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In the wild state, house mice eat many kinds of vegetable matter, such as seeds, fleshy roots, leaves and stems. Insects (beetle larvae,
caterpillars, and cockroaches) and meat (carrion) may be taken when available. In human habitation, mice consume any human food that
is accessible as well as glue, soap, and other household materials. Many mice store their food or live within a human food storage
Reproduction: House Mice are characterized by their tremendous reproductive potential. Breeding occurs throughout the year,
although wild mice may have a reproductive season extending only from April to September. The estrous cycle is 4-6 days long, with
estrus lasting less than a day. Females experience a postpartum estrus 12-18 hours after giving birth. Females generally have 5-10
litters per year if conditions are suitable, but as many as 14 have been reported. Gestation is 19-21 days but may be extended by
several days if the female is lactating. Litters consist of 3-12 (generally 5 or 6) offspring, which are born naked and blind. They
are fully furred after 10 days, open their eyes at 14 days, are weaned at 3 weeks, and reach sexual maturity at 5-7 weeks. Average
life span is about 2 years in captivity, but individuals have lived for as long as 6 years. In the wild, most mice do not live beyond
Behavior: In the wild state, house mice generally dwell in cracks in rocks or walls or make underground burrows consisting
of a complex network of tunnels, several chambers for nesting and storage, and three or four exits. When living with humans, house
mice nest behind rafters, in woodpiles, storage areas, or any hidden spot near a source of food. They construct nests from rags, paper,
or other soft substances and line them with finer shredded material.
House mice are generally nocturnal, although some are active during
the day in human dwellings. House mice are quick runners (up to 8 miles per hour), good climbers, jumpers, and also swim well. Despite
this, they rarely travel more than 50 feet from their established homes.
Hose Mice are generally considered both territorial and colonial
when living commensally with humans. Dominant males set up a territory including a family group of several females and their young.
Occasionally, subordinate males may occupy a territory or males may share territories. Females establish a loose hierarchy within
the territories, but they are far less aggressive than the males. Aggression within family groups is rare, but all the individuals
in a territory will defend an area against outsiders. Young mice are generally made to disperse through adult aggression, although
some (especially females) may remain in the vicinity of their parents.
Habitat: House mice generally live in close association with
humans-- in houses, barns, granaries, etc. They also occupy cultivated fields, fence rows, and even wooded areas, but they seldom
stray far from buildings. Some individuals spend the summer in fields and move into barns and houses with the onset of cool autumn
Termite and Pest Control
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