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Mouse Climbing Abilities & Where Exactly They Can Fit

By: Rita Stadler

Mice enter your home for many different reasons including safety, warmth, and food. And once they’re in, they often make their way to the darkest corners of your home like dryer vents, attics, and inside your walls. 

By learning just how easily mice can climb, jump and squeeze through small holes in search of food, homeowners can better understand how to prevent them from potentially infesting their house. This is especially important since they are somewhat nocturnal and will make most of their movements when you’re sleeping. 

Keep reading to learn more about their impressive abilities that help get them where they need to go.

Can Mice Climb & Jump?

Yes, mice are excellent climbers and jumpers. They can easily climb up stairs, furniture, landscape features, countertops, and even most vertical surfaces. If the interior or exterior walls have a slightly rough surface such as wood, stucco, or panels, these creatures can use their grip to make their way up. Smooth vertical surfaces don’t offer anything for mice to grip which can cause problems when trying to climb. Pipes, wires, and ropes are frequently used as travel pathways. What looks like a lovely climbing ivy to you looks like an invitation to a mouse. If they are determined to be inside your home they’ll find a way to use any crack, crevice, or rough surface to climb to get there. 

These critters can easily jump distances of two feet onto surfaces like tables, countertops, and bookshelves. That’s why once you see a mouse, never assume there’s a surface they can’t reach. You’re better off cleaning all the surfaces around your house to prevent the spread of disease.
Mice don’t seem to have a fear of heights either and enjoy exploring the areas near their nest. They travel and climb surfaces for a few reasons: 

  • To search for food
  • Looking for nesting materials
  • Escape danger like a predator (or house cat).

Although mice can climb into your bed or scale kitchen countertops, they actually want to avoid humans at all costs and are only looking to fulfill a basic need like finding food or shelter. 

It’s difficult to know exactly how or when these pests enter your living space because they can chew through your drywall and fit through the tiniest crevices without you knowing. But if you’re curious how they made their way all the way up to your attic – they jumped and climbed!

 

Do Mice Have Bones?

Yes, mice have bones. No, mouse skeletons don’t “collapse,” they are just very small and effective home invaders. An average house mouse is between five and eight inches long (including tail) and weighs only an ounce or less. A mouse’s skull is the biggest part of its body; if its head can fit through an opening, the rest of the body will fit as well. Unlike humans, they have a sloping clavicle, or collarbone, which makes squeezing through small spaces easy.

Their whiskers can sense if there is enough space for the rest of the body to follow. That’s one reason they always go nose first instead of backing up in reverse. They rely on their sense of touch and smell to navigate tricky spaces.

How Small of a Hole Can They Fit Through?

sharpened pencil

Mice are so flexible, they can squeeze through an opening that is just the size of a pencil. Keep that in mind and do an inspection of your home to find potential entry points. Gaps along the edges of doors or openings for plumbing and utility lines offer an easy way in for these critters. Inspecting the outside of your home at night, with all of the lights on inside may make it easier to notice small openings because you will see light shining through.

Mice also enter homes, buildings, and other structures through the roof. Dryer vents, chimneys, and HVAC conduits can all provide easy access for rodents into your home. Block potential entry points with silicone caulk, steel wool, wire mesh, or hardware cloth.

Knowing the small spaces they can use to enter a home will make it easier for you to find and assess mouse problems and infestations. 

Keep Them Away 

If you don’t like the thought of mice climbing, jumping, and squeezing into small spaces around your home, it’s important to take steps towards prevention. Sealing up any holes that can be an entry point for a pest, eliminating food sources and clutter that could entice them, and using a botanical repellent are all pest control methods that could help.