The adult house mouse is small and slender and about one to two inches long, excluding its tail. The tail is as long as the head and body combined. It has large ears, a pointed nose and small eyes. The fur color varies, but it is usually a light grey or brown, but could be darker shades. You can tell them apart from native mice by their almost furless ears and scaly tails. They are good climbers, swimmers, and jumpers. They can run as fast as 8 miles per hour. Even so, they seldom travel farther than 50 feet from their homes.
Mice will eat almost anything (including soap & glue), but prefer cereal grains, seeds, or sweet material. They require very little water, obtaining most of their water needs from their food. If there are good living conditions (food, water, and shelter), they can multiply rapidly. They sexually mature in two months, producing about eight litters in a one year life time. Each litter has four to seven pups. House mice in a city environment may spend their entire life in buildings. In rural and suburban settings, mice may not only live inside, but be found outside near foundations, in shrubbery, weeds, crawl spaces, basements, or in garages. They survive well on weeds, seeds, or insects, but when their food supply is shortened by the colder months they move inside nesting closer to a food supply. They make their nest from soft material like paper, insulation, or furniture stuffing. These nests can be found in many places including walls, ceiling voids, storage boxes, drawers, under major appliances, or within the upholstery of furniture. Outside nests are found in debris or in ground burrows.
Mice are considered nibblers, eating at many times and at different places. Mice will snack every one to two hours throughout the day. However, they do have two main meal times, one just before dawn and the other at dusk. They can eat about 10% to 15% of their body weight every day, the adults weighing about 5/8-1 oz. Mice droppings are about 1/8-1/4 inch long and rod shaped. They gnaw small, clean holes about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Many times in kitchens you will find gnawing damage on the corner of boxes and paper which is shredded for their nest.
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