Mice in the Atlanta area are usually one of two types- the house mouse and the deer mouse, which is also called the field mouse. The house mouse is small, gray-brown, and has small legs and rounded ears. It is the species that was developed into the laboratory mouse, and the most common species to find in your home. The deer or field mouse is a longer, faster, higher jumping mouse species. It is a different family than the European field mouse. Deer mice have a browner coat and are not found in urban and suburban areas but can infest homes that are surrounded by a lot of forests or fields.
Mice are opportunistic eaters. Mice are typically crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk, though they can be nocturnal if there is too much activity in their feeding grounds during these times. In the wild, mice will eat grains and fruits from plants as well as insects, eggs, and small amphibians like frogs and lizards when they can catch them. They prefer grains and seeds, and will seek them out in barnyards if you free feed livestock.
Mice have a short, almost bald tail with short body hair, color of the hair varies from whitish-grey to dark brown. The average body and head length of a mouse is 2” to 3.5” this is not including the length of the tail, the tail is a little shorter than their body.
Mice are prolific breeders. Females reach sexual maturity just past a month of birth and males in two months. A female mouse may have several litters in her short life-span. Her gestation period is 20-25 days and she may produce four to eight offspring per litter.
Mice are polygamous, so many females can be in a single male mouse territory. Each female can give birth to a litter every six weeks. It is not uncommon for female mice to have 5-10 litters per year.
Mice are territorial, and it is unlikely to find two males in the same area once they have reached maturity. In cages, they will hurt one another when placed together without enough room to define these territories. The size of a territory within a home or in the wild is based on an area big enough to forage without encountering one another and big enough to provide plenty of food. This means that when you have mice in your home, they will not be located in a single group nesting location. Instead, multiple families may have set up different territory areas.
Spring and fall are common times to find a new infestation. In the spring, this is for two reasons: because females are looking for a new nesting location or because a grown litter of young is looking to expand to its own territory. In the fall, the cold nights are a common reason that mice will discover their way into a warm, safe nesting area. Mice prefer to nest in areas that are quiet, low-traffic, warm and secure. Their body is very flexible and they can squeeze through a hole as small as a coin, or about as big around as their skull.
When nesting, mice can be very destructive. They will bring food to their nesting area and leave the food waste from cracked seeds and other items. They urinate and defecate in the area, leaving droppings that come with the risk of diseases like hanta virus. They can shred insulation, paper, cardboard, and clothing to create a nursery for their young. They may chew wires and other structural items to keep their constantly growing rodent teeth short and sharp
Getting rid of mice permanently takes more than one step, which is why it is always helpful to work with a professional who is experienced with mouse removal Atlanta. Though mice respond more easily to DIY trapping than rats or squirrels, trapping a single animal is often not enough to eliminate the problem or prevent it from coming back. If your home is an ideal place for a single mouse or family, then the vacant territory will likely be used again once the scent clears from the marked areas.
When you work with a professional, they will work to discover all of the areas in your home and yard that are attractive to mice. This will include potential food sources that can be better secured as well as the entrances and exits that mice can use to get in and our of your house. Removal is a combination of removing the animals and closing off the access points to your home. A professional can also work to find the places where mice have damaged your home, and alert you to bare wires that can cause fires and other risky items. To learn more, speak with your Atlanta wildlife removal expert.