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House Mouse vs Field Mouse
- Published: Dec 23/2019
- Last update: May 26/2023
- 8min read
- Views: 59,307
The treatment of every infestation begins by establishing what kind of pest are you dealing with. From this point on you can figure out why it entered your property, from where it may have entered and so on. The answers to all those questions will lead an experienced professional to the actions he has to take to correctly treat the infestation and prevent it from happening again.
Today we will look at two species that are quite common in the UK. They are different in many ways, but to the untrained eye, they are practically the same. In this post, you will learn how to make a difference between a house and a field mouse.
You might find this post useful if:
Both of those critters are invading our homes. They may look alike but they do have some specific differences. Not only in their appearance, but in their nature and behaviour as well. Establishing which kind are you trying to get rid of, will give you leverage in the fight. But in order to get that upper hand, you need to be able to tell apart both types of mice.
So, we think you will find the comparison table below quite handy in identifying both the house mouse and the field mouse. Some people are having trouble making a difference between mice and baby rats, so you might find this related article useful.
|Characteristics||Field mouse||House mouse|
|Colour||Brown with a white belly||Grey or light brown, no white spots|
|Tail||Long and thin, without hairs||Thick and long with scales|
|Back legs||Long and strong||Small|
|Habitat||Fields and forests||Homes and storage spaces|
|Habits||Stores food in its burrow||Eats everything it finds on the spot|
|Smell||None||Nests smell awful|
And now let’s look into both mice species a little closer…
The field mouse is one of the most widespread species in the UK. Just like most other types of mice, the field mouse is also nocturnal. This species is also an important part of the woods. They plant trees and provide other habitants of the forest with prey.
Nocturnal birds, foxes, coyotes, snakes and others, all feed on tiny brown field mice. This makes them extremely cautious and hard to catch. They won’t just fall into a trap, they will observe that trap for a couple of days before deciding to near it.
The field mouse is light brown in colour, resembling sand and bright white belly. Their tails are as long as their bodies, thin and with almost no hair on them. Adult field mice can be anywhere from 8 to 10 cm long. Add another 7 to 9 cm for their tails and now you have a total size of roughly 19 cm. Their weight is just shy of 30 grams. They also have big eyes and ears.
The field mouse’s natural habitat is the woods, which is why the species is also known as (wood mice). These small rodents plant trees in the woods while hiding their seeds in underground burrows and forgetting about them.
Field mice normally nest in burrows in open fields, bushes, tree stumps, etc. However, their habits could quickly change if their nest is disturbed. The nest could resemble a cup in form and is usually constructed of various kinds of materials like grass and paper. The goal is to provide a safe and warm space for the next generation of mice.
So, often times field mice can even take things like insulation, rags and other materials it finds close to or inside of your house to use as nesting material.
Field mice usually don’t infest urban areas, so it is not often that you see a field mouse in the house. Field mice are found only in properties around open fields, forests, big gardens, farms and others. There is usually plenty of food for wood mice in the woods, however, the shelter, warmth and protection of a human house have no match.
Infestations usually happen during the cold months. If you haven’t seen any clues that your property is being infested by the arrival of spring you may have a colony in your basement and walls.
They are. Not only can they cost you a lot of money on repairs caused by those rodents on wooden frames, plastic pipes and cables, but the wood mouse is also a carrier of the “Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome” virus. This respiratory illness could be lethal to humans.
The bad thing is, that it’s much harder to notice a field mouse infestation. Their nest doesn’t smell, they don’t get out during the day, only at night, and they may not even feed on your food supply. All of this is making them kind of stealthy invaders. This species poses more danger to commercial properties and storage facilities but will infest homes as well on rare occasions.
The house mouse, unlike the field mouse, can infest your property any day of the year. No matter if it is your living space or commercial storage. This particular species of mice have always lived next to human activity. House mice originate from Asia and slowly spread out continent by continent thanks to established trade routes. They are well used to humans and are far more prone to fall for traps than field mice.
House mice are almost the same size as field mice. From 7 to 9 cm long bodies, plus the same length tail. The colour of house mice is what sets them most apart from field mice. The entire bodies of house mice are grey or light brown. Their ears and eyes are big for their heads. The feet of house mice are small and they can’t jump as far, or high as wood mice.
House mice are so accustomed to life around human activity that they just don’t stand a chance in the wild. These mice always seek ways to get inside our habitat and invade it. Our rubbish is what they make nests out of and our stored foods are their food source as well.
House mice prefer grained foods but will eat almost anything they can find. Usually, they will devour around three grams of food, but will constantly nibble on other materials to file their front teeth. The biggest benefit those small rodents have, living in our presence, is that we tend to ward off lots of their predators.
Well actually, statistics-wise they should be more dangerous than field mice because they invade our personal space more often. They also transmit bacteria and diseases and their nests could be quite gruesome and filled with germs. The excrement they leave behind should not be touched with naked hands and even the dust from their nests could be dangerous.
If you are suspecting there are mice infesting your home, regardless if it’s a field or a house mouse, there are several common signs that can confirm your suspicions.
And, of course, the most telling sign is a sighting of a mouse indoors or finding its nest. Still, keep in mind that seeing one mouse does not necessarily mean there is a full infestation going on.
However, it is still best to investigate further. Look for any of the signs listed above, find and seal possible entry points, keep rubbish and food around the house tightly sealed, and clear out dense vegetation close to the property.
Still not sure if it’s field or house mice? Whatever your unwelcome visitors may be, our rodent control service is at your disposal. We’ll first perform an inspection of your property and then treat the premises with highly-effective professional pesticides.
Let a certified pest control specialists help you.
Was your property infested with field mice? What other species do you want to learn to differentiate? Please, share in the comment section below.
Image source: depositphotos / lifeonwhite, icefront