Do you know your enemy?
Rats and mice, because transmit many diseases to humans and domestic animals and can cause serious damage to the environment contaminating raw materials, can be considered the last great enemy of the animal kingdom for the modern man.
AVERAGE WEIGHT: 12 – 25 g
LENGTH FROM HEAD TO FEET: 6 – 9 cm
FUR: variable, back grey, belly and side lighter.
FEEDING: small amounts of food and frequently, up to 3 g per day, in a lot of places.
SHELTERS: in teh house, in recesses and inside.
Depending on the situation, they can be very selective toward a certain food or if a certain type of food has been always available, they can ignore that same food, repeatedly available (same diet). In and around buildings, mice can eat people and pets’ food, invertebrates such as cockroaches, snails and slugs. Outside, in the fields, they can eat various types of vegetable seeds, vegetation, roots and they prey on insects and small birds, or other small mammalians as other rodents, etc.
As they have been living in fields, grains will be one of the ingredients for a good bait. If possible, mice will choose food that may provide a nutritional and diversified diet. Mice living around grain mills, meat processing plants, bakeries, or garbage dumps will feed easily and readily on the same kind of food found in those specific areas, but will love to diversify the diet.
Rodent puppies are often pre-conditioned to the foods available in their environment through the taste and smell of the food that the mother will bring to them and the scent that the mother will bring when she returns from the feeding forays (flavors and aromas).
Rodent faeces may likely contain familiar food chemistry odors and colony pheromones. When foraging, rodents encounter excrements deposited near or on the food location, and this information reassures foraging mice about that food source.
Mice eat around one-tenth of their body weight (practically 2 to 3 g/day). They will eat intermittently throughout the night, but dusk and pre-dawn hours are the peak feeding period. However, if they live in non-disturbed areas, they can eat at any time.
Mice are unpredictable feeders: if food is abundant, they will eat tiny quantities from many different spots; if only one or two sources are available, a mouse will make up to 200 separate visits to the food from their nest, eating some milligrams during each visit.
Mice will commonly accumulate the food they find. They normally move the food in areas where they feel safer, or to the nest. Sometimes, the food is not totally consumed, ignored or forgotten. They hoard food of different sizes, but small particles such as grains, pellets or small blocks are easier to transport. This bait translocation is a very important matter in sensitive areas such as schools, food-serving or manufacturing facilities, or stock-raising farms, zoos or other areas where baits can contaminate non-target animals or people.
Mice drink up to 6 ml of water per day, if available. If not, they can reduce the consumption, obtaining water from the moisture present in their food, or even drinking their urines. So they can survive in areas were water is not freely available like offices, barns, or grain elevators. On the other hand, the presence of good and available water increases the population growth.
Home range and movements:
- The distance from their nests varies in each situation: typically it will be 3 to 10 meters in any direction away from the burrow.
- As the colony population grows, this range becomes smaller, and the same happens if food is readily abundant.
- Mice moves in any direction, horizontally and vertically
- They are curious and explore every hole, getting inside boxes, etc.
- Their territory may differ from the home range (dominant mouse and territory marked with urine and scents).
- Mice move in shadowed areas using vibrissae to feel the contact with walls and vertical surfaces
- Mice enjoy corners, where they feel more protected and stay still, grooming, eating or resting. There you can observe the major quantity of droppings.