Did you know...
The house mouse is one of the most widespread and common mammal species.
House mice are excellent climbers and can swim.
Mice have acute hearing, a good sense of taste and smell but poor eye sight.
Mice are incredibly clean and tidy animals.
In their underground homes they have separate areas for food storage latrines etc.
The house mouse is thought to have originated on the steppes of Central Asia from where it has been transported by human beings until it has spread around the world. It is thought to have arrived in Britain about the time of the Iron Age.
Easily recognisable by its pointed snout, small rounded ears and long naked tail, the house mouse is a species often found living in close proximity to humans. Although they are a wild animal, they are often found in human habitation, commercial structures and farm land. In the wild they are found living in crevices in rocks or in burrows. The wild form is usually smaller, with lighter and shorter tails than those living around man.
House mice are normally active at night or around dawn and dusk when they feed mainly on plant matter such as cereals, fruits and berries although insects and other foods are taken. They forage for food close to their nest normally travelling only 3-8 m. in search of food. They are agile creatures using their long tail to balance, their long whiskers to feel their way in the dark and their acute sense of small to locate food. They are also intelligent creatures with complex levels of communication both vocal and olfactory..
Female mice give birth to litters of 3 -15 youngsters after a gestation period of 19-21 days. When conditions are good and food plentiful a female may have up to 5-10 litters a year allowing the mouse population to expand rapidly. Breeding can occur throughout the year in warm buildings but in the wild state breeding stops during the colder months of the year
House mice are regarded as pest animals, fouling and eating human food stores and causing damage to buildings and services by gnawing. They may also carry and transmit several diseases to humans, including salmonella.