Some people cannot tell a field mouse from a house mouse apart. You can recognize the field mouse by its fur which is sandy brown in color with a lighter hued belly. It has a long tail and a pointed snout. Its’ eyes, hairy ears and hind feet are bigger than those of its cousin the house mouse.
As their name suggests, field mice will mostly be found outdoors. The field mice will look for warm places to move into when the weather starts getting cold and that means your cozy home unfortunately becomes quite an ideal place to ride out the winter.
When they infiltrate your home they will build nests in walls, under appliances, pantry, attics and kitchen. Pantry and the kitchen are often more susceptible to their best building because of their proximity to food sources.
The field mice are quite destructive. Many fires have been attributed to these rodents. That is because they are known to chew on everything including electric wire plastic insulators leaving them naked and ready to spark at any time.
Field mice will contaminate surfaces, kitchen counters tops and food with their fecal matter, urine and saliva. They are a vector for diseases like salmonellosis, tularemia, hantavirus and tick borne diseases. The infection risk factor spikes up alarmingly as the mice population in your home grows.
What do field mice eat
Mice will gnaw through just about anything wood, drywall, rubber, insulation, soft concrete and even aluminum. They eat grains, seeds and fruits. Mice eat up to 20 times a day. The food they contaminate is more than they eat. Contaminated food has to be disposed of because Ingesting it will make you sick. Food items that have been contaminated should be thrown in your outside garbage.
A female mouse is sexually mature from 4 to 7 weeks. She has a gestation period of 21 days and will birth a litter of 8 to 12 babies. A female mouse can give birth every month. So their ability to grow their population is insane if left unchecked.
How they access your home
Mice possess the amazing ability to get through spaces that seem impossible. These rodents are very agile, they can swim, climb and jump enabling them to access your home through the toilet, broken drains, gaps around windows, doorways, cracks in your outer walls and gaps in the foundation. Other points of entry are chimneys, where utility wires and pipes go through the wall and space between the roof and walls.
You will know you have mice if you spot, mice droppings, nesting material and frequently hear scurrying noises at night.
To clean up mice urine and fecal matter take precautions against getting infected with the diseases transmitted by mice. Always wear a mask and latex gloves. Spray a mixture of bleach on the affected area. Give it 10 minutes to seep in and then wipe it with paper towels and dispose them properly. Have the whole area cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.
Ridding your home of mice
You can rid your home of mice by doing the following:
- Seal any cracks and crevices that a mouse can crawl into
- Cover gaps and openings in the foundation.
- Sort out any opening or gaps around vents, utilities and pipes.
- Ensure windows, doors and screens fit tightly.
- Meat and grains should be stored in resalable airtight containers.
- Make sure your compound is clean and free of debris that might offer mice hiding places.
- Use mouse traps strategically placed in the house and yard.
If the you have tried the above and the mice population seems to be growing, it time to reach out to a pest control professional for more effective and safe solutions.