House Mouse

(Mus domesticus)
House Mouse

Habitat

Common in a wide range of urban and rural buildings all over UK. Mainly a house dweller, it lives very little out of doors where it does not compete well with small external mammals like wood mice. It is not found in sewers.

Biology

The house mouse is a prolific breeder, they reach sexual maturity within 35 days. Pregnancy lasts an average of 19 days. There is about 8 litters a year with an average of 6 young per litter. A mouse requires about 3g of food per day and 1.5ml of water although this can be extracted from the food they eat. They carry disease, the worst being Salmonella, via their droppings of which on average is 50 - 80 per day. Over a 6-month period a pair of mice will eat about 1.8kg of food, produce 18,000 droppings, and 355ml of urine.

Severity

Serious pest species. Contamination of goods and machinery. Destruction of domestic and commercial stock. Serious disease carrier.

Solution

Proofing of premises to prevent access. Good hygiene standards. Use of rodenticides or traps. Only to be undertaken by qualified technicians.

Interesting facts

House mice can become pregnant within 48 hours of producing a litter. Their tails have scales that help with climbing. The name mouse comes from "mus", a Sanskrit word that means thief.