Learn More about Mice

Field Mice: How To Recognize and Get Rid of Them

little field mouse
Written by David Johnson

You have not faced any problem until field mice get into your property. You may use traps and catch a few. And then it happens again; after a few days, you notice another filed mouse.

It is crucial to know how to get rid of field mice, but it is more important to ensure that you get rid of every field mouse on your property. Read on and learn how to create a pest-free compound for your loved ones.

What Color are Field Mice?

So what color are field mice? Field mice are typically tawny-brown or gray. They have white hairs in their underbelly that extend to the tail-end.

field-mice

Field mice have short tails covered in fine hairs. Additionally, they have prominent ears and dark eyes. 

Field Mice Life Cycle

Typically, a field mouse life cycle is about a year or less. The female’s life cycle stages are;

  • Females experience heat for four to five days
  • If pregnant, a female field mouse gives birth in three weeks
  • Females give birth to five to eight pups per litter and can reproduce around ten times in a year
  • The pups develop fur, gain mobility
  • Are mice blind? Pups gain sight in two weeks from birth
  • The field mice reach maturity in 60 days and are ready to mate
  • On average, females can have more than 60 pups in a year

What Attracts Mice in Your Property?

Basically, mice have similar needs to humans; food, shelter, and warmth. And if they have access to these things, they take every opportunity to utilize them.

While mice tend to keep out of your sight and eat very little food, they are high-maintenance gate crashers. They contaminate your food, create damage to electrical wires and building interiors and spread diseases.

Here are four ways you may attract field mice in your house unknowingly;

Warmth

During late fall, when temperatures are low, mice start to seek warmth. They can detect warmth in your house through the wall openings and usher themselves in. Additionally, they love water heaters as they get steady heat and hide from your sight, which is a good combination for burrowing.

Food

Mice love the lure of freshly cooked meals, food debris, or leftover scraps. Although they are omnivores, they love fruits, grains, and seeds. However, they are not picky and can survive on little water and food a day.

In addition to kitchen treats, mice equally love paper, electrical wires, and cardboard as snacks. The following are some foods that attract mice;

  • Nuts
  • Pet Food
  • Plants
  • Grains and seeds
  • Berries and sweet fruits
  • Leftovers
  • All types of meat

Clutter

Mice often seek cluttered areas to nest and burrow. In homes, cluttered areas are attics, piled firewood, or the garage. Small storage areas are also a good breeding ground for mice. Not only do they offer tasty treats but also shelter and warmth.

Additionally, your office can be a good breeding ground; the stack of paper, boxes, and office snacks can make a great nesting place.  

Cracks and Openings

Do you remember that window that you never fixed or that door you didn’t patch properly? These are open invitations for mice. Patch up the foundation, seal all the cracks and fill any vent that is an entry point for the mice.

field mouse

Damages Mice Cause When They Get in Your Property

Your home should be peaceful and serene, and you should not share it with small rodents that multiply every day. These rodents not only invade your space but also cause damages such as;

  • Damage to items from anything cardboard to plastic
  • Damage to your peace of mind
  • Damage to your sleep, especially if you are a light sleeper
  • Damage to your wallet
  • Damage by attracting other pests such as ticks, fleas, and mites all which come with different problems
  • Damages due to illnesses such as plague, leptospirosis, and fever

Signs That You Have a Field Mice Problem

It is normal to notice two or three field mice in your home, especially near thick brushes. However, if you see a field mouse on your property, it is a sign of a severe infestation:

Garden damage- Field mice eat grass, plants, and barks in yards and gardens. You may notice teeth marks on tree trunks or leaves during an infestation.

Droppings- These rodents have small dark brown feces that are shaped like rice. Look out for the droppings near outbuildings, tall grass, and fences.

Runways and tunnels- Field mice make several paths in grass that head to underground tunnels. With an infestation, you will notice many burrows in your yard.

Are Field Mice Dangerous?

Field mice are a danger to you and your loved ones. If you inhale particles of droppings, urine, or saliva from an infected field mouse, you may contact Hantavirus. In addition, field mice carry ticks and fleas, which spread bacteria.

 These rodents feed on grass and seeds. They also gnaw on roots and bark when food is scarce. These activities mess up lawns and cause losses to gardeners and farmers.

How to Get Rid of Field Mice Permanently

Unfortunately, there are no natural or scientifically proven chemicals to shoo field mice away permanently. However, the good news is that you can combine natural pest management with cultural practices to eliminate these pests without using poisonous chemicals.

field mice running

The primary control practices are sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. It is essential to take control of pest situations before they enter your home and establish a habitat. Since field mice reproduce every 28 days, you should move quickly.

Wooden Mouse Traps

Mousetraps are the most effective method for getting rid of field mice. Alternatively, you can use gumdrops, candy, fruits, or any nut as bait. Place the humane mouse traps throughout your garden at least six feet apart.

Check the traps every morning and ensure you put on latex gloves to avoid rodent diseases. Empty the dead rodent in a plastic bag and tie it. Then drop the plastic bag in a storage bag and discard it in the trash.

Enclose Planting Area with Hardware Cloth

Encircle your planting area with hardware cloth and bury about six inches of the fabric on the ground to prevent the field mice from digging. Create the cylinders to protect each plant. Additionally, wrap tree trunks with the hardware cloth as well to prevent gnawing.

Hang Dryer Sheets in the Large Plants in the Garden

Soak cotton balls in ammonia, mint, or camphor and place the balls randomly in your garden. Scatter fresh herbs such as holy leaves, lavender, or mint on the plants in the garden. Many homeowners believe that these two home remedies repel field mice.

Invest in Plants that Repel Field Mice

Gardeners believe that some bulbs such as grape hyacinth or daffodils repel field mice. You can also add some plants such as alliums, camphor, lavender, garlic, or mints with strong scents in your garden.

Mulch the Garden Sparingly

Field mice like cozy areas for nesting. Some of these places in your garden include leaf molds, grass clippings, and straws.

Allow your Cat or Dog to Patrol the Garden

Encourage your dog or cat to join you as you visit the garden. The pets can also patrol the garden occasionally at night. The constant presence of the pets will convince the field mice to leave the area.

Don’t leave Pet Food Outside

If you feed your pet outside, ensure you wash the dishes as soon as they are done. Again, never leave the leftovers outside.

little field mouse eating

Also, bring the water dishes in the house at night to deny the field mice water. Move the birdbaths and feeders from the garden and repair any hose or sprinkler with a leak.

Eliminate Hiding Places

Always keep the grass short and trim shrubs since field mice avoid open spaces. Move firewood, bricks, or stones away from the garden. Move all the trash and haul plant debris immediately.

Final Words

Do you still have a problem with the pesky field mice? If your property still has field mice infestation, and the above methods do not eliminate the problem, contact pest control professionals to treat the infestation and eliminate the field mice permanently.

About the author

David Johnson

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