protected, where mice will eat more than at other
combination of grease, urine, and dirt and may
places. Mice tend to hold grain kernels, such as oats
become quite conspicuous.
or wheat, nibbling on it like corn on the cob. They
Look for many small drops of urine.
often drop portions of the kernels as they get smaller.
Use a blacklight. Urine stains will
fluoresce under ultraviolet light.
Mice are territorial and seldom travel more than
Like rats, mice produce greasy smears where dirt
30 feet from their nest. Their range is much smaller
and oil from their fur mark pipes and beams. House
than the rats' range of 100 to 150 feet. When food is
mouse spots are not as easy to detect
nearby, mice may restrict their activity to a few feet.
Expect markings to cover a smaller area
Males average slightly larger ranges than do the
than those made by rats.
Most house mouse runways are indistinct trails
House mice may nest in any dark, sheltered
free of dust but not readily detectable.
location. Nests are constructed of fibrous, shredded
materials such as paper, cloth, burlap, insulation, or
cotton and generally look like a loosely woven ball.
Look for footprints or tail marks on
They are approximately four inches in diameter.
dusty surfaces or on mud.
Outdoors, house mice sometimes dig and nest in
Use a nontoxic tracking dust to help to
determine the presence of house mice
The small range of mice, the way they feed, and
within buildings (see Chapter 2, Rats).
their food preferences are the characteristics that set
house mice apart from rats. Keep these in mind when
controlling mice. Many failures in mouse control can
Recent gnawings on wood are light in color,
be blamed on an applicator using rat-control
turning darker with age.
Look for enlarged cracks beneath doors.
Look for small tooth marks. [Such
evidence frequently helps to distinguish
between mice and rats.]
Look for wood chips with a consistency
Sounds are common at night where large numbers
like coarse sawdust around baseboards,
of mice are present.
doors, basement windows and frames,
Listen for squeaks, scrambling and
and kitchen cabinets.
sounds of gnawing.
Mice are often active in daylight and this may not
A house mouse produces about 70 droppings per
indicate a high population as it does with rats.
day. Fresh droppings are not usually as soft in texture
Use a powerful flashlight or spotlight at
as rat droppings and in a few days become quite hard.
night in warehouses and food plants to
Mouse droppings are frequently the first evidence that
confirm house mouse presence.
mice are infesting. Large cockroaches, bats, and other
species of mice such as deer mice (Peromyscus sp.)
and meadow mice (Microtus sp.), may produce
Look in garages, attics, basements,
droppings similar to house mice.
closets, and other storage places.
Look along runways, by food near
Be alert to fine shredded paper or other
shelters, and in other places mice may
fibrous materials; these are common
House mice occasionally make small mounds
Follow up when cats and dogs paw
known as "urinating pillars." These consist of a
excitedly at a kitchen cabinet door, the
Module Three Chapter 3, Pg 4