“Wild mice” come in a range of colors. The most common coloration of mice in the United States at this juncture in time is brown (in different shades). Typically, these mice have brown hair on top and white bellies. Wild mice also come in a range of other colors including gray, silver, and black. The focus of this article is an examination of what are black mice.
A Misconception About Black Mice
Time and again, people make the mistake of stating that these is no distinct sub-species known as “black mice.” While that was true to a point, there is in fact a recognized sub-species of mouse referred to by scientific researchers as black mice. More on this is discussed in a moment.
At this time in the wild, in many areas there technically are likely to be two types of black mice. These are the mice many people note are not a unique sub-species. However, these black mice are no longer alone in the environment. There is another population of black mice that are distinct from other sub-species of this rodent.
The Laboratory Creation of Specialized Black Mice
There is something of a splitting of – mouse – hairs when it comes to making a point between historically wild house mice that have developed black coats and those black mice that are laboratory creations. Nonetheless, there are a few important behavioral differences between these two types of black-colored mice that are worth noting. This is important because if you have a mouse infestation you need to address, understanding behavioral patterns unique to a type of mouse can be important in eliminating the mice from the premises.
The strain of mouse which today is a distinct type was bred in the lab at the Bussey Institution at Harvard University. This strain was developed as the result of persistent inbreeding. The strain of mouse technically is known as C57BL.
The proverbial “claim to fame” of this mouse is that this sub-species accounts for 5/6 of all mice shipped to labs in the United States. The C57BL black mouse is the type of mouse on board the International Space Station. In addition, this mouse is the second mammal to have its entire genome published.
For various reasons, there are now C57BL mice that are “free” in the open environment. There is no way to determine how many black mice are part of this subspecies or cohort. With that said, this cohort of mice does have some behavioral and other features that set them apart from other kinds of mice.
The C57BL is more robust that many other types of mice. In addition, this type of black mouse has sharper hearing and keener eyesight. These are attributes that theoretically will make this type of black mouse better able to protect itself, including a wild environment or when taking up residence in a person’s home or business.
Identify the Presence of Mice in Your Residence
There are a number of proverbial telltale signs associated with mice in your home, including black mice. One of the primary indicators that you’ve a mouse infestation is the presence of droppings. You are most apt to see mouse droppings along walls and in some out of the way locations in your residence. Mice defecate while they are moving. Thus, you are likely to see a trail of mouse droppings along pathways mice are using to forage for food and get back to where they are nesting in your home.
Other signs of mouse infestation include gnaw or bite marks on walls and objects in your home. In the evening and nighttime hours you may also hear the sounds of mice scurrying in your walls and in the attic. You may hear mice squeal once in a while as well.
Addressing a Black Mouse Infestation in Your Home
If you have a black mouse infestation in your home, or any type of mouse infestation, you likely will be best served seeking assistance from a professional to eliminate these rodents from your residence. Once the infestation is addressed, you also need to address the issue of mouse droppings left behind.
Mouse droppings can be significantly hazardous. They can contain viruses or bacteria that have the potential for causing serious even fatal illness. This includes the hantavirus. Hantavirus can result in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. About 30 percent of people who develop this syndrome die. Those who do recover are said to do so spontaneously. There is no recognized treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
The ideal remedy for black mice droppings, or those associated with any rodent, is to seek professional biohazard cleanup, also known as biohazard remediation. This type of experience intervention ensures that any biohazard associated with black mouse droppings is thoroughly and safely addressed.