Mice are one of the big cats (pardon my pun) at the table when it comes to pests that people have to deal with inside their homes. They have been called the most important rodent pest in the country by experts, and infestations are not uncommon. The control of house mice makes up around 68 percent of all rodent pest management done by pest control companies. Discovering a mouse inside your house is a pretty common experience, due to the fact that these little guys thrive inside human homes. Here are some of the reasons mice is such a master at surviving inside our homes.
The house mouse has been called the “mammalian weed” due to its incredible ability to survive in many different kinds of habitats. It ranks second on the list of most widely distributed species, only beaten out by us humans. The house mouse is easily able to adapt to pretty much any environment, with them being found in inhospitable places like coal mines that are 1,800 feet underground and even the freezing Antarctica. Their tiny bodies are also helpful in their survival. They can enter homes through the smallest of cracks and doesn’t require much space to call home once inside. Their small size also helps them escape the notice of most oblivious humans. This small size in conjunction with their secretive or “cryptobiotic”behavior help them go undetected inside homes. The house mouse is active at night while humans are sleeping, and they move very quickly and quietly while going about their business. This is why infestations often go unnoticed until there are multiple mice inhabiting a house.
The house mouse has more characteristics that make it so darn good at hiding from us than just its size and stealth. They will eat just about anything, switching to whatever is available at a moments notice if they see an opportunity to take food. They also don’t need much water to survive, with a kidney system similar to the desert rat’s, which allows it to actually conserve or produce water when it is unable to find any. The house mouse is also a reproductive nightmare, and can pop out more baby mice at an alarming rate and in conditions as inhospitable as a meat locker. This is why they can proliferate at very high rates in our nice, cozy homes. The house mouse is also such a huge pest because of our own attitudes towards them. We portray mice as cute and lovable in children’s cartoons. Our own tolerant attitude toward mice means we don’t exactly prioritize their eradication in our homes.