The house mouse is the most common and economically important
commensal (i.e., living in close association with humans) rodent.
The house mouse is gray and it weighs one half to one ounce. The
body is three to four inches long and the tail three to four inches
long. The muzzle is pointed, the ears are large, the eyes and
body are small. Typically, the house mouse is slightly smaller
than deer mice. Adult droppings are 1/8- to 1/4. inch long and
rod-shaped with pointed ends.
House mice are found throughout the United States. They are
good climbers, jump 12 inches high, and can jump down from eight
feet. House mice easily squeeze through holes and gaps wider
than 1/4-inch. They are very social in their behavior, very
inquisitive about things in their environment, and readily explore
House mice prefer to nest in dark secluded
areas where there is little chance of disturbance, and in areas
where nesting materials, such as paper, cardboard, attic insulation,
cotton, etc., are readily available. Their foraging territories
are small usually no more than 20 feet; however, if abundant
food is nearby they nest within four to five feet. They nibble
on food, preferring items such as seeds and cereals. They feed
at dusk and just before dawn.
The major health risks associated with house
mice are salmonella contamination and leptospirosis.