The house mouse is the most successful rodent in adapting to live with people. It is found almost anywhere people are, feeding on human food, sheltering in human structures, and reproducing at a remarkable rate. It is the most troublesome and economically important vertebrate pest, contaminating untold millions of dollars worth of food, damaging possessions, and causing electrical fires with its constant gnawing. Play Audio Pause Audio Description One of the most common and widely distributed pests in the world, house mice contaminate stores of food, cause structural and property damage, and spread diseases. The rodents have poor eyesight and heightened senses of smell, touch, and taste to compensate. Since they rarely travel outside an area of 10 to 30 feet once they establish nests, house mice are extremely familiar with their surroundings and notice when baits and strange objects appear in their habitats. As their numbers grow quickly, house mouse infestations must be eradicated at the first signs of activity. Appearance Small and nimble, house mice weigh in at about 0.5 ounces and grow between 8 and 11 inches long, including their tails. Their bodies are covered in light brown to black fur, and their bellies are typically white to buff in color. House mice have pointed noses, tiny black eyes, large ears, and scaly tails. They are capable climbers, jumpers, and swimmers. Habitat Originally from Asia, house mice spread to North America and across the world via international commerce. Now they are found in virtually every part of the world and hold a cosmopolitan distribution, enjoying prominence wherever there is human activity. House mice may nest underground or in an otherwise sheltered location. They build nests out of paper, burlap, and other fibrous materials in and around houses, farms, warehouses, and open fields. Problems Entry Are house mice known to enter homes or yards? Some of the house mouse's favorite places to nest are, in fact, in and around human homes and manmade structures. Human activity provides mice with their favorite foods, including cereal, grains, nuts, fruits, plant seeds and roots, meat, and trash. Additionally, homes with central heating give the rodents warm nesting locations during winter months. Damage Do house mice harm people or property? Rivaled only by rats as the most destructive pest, house mice almost always cause some kind of damage to property or people where infestations are present. The rodents consume about three grams of food each day but destroy much more than that thanks to their nibbling habits. They dig up freshly planted grains, mutilate crops before harvest, gnaw through containers of food in warehouses, and even contaminate packages with their urine and droppings. As they spend a lot of time in dumpsters, sewers, and other filthy locations, house mice are often riddled with pathogens and secondary pests. The rodents have the capacity to spread salmonellosis, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and tapeworms and may carry fleas, ticks, and similar parasites in their fur. Humans contract diseases from mice by coming into contact with or accidentally consuming their urine and feces. House mice are also capable of serious structural damage. Their teeth grow rapidly, and they must gnaw to keep the length under control. This leads to the destruction of wall insulation, stored items like books and paintings, and damage to support beams and walls that worsens over time. House mice also chew on electrical wires, which can lead to shorts and even electrical fires. Control Control and Safety Unfortunately, there's no fool-proof method of exclusion that guards against house mouse infestations. Property owners often have to employ multiple techniques to reduce the possibility of attracting the rodents. Some easily implemented and helpful activities include cleaning homes regularly, sealing cracks in building foundations, eliminating clutter in attics and basements, keeping food stored in airtight and rodent-proof containers, and removing collections of debris in yards. Trapping and Removal House mice aren't very sneaky, and infestations can be detected early. Once the first signs of activity appear, property owners should contact the professionals at Critter Control to deal with the problem. Our trained technicians have the tools and extensive knowledge of house mouse behavior to quickly and safely remove infestations. We can help you get rid of mice problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837. Critter Control of Virginia Beach Service Area Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Williamsburg, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton This franchise is independently licensed and operated by ADAY Services, Inc. dba Critter Control of Virginia Beach.