Common House Mouse (Mus musculus Linnaeus)

Where Usually Found

Often in houses and outbuildings. In warm weather mice may move out to live in the wild, returning when the weather turns cold or when too many predators appear. Mice are active mainly at night.

What they do

Eat food intended for humans, drop faeces and urinate on food and in cupboards; carry fleas and other insects harmful to man (see section on rats); gnaw holes in skirting and floorboards.

How to control (by natural methods)

Enclose food in mouse-proof containers, Do not leave food scraps or rubbish lying around but place in lidded dustbins. Seal all gaps in floor and skirting boards. Clean the house regularly. Keep a cat or dog. Remove likely nesting material (such as straw, grass, feathers, stuffing from cushions and old mattresses and paper) some distance from house if it is necessary to store them. Rats usually drive out mice, so if you have rats you are unlikely to have mice.

How to control (by artificial methods)

Mice may be caught in a spring trap, which is often a quick, painless death. Commercially available poison baits may be set down in the places the mice are known to frequent. Anticoagulant baits prevents blood from clotting and weakens the blood vessels. Poisoned animals die from internal hemorrhage in one to two weeks after feeding on the bait. Other animals, children or even adults may pick up a bait, and strict precautions should be taken to avoid this. Bait should be laid in tamper resistant, lockable bait stations to avoid consumption of the bait by other than mice or rats.

Life history and other comments

Mice, like rats, probably evolved in Central Asia and from there spread to the rest of the world over land and by ships. Mice are one of the animals which have benefited from man’s presence on earth, taking advantage of his habit of storing food and building shelter. House mice have territories which they mark with their urine and defend from intruders. Mice recognise other mice by their smell and not by sight. Contrary to popular belief, mice have poor eyesight and cannot clearly see more than two inches away. They have good sense of smell and hearing, however, and can quickly detect movement. Mice are successful animals because they have a potentially high breeding rate. In good conditions they have over five litters a year, with four to six babies in each. Mice live at least three years in favourable situations.

Where to obtain professional advice


Melvyn or Kevin Gilbert. Phone. 03 3841636 (NEW ZEALAND)

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For inquires and free advice you can contact us via email or on 03 384 1636 from 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

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03 3841636