House Mouse – Mus musculus
The house mouse originated in Western Asia and migrated with man across Europe during the Bronze Age and the species is now widespread throughout Britain.
They live close to man in gardens, farm buildings, houses and factory sites. Further afield they can be found wherever food is plentiful – cereals, bread and fats being their main foods. Their incisor teeth have open roots, allowing them to keep growing throughout their life. They have a razor sharp front edge and are also self-sharpening, so that they can gnaw through even the hardest materials. They can jump high and climb vertical wooden surfaces. In buildings and houses they can be a pest as they frequently gnaw through plastic and electrical cables.
|Size:||Length: 7 – 10 cm plus a tail of the same length. Long ear 1.3 cm.|
|Description:||Dark grey on the back and slightly paler below with a naked tail.|
|Habitat:||House mice often live outside in the summer, retreating to the shelter of buildings in the cold weather. Inside they nibble their way into cavity walls and spaces between floors.|
|Young:||Up to 10 litters a year of 5 – 7 helpless young. Gestation period is 19 – 21 days. Can breed in 10 – 12 weeks. The average life is 18 weeks.|
|Nest:||May be built of many materials such as sacking, wool or linen, but shredded newspaper is commonly used. The nests are preferably placed in a hole near stores of Mans food.|
|Diet:||They drink very little but eat almost everything man eats. They contaminate more food than they eat.|
|Population:||Pre-breeding season estimated to be 5.4 million.|