Widely considered a major pest by homeowners, mice are actually fairly intelligent and social. This explains in part how they so often gain entry to homes and once there, continue to proliferate quite rapidly. Though you may not want them infesting your attic, basement, walls or rafters, these rodents are quite fascinating little animals.
Mice are determined little explorers, masters of squeezing through tiny crevices or balancing on thin pieces of rope or wire. They can even climb up rough vertical surfaces, survive falls of 3 to 4 meters without suffering injury, jump almost 18 inches and swim expertly. It’s easy to see how they can ferret out an entry to many homes and garages.
Though they are associated with dirty, pest-ridden spaces, mice themselves are actually clean, organized and tidy as far as their own living quarters are concerned. Their homes, whether underground or within a structure, have specific areas for food storage, shelter and toileting. Homebody types, mice like to stay close to their nest and seldom venture further than 3 to 8 meters in search of food. They are very territorial and like to have a large area they consider their own, hopefully not within your house!
Tiny as they are, mice have been found to have several forms of communication with other mice. While wild mice are timid around humans, they are very social with other mice and are even thought to have different facial expressions to communicate different emotions. The sounds they use to communicate may be audible to humans or may be ultrasonic.
Mice’s whiskers are amazingly sensitive, helping them sense rough and smooth edges, changes in temperature and wind direction. This helps them determine changes in ground terrain. Mice like to sleep during the day and play or forage at night, which is why unhappy homeowners can hear the little critters rustling around in attics and eaves after dark.
Not Just Cheese
Contrary to cartoon depictions, mice are actually omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat. The house mouse, as many homeowners can attest, will eat just about anything it can find. Mice eat an amazing 15 to 20 times a day, which explains why they prefer to live where food sources are readily accessible, including human homes. They can even be little cannibals, eating other mice if food is scarce.
If your home has a mouse population, you may notice chewed up books, insulation, wire and papers. The mice are not eating these items; rather they are using the tiny, chewed up pieces as material to make their nests. Female mice mate for the first time at around the age of 4 to 7 weeks, carry the young for 19 to 21 days and may give birth to four to 12 babies, known as pinkies or pups. A female mouse can have a new litter every three weeks, meaning a mouse population in your home can increase rapidly.
While there are many fascinating facts about mice, you probably want to keep your home free of these pesky little creatures. To talk to a professional, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344. The experts at Clegg’s can help you identify any potential entry points to provide protection against an invasion of these pesky little creatures.
Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse