Some people like to keep a mouse as a pet. This isn’t a bad idea, as domestic mice can be playful and fun for kids. But when it comes to wild field mice, they aren’t nearly the same. The term “field mouse” can refer to many different species, but generally are the deer mouse or white footed mouse. They’re small and can easily hide, and can be a true annoyance with they way they chew things up. Your electrical wires, furniture, yard – you name it. If you’re dealing with field mice, you’ll want an idea of how to get rid of them right away.

Facts About Field Mice

Something that’s interesting about these little rodents is that they’re similar to humans in the way their minds and bodies work, which is why they get used as test subjects in labs. Want to know more?

Field mouseHere’s some facts about field mice:

  • Female mice are called does.
  • Males are called bucks.
  • Baby mice are called pinkies, for their pink all-over color.
  • Some mice are endangered, like the Alabama beach mouse.
  • They can jump nearly 18 inches into the air.
  • Field mice can communicate using regular sounds as well as ultrasonic sounds.
  • Their heart can beat at 632 beats per minute.
  • A mouse can be stung several times by a scorpion unharmed.

If you want to know more facts about mice, go here.

How big are they?

A field mouse can be as large as 7 inches or as small as a few inches, not including the length of the tail.

As for colors, most often they have white bellies with brown or gray backs. Some mice have tails that are as long as their entire body. In general, rats are bigger than mice.

Field Mouse

Field mice actual size

Is it a mouse, or is it a rat? Some people can’t seem to tell. If you want to know the difference between rats vs mice, click here.

Their lifespan might not be what you expect

A domesticated mouse pet you’ll get at a pet store can live for several years. As for a mouse in the wild, it’s different.

Field mice can chew through furniture and clothing.

Usually, a field mouse has a lifespan ranging from 1 to 2.5 years. This shorter duration has to do with natural predators and a harsher environment than domesticated mice that live in a cage in a home.

How to identify one

You’ll recognize a field mouse by its large, dark eyes, and thin, big ears. Their tail is as long as their body. You’ll find them mostly in a grassy field, but sometimes they’ll be in your house if there’s as easy entrance and exit.

The diet of a field mouse

Unlike you’ll see in comics or movies, mice don’t have a diet made of cheese. In fact, that’s pretty low on their list when it comes to food. What makes up a field mouse’s diet?

  • Seeds,
  • Fruit,
  • Plants,
  • Snails,
  • Insects,
  • Animal remains,
  • Meat.

No, mice don’t only eat cheese. In fact, they’ve got a bigger diet than you think. So, what do field mice eat? Go here to find out.

Where do field mice live?

The name “Field Mouse” is in place for a reason, as they like to live in fields where food sources are plenty. But you’ll also find them in forested areas, and country sides.

A field mouse can also get into your house, either for food or warmth when the weather begins to get colder. They’ll usually made a home inside your walls where you can’t see them, underneath your house, or in the garage.

Field mouse infographic

Behaviors

A field mouse has certain characteristics about them that will distinguish them from many other animals. Not just the way they look, although their cartoonish eyes and huge ears do make them distinctive.

Activity

Field mice are mobile and active at night, meaning that they’re mainly nocturnal creatures. During the day, they’ll hide in their burrow and sleep the day away until ready to come out again. Because of this, they make excellent prey for other nocturnal hunters, like owls.

Reproduction

Female field mice can begin to breed at only 35 days old and have litters of about 5 to 6 babies each. Breeding occurs most commonly between March and October, and each female can give birth to 2 to 4 litters each year.

Field Mice Reproduction

Field Mice Reproduction
Warning:
Don’t try and capture a field mouse for a pet. Not only are they not as friendly as store-bought mice, they are notorious for carrying diseases that they can transmit to you in a bite or excrement. They might not live as long as you’d think, either, since they’re natural way to live is out in the wild and not in a cage.

Because of how short and frequent the reproduction cycle is, a field mice population can grow out of control fairly quickly. If some decide to make your area home, you could face an infestation sooner than you think.

How many babies do mice have? Click here to find out.

They’re social

Mice are surprisingly social creatures. They’ll live in burrows together with other field mice, communicating everything from reproduction, aggression, friendship, and even sadness. Researchers have found that a female and male mouse go best together, while a male mouse doesn’t do well alone with another male. Two females, on the other hand, seem to get along just fine.

A field mouse isn’t the only type there is. There’s actually many different types of mice out there you’ll probably see. More details on different kinds of mice can be found here.

What to Do When You’ve Got an Infestation

There are three reasons you’ll want to do something about a field mouse infestation:

  1. Protect your possessions: Mice will gnaw and chew on many household items like electrical wiring, couches, rugs, and clothing. This isn’t because they’re eating it; it’s actually because they’re using the pieces they chew off to build a nest.
  2. Disease: Mice carry disease. Hantavirus, Lyme disease, and Salmonella are all illnesses that are carried by rodents like field mice.
  3. Food: Field mice will be able to tell where your kitchen is and will head to it to forage for food while you sleep. If they get into your pantry, you’ll have to throw away any food they’ve touched which can be expensive – and make sure you throw it out, as mice can contaminate your food with the above-mentioned diseases.

You can get rid of field mice by plugging up any holes they’re getting into your house through, or by extermination methods like traps. There’s also poisons you can buy that are effective and kill any mice that might invade your home.

Mouse droppings everywhere

A sure-fire way to tell if you’ve got a field mouse problem is by their droppings. These mice have droppings with pointed ends that are black or brown and about ¼ inch long. It is mostly by a field mouse’s droppings that a disease will be spread, whether it’s in food or on a prep surface. If you don’t clean up mouse droppings on your surfaces properly, disease can stay on that surface and be transmitted to you.

Field mice droppingsHere’s how to make sure any surface contaminated by a mouse stays sanitary:

  • Use a paper towel to pick up any droppings you see and put them into a small trash bag, then bring that bag out to the outside garbage can.
  • Use a strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral cleaning solution to scrub the surface for at least one minute. Rinse with water.
  • Place any used towels directly into the washing machine, and throw away any paper towels into the garbage right away.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap.

Along with droppings, field mouse urine can also carry disease. If you touch any, do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose until you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

If you notice a field mice problem on your property, make sure you take action before their population quickly grows out of control. Not only it is better for your health, it can save your possessions, and give you some peace of mind that there aren’t little rodents running your household while you sleep.

You can find further details of Mice Control here.