Liphatech’s Melissa Cameron takes a look at the characteristics of the house mouse.
The house mouse will only live for about five months in the wild due to predators such as cats, snakes and foxes, but can live in a lab for approximately two years. The colour of the house mouse’s coat will depend on its environment, so you will usually see dark grey mice if they live indoors and they can be a sandy brown colour if they live outdoors. This helps them camouflage and stay hidden from predators.
House mice, like other rodents, don’t vomit and they can produce over 1000 micro droplets of urine every day. Even the smallest amount of mouse urine is capable of triggering allergies in humans, especially children whose immune systems are still developing.
The house mouse is the most common of all rodent pests in most parts of the world – probably because a female house mouse can give birth to a dozen babies every three weeks and start breeding at the age of one month old!
Mice are very curious rodents and this makes them much easier to catch and bait. It is not unusual to see multiple mice on traps as they don’t seem to be scared away when they see their dead mates.
Mice have whiskers called vibrissae that they use in a similar way that a blind person uses a touch stick. Mice will average 12 sweeps per second of these vibrissae to paint a three dimensional picture in their brain. Mice can taste up to 250 parts per billion and their food preferences are developed from being a newborn tasting their mother’s diet through her milk, and showing a preference for the foods she ate when they grow up.