Field Mice Facts: Why They Want In Your Home
By: Rita Stadler
Who can resist a tiny little fur ball with big eyes and oversized ears? We certainly can’t, so we’ve put together everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the field mouse, AKA the deer mouse or Peromyscus Maniculatus. The term field mouse is a common name that encompasses many small rodents, but the most common is the deer mouse.
When the temperatures outside start dropping, you may notice these visitors trying to take shelter in your nice warm home. Just like other types of pests, they are looking for a place to wait out the winter months. These small rodents have an incredible ability to squeeze into small places, chew through hard materials, and even climb, giving them plenty of options to get into your house.
Learn more about what they look like, what they like, and how to prevent field mouse infestations from happening inside your home.
What Does a Deer Mouse Look Like?
Close in size to a house mouse, deer mice are small creatures that typically weigh less than an ounce and measure around 4.5 inches to 9 inches. Their fur color ranges from light brown to grey-brown, with a light-colored underbelly and feet. They have large ears relative to their small and their ears do not have fur. A common trait to look for is their large, black eyes.
Field mice try to avoid anything bigger than them — unfortunately for them, that’s just about everything. They have to rely on their senses so they don’t become lunch for something bigger. They have a good sense of smell, and strong odors can really mess up their sense of smell to where they can’t tell if they are safe from a predator.
Here’s more information on this species.
Field mice follow a ‘whole foods’ diet. They try to stick to seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Sometimes they will eat bugs or anything they can find around them. People with a green thumb or bird enthusiasts are a great match for these pests — they always seem to have some extra seeds sitting around that these critters can feed on.
This type of mouse also likes to store food. Male mice get the attention of females by singing, and once they find each other, they are going to have a lot of mouths to feed. They always store away extra caches of food in lots of different places so they never go hungry during long, difficult winters.
Deer mice love the great outdoors! They enjoy farms, fields of wildflowers, and sometimes even branch out of fields to enjoy a nice patch of woods. They dislike cold weather because they are so small and can’t stand up to extreme temperatures. That’s why they always try to move inside during the winter. When it gets really cold, they sometimes group together to stay warm.
Once they’re inside your house, you can find these pests creating nests behind boxes tucked away in the garage, dusty attics, behind walls, inside cabinets, or even inside the pages of a book. They just want a safe, warm, comfy, cozy place to call home. They feel safest in places that are quiet and undisturbed.
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How to Get Rid of Field Mice
If there are signs of mice activity around your home, it’s important for homeowners to take action. Field mice are especially concerning because they can transmit serious diseases like Lyme Disease and Hantavirus. They can also cause damages to your property by chewing through different materials.
Here are some prevention tips to consider to help keep these pests away from your home:
- Keep your gardens, compost, and trash cans away from the side of your house
- Fix any holes on your roof or in exterior walls
- Seal any gaps around entryways or other possible entry points you find
- Clean long term storage areas often
- Clean up any possible food sources like crumbs
To help with getting rid of these pests and preventing them from coming back, consider using EarthKind’s botanical mouse repellent, Stay Away® Rodent. This pest control product uses a mix of essential oils and plant fibers to produce a smell that’s offensive to rodents, but not to humans.