short trips away from the nest and begin taking solid
It is difficult to mouse-proof a building or control
mice without understanding their physical capabilities:
For their size they are excellent
While mice primarily are active at night, some
jumpers, with some of the more agile
day activity occurs. Movements of house mice are
individuals jumping 12 inches (30.5 cm)
largely determined by temperature, food, and hiding
high from the floor onto an elevated flat
places. Home ranges of mice tend to be smallest where
living conditions are good.
They can jump against a wall or flat
Mice tend to travel over their entire territory
vertical surface using it as a spring
daily, investigating each change or new object that
board to gain additional height.
may be placed there. They are very aggressive. Unlike
They can run up almost any vertical
rats, they show no fear of new objects. They dart from
surface, from wood and brick walls to
place to place, covering the same route over and over
metal girders, pipes, weathered sheet
again. This behavior can be used to advantage in
metal, wire mesh and cables without
control programs. Disturbing the environment at the
much difficulty if the surface is rough.
beginning of a control program by moving boxes,
They can run horizontally along
shelves, pallets, and other objects can improve the
insulated electrical type wires, small
effectiveness of traps, glue boards, and bait. Mice will
ropes, and the like, with ease.
investigate the changed territory thoroughly.
They can squeeze through openings
slightly more that l/4 inch (6 mm) high.
Senses of Mice
They can easily travel for some distance
Like rats, mice have relatively poor vision, and
hanging upside down from l/4-inch (6
are also color blind. They rely heavily on smell, taste,
mm) hardware mesh.
touch and hearing. Mice use their keen sense of smell
They are capable swimmers, although
to locate food items and to recognize other individuals,
they generally do not take to water as
especially those of the opposite sex. Taste perception
well as do rats and tend not to dive
in mice is good also. Mice use their acute hearing to
below the surface.
detect and escape danger.
They can walk or run along ledges too
An important sensory factor with mice is touch.
narrow for rats.
Like rats, mice use long, sensitive whiskers near the
They can jump from a height of 8 feet
nose and the guard hairs on the body as tactile sensors
(2.5 meters) to the floor.
to enable them to travel in the dark, pressing against
They can survive at a constant 24F.
walls and boxes, scurrying through burrows.
(-30C.) temperature for ten
Mice also have an excellent sense of balance. A
mouse's ability to quickly carry out actions or
They have been reported 1,800 feet
movements is governed by constant practice of
below the ground in a coal mine.
sequences of muscular movements [sometimes referred
They are quick to explore any physical
to as the kinesthetic sense]: a subconscious recording
change in their environment.
of a series of movements necessary to go from point
A to point B. This activity occurs from stimulation of
sensory nerve endings in muscles, tendons, and joints.
Food and Water
The result allows mice to quickly escape danger.
House mice prefer cereals over other items,
although they will feed on a wide variety of foods.
Mice sometimes search for foods high in fat and
Mice do not fear new objects as do rats. As
protein, such as lard, butter, nuts, bacon, and meat.
mentioned earlier, they quickly detect new objects in
Sweets, including chocolate, are taken at times. Mice
their territory and investigate them. They will
get much of their water from moisture in their food,
but they will drink if water is readily available.
immediately enter bait stations and sample a new food
(although they may only nibble on a small amount).
Mice are nibblers, feeding 20 or more times
They will also investigate traps and glue boards.
during evening rounds. Mice have two main feeding
periods, at dusk and just before dawn. In any territory,
Control programs against mice often have success
there will be one or two feeding sites, dark and
early [just the opposite of rat programs].
Module Three Chapter 3, Pg 3