Photo of a heating vent grate by Decor Adventures/Flickr Creative Commons.
1. House mice only need a ¼ inch opening to enter a house, according to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. The holes in the heating vent grate pictured above are big enough for a full-sized, adult house mouse to squeeze through. A house mouse can squeeze through cracks in a baseboard, or small holes around plumbing pipes. The best way to prevent house mice from entering your house is to seal all holes.
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Photo of a house mouse by surprise truck/Flickr Creative Commons.
2. A house mouse lives near his nest. According to the University of Kentucky Extension Service, house mice forage for food not more than 10 to 25 feet from their nest. That means that if you notice mouse droppings consistently in part of your home, house mice have a nest nearby.
Photo of a house mouse eating seeds by Big Dubya/Flickr Creative Commons.
3. House mice do not like to eat cheese. House mice prefer to eat grains, seeds, and meat. If you want to bait a house mouse, cheese will be less effective than peanut butter, seeds, or a small piece of bacon.
Photo of a cat chasing a mouse by Luke Hayfield Photography/Flickr Creative Commons.
4. Cats are not an effective way to control house mice. While a house cat might catch an occasional house mouse, an integrated pest management strategy will work better to control mice. An integrated pest management strategy for an issue with house mice involves sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and possibly rodenticide. It's not safe to apply rodenticide on your own.
Photo of a house mouse on an oven by Nagic Madzik/Flickr Creative Commons.
5. An adult house mouse is small and agile. Adult house mice are about five to seven inches long, including their tails. They weigh about half an ounce. Incredibly agile, they are able to climb almost any textured vertical surface. That's why you'll find house mouse droppings in hard-to-reach places -- these critters can go almost anywhere.
Chaya Kurtz edits Networx.com. Email her: editor at networx dot com.
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