House mice can live and breed in houses, buildings and other structures such as garden sheds, which give them protection from cold and wet weather, and where they can access food, water and harbourage. Although an abundant supply of food is preferable, house mice can survive on relatively poor diets, eating between 3 to 4 grams of food a day and can survive without access to free water, obtaining their daily needs from their food.
The ideal environments for house mice are buildings with dead spaces and harbourages free from disturbance and close to food and water. They are extremely good climbers, and can climb walls, pipes, cavities and ducting. They have very hard front teeth (incisors), which can penetrate materials as hard as concrete, lead and aluminium. This can result in expensive damage and even
fires when electric cables are damaged.
House mice like to know the area where they live and like to familiarise themselves with their home surroundings; but dependant upon other physical factors, this activity is often restricted to a radius of up to 10m. They use the same familiar pathways and therefore produce ‘smear marks’ by the continual rubbing of their fur against surfaces.
In urban areas, house mice are able to breed throughout the year, and can produce any where between 5 and 10 litters - each consisting of about 4-8 young. They can live for more than two years, though the average life span is about 10 months. House mice are inquisitive and have sporadic and unpredictable feeding habits, feeding from many different sites each night, rather
than 1 or 2 sites close to their nest. They can feed on almost anything, but generally prefer cereal based foods such as grass and canary seed.
If signs of infestation are noticed, for example fresh mouse droppings, gnawing marks, smears; you are advised to take immediate action to control the problem and contact the Council’s Pest Control Service for treatment.
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