3 grams at the most. Known to be found in more of rural Northern Canada than in more populated areas of the country, Deer Mice still go looking for shelter in homes that are conveniently nearby to fields and parks despite this being a rare occurrence. Deer Mice found in homes are more likely to occur in the winter season and cause serious danger to your home in the form of physical damage to your home and diseases.
Also known as Woodmice, White-Footed Mice are named after the white fur seen on their paws although other species of mice share similar colourage in their paws as well. White-Footed Mice are native to Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, as well as part of the southwest of the United States.
This species of mice favour dry forests and bushland while also having an interest in finding their way into nearby homes during the winter. White-Footed Mice are considered omnivores as they consume seeds and insects that can be found in areas that these mice commonly live. Although these mice have no problem finding food outdoors, they have no issues consuming food in your home as well in their pursuit for shelter during the colder months.
Western Harvest Mice
Named for mostly being seen when crops are ready to be harvested, Harvest Mice can be found in the southern parts of Alberta and British Columbia in areas where they can satisfy their mainly vegetarian diet with seeds and berries from crops of all kinds.
Harvest Mice grow to be as 12cm (5 inches) long with tails that enable them to wrap around field stalks and climb them with ease. Although these species of mice have no problem finding sources of food outdoors, Harvest Mice still have the ability to find their way into houses and barnyards in open farmland. These mice are especially inclined to enter your home if there is a food source nearby that makes it extremely easy for them to get to.
Woodland Jumping Mice
Woodland Jumping Mice can be found leaping through open fields, woods and meadows that are moist due to nearby water across Central Canada and the Maritimes. With tails more than double the length of their body, these mice get their name from being able to jump as high as 9 feet in the air with ease.
These mice consume a variety of insects, seeds, fruit and even small fish which are all items that can be found in the woodlands that they live in. Their nests can be found almost anywhere including nearby homes, which can be an ideal destination for the Woodland Jumping Mouse during hibernation in the winter.
Signs of Mice in Your Home
Mice are so small and nimble that they may be difficult to see in your home if only a few. These nocturnal rodents are most active at night which is why it is more likely to see droppings and damage that they’ve left behind as opposed to seeing them for yourself.
The Significance of Droppings and Urine Odour
Mice droppings are much smaller than rat droppings and can be as long as ¼ inches. These rice-shaped droppings can almost always be found scattered and in multiple amounts as mice drop about 50 to 75 pellets per day. Droppings and urine can always be found at the same time and can cause harmful pathogens that not only cause surface damage to floors and other areas of your home, but also affect the health conditions of your home.
Although House Mice do not carry pathogens the same way as rats, the fecal matter and urine of these rodents are still poisonous and can lead to further damage. Read our article to learn more about the dangers of rodent droppings and how to handle them in your home.