As strange as it may seem, some people like to keep the common house mouse as a pet. Mice are part of the rodent family, and not everyone prefers mice in the home. Reasons to not want mice in your home are simple – mice have the ability to transfer diseases and allergies.
One of the known diseases is Hantavirus, which can be fatal. The Hantavirus can be transferred by touching infected mice or by breathing in the fumes released in their urine. Other diseases can be transferred by mice through bite wounds and food contamination. If bitten, parasites can also be transferred if the mouse has been infected by blood sucking insects like the ticks and fleas. Human food can become contaminated, including water, when mice come in contact and release droppings. It has been discovered that even the smallest amount of mice urine can trigger allergies in children.
Mice have a pointy snout, round ears, and an almost hairless tail. They can range in color from tan to black with a white or tan under belly. When mice are looking to find a home, they will typically look for areas of shelter that are mostly hidden. This could be rafters, barns, under a home, and so on. When finding a home, mice must have a nearby food source and typically the food source will be a short distance from the dwelling, with a median diameter of 20 ft. Mice have multiple predators such as predatory birds, snakes, and wild dogs, but mice also have abilities such as swift running (up to 8 miles an hour), jumping, climbing, and even swimming if duty calls. The abilities mice have been given through adaption have helped in reaching food sources and nests without always becoming the prey.
In general, mice will not come into the home unless seeking shelter or if there is a food source. Mice primarily feed on plants, but have also been known to eat meat and dairy products. To avoid having mice in your home, be sure to keep your home clean of any trash, garbage, and left overs. If mice do show up in your home the situation can become drastic over a small period of time concluding with an infestation issue. Mice are polyestrous and able to reproduce year round. Mice will nest with family and relatives, so a family of 6 can multiply into a family of 60 in 3 months. Pest services for this rodent will entail multiple visits and possible structural service or repair.
During the middle ages the black plague wiped out nearly two-thirds of the European population. Rats were not the primary carrier, but the ticks and fleas that carried the plague used rats as the vessel. Granted this type of outbreak seems improbable at the present time, due to new medical practices, but it is important to realize the impact a disease can have on the public. An example in today’s standard is the West Nile Virus.
The rat has a natural diet of seeds, nuts, and fruits, but the rat is omnivorous. Omnivorous is an organism that is capable of eating vegetation and meat, so the rat has been known to eat small mammals like birds and smaller rodents. The predatory nature could seem strange since the rat has very poor vision. Rats interpret vision with a combination of senses such as waving their head back and forth to better see, strong sense of smell, as well as taste and touch. These senses are very similar to mice, but the major difference is the physical attribute of size. The rat is quite larger than a mouse and some species such as the southern giant slender-tailed cloud rat, found in the Philippines, measures over 1,000 millimeters from head to end of tail.
Another similarity between mice and rats is that the food source needs to be close to the nest. With the rat being larger in comparison to the mouse, the food source in relative nature can be further away. Food sources will be within 300 ft in diameter from where the rat resides. Commonly known rats, such as the Norway rat and the Roof rat, have different living quarter preferences. The Norway rat will generally be found on floors or sub-floors, and the roof rat will generally remain on higher ground.