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Key Features:The adult house mouse is small and slender – about 1-2 inches long, excluding tail. It has large ears, a pointed nose and small eyes. The tail is as long as the head and body combined. Its fur is usually a light grey or brown. The House Mouse, and sometimes the Long-Tailed Field Mouse, seek the warmth and shelter of buildings for nesting sites and food. Their presence is usually detected from their dark-coloured droppings or damage to stored foods in the larder, packaging or woodwork.
Biology:Mice become sexually mature in eight to ten weeks, and a pair may produce eight litters each of 16 young, in a year. Multiply those and you arrive at a horrifying number of mice!
They climb well and can squeeze through very small gaps. These nibbling nuisances have a compulsive need to gnaw in order to keep their incisor teeth worn down to a constant length.
The average mouse sheds 70 droppings in 24 hours and urinates frequently to mark its territory. Mice are erratic, sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item. They do not need free water to drink as they normally obtain sufficient moisture from their food.
Common throughout Europe, Asia and America, the house mouse is very shy and is not often seen.
Mice may seriously damage all water and gas pipes, electric cables, packaging and woodwork – many instances of electrical fires and floods have been attributed to them.
They also contaminate far more food than they consume and they are capable of carrying many diseases, particularly food poisoning.