A Look at Mouse Habitats

There are dozens of different types of mouse species. There are a notable number of mouse species that prefer living in relatively close proximity to human populations. This attraction exists because living near people provides mice with easier access to:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter

Natural Mouse Habitats

As mentioned a moment ago, there are a multitude of different types of mouse species. Thus, mice can be found living in a wide range of habitats that include:

  • Fields
  • Forests
  • Deserts
  • Yards

Depending on the climate, even those mouse species that are accustomed to residing out of doors will be attracted to manmade shelters when the seasons change and the weather chills. As a consequence, a home or business owner has a practical need to understand the habitat preferences of mice that take up living in a manmade structure.

Where Mice Nest in a Home or Business

Mice have a tendency to nest in locations in a home or business that are more isolated. This provides them with a sense of security. When possible, they will also attempt to live near food sources in a home or business. Examples of spaces in a residence of business that mice are apt to nest include:

  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • Between walls
  • Above false ceilings
  • Crawl spaces
  • Under large appliances
  • Under cabinets

Damage Caused by Mice in Homes or Businesses

When mice end up nesting in homes or businesses, they have the potential for causing a considerable amount of damage. As mentioned a moment ago, mice gnaw on physical structures and objects in or around them. Mice will chew or gnaw on electrical wires and items associated with electrical panels. Gnawing on wires ends up exposing them. This can result in a fire. In fact, about 25 percent of house fires are caused by rodents gnawing on electrical wires and related objects. A similar percentage of businesses also experience fires for the same types of reasons.

Gnawing by mice can also result in structural damage to a residence or business if it is permitted to go on for a long time. The reality is that because of the reclusive nature of these types of rodents, their presence in a residence may not be detected for an extended period of time.

In addition to structural and other types of physical damage that can result from a mouse infestation, this type of situation can also set the stage for potential health hazards. Mice and mice droppings can carry what are known as dangerous pathogens. Pathogens are biological substances like viruses and bacteria that are capable of causing disease, including potentially fatal illness.

Mouse droppings present a particularly dangerous risk. When droppings dry, there are pathogens that will continue to live in feces and will do so for an extended period of time. Moreover, mouse droppings crumble very easily when they dry. When they crumble, droppings dust that may contain dangerous pathogens become airborne. This dust can be inhaled by people. This process can result in a person being infected by a virus such as the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

Signs of Mouse Infestation in a Home or Business

Armed with a basic understanding of different mouse habitats and living preferences, you need to have an understanding of some of the more common signs that you are experiencing a mouse infestation in your residence or business.

The presence of mouse droppings is one of the most commonplace signs of a mouse infestation. Droppings are not only found in nesting areas but elsewhere in a residence or business as well.

Mice are animals that forage for food, shelter, and nesting supplies. As a result, mice will venture around a home or business. Mice will venture from their nesting spaces to different locations in a building in search of food and other items. During the foraging process, mice will leave droppings as they move about.  Common places in which mouse droppings will be found include the area along the bottom of walls. Mice elect to travel next to walls as a means of providing a sense of security and protection.

Another sign of a mice infestation is the presence of gnaw marks. Mice will gnaw on the physical structure of a home or business as well as objects contained in it. Mice gnaw because their incisors continue to grow throughout their lives. In addition, they gnaw on things to open passageways and in order to access food and other materials.

Other signs of a mouse infestation are:

  • Scratching sounds
  • Scurrying sounds
  • Squeals
  • Urine odor
  • Seeing a mouse

Mice are primarily nocturnal animals. Thus, you will not likely hear sounds or see their presence during the day.