Mouse Identification Chart



Mice enter people’s houses looking for food, shelter, or warmth. They reproduce quickly and are capable of spreading diseases.

They cause property damage by chewing on wires, getting into cupboards, and contaminating food by nibbling on plastic containers and storage bags. Mice can spread infections; therefore, you need to take action as soon as possible. 

The problem is, not all mice are the same. There are many different types of mouse breeds. Each has its own size, physical appearance, and lifespan.

Hence the method for mice extinction changes depending on the type of species is in the house.

Mouse-Like Rodents

Mouse-like rodents are a group of rodents comprising mice, rats, lemmings, voles, hamsters, muskrats, dormice, and gerbils. Mouse-like rodents are the most diverse group of all extant rodents, with over 1,400 species.

The arrangement of these rodents’ jaw muscles and the form of their molar teeth set them apart from other rodents. Each side of the jaw has a single set of incisors and 3 cheek teeth (upper & lower). 

The particular configuration of the jaw muscles of mouse-like rodents gives them strong chewing capabilities. This is an important attribute given their diet, which comprises a variety of tough plant materials. 

Berries, fruit, nuts, shoots, seeds, flowers, buds, and grains are among the things eaten by mouse-like rodents. Some mouse-like rodents are herbivorous, whereas others are omnivorous or granivorous.

Mouse Identification Chart

It is important to know the differences between different mice types to decide the best control method. By knowing their features, habits, and other details you will know which mouse breed you are dealing with. 

This will help you to effectively get rid of mice from your home or landscape

Field Mouse/Wood Mouse
mouse identification chart - field mouse

Field/Wood mice seldom enter inhabited structures. However, they will enter sheds and outhouses where vegetables and fruits are stored during the winter months. Field mice pose a significant danger to agricultural and farming businesses.

Appearance: Its coat is sandy brown, with a grey/white underbelly. The field mouse has a long tail that matches the length of its body and large back feet that give it a good spring for leaping.  

The size of the adult head and body is about 80 to 100 mm in length. It has a tail that is about the same length as its head and body.  Males weigh about 25 g and females about 20 g.

Diet: They consume a large amount of the seed crop of beech, oak, lime, ash, hawthorn, and sycamore trees. In the early summer and late spring, when seeds are scarce, snails and insects are significant food sources. They also consume apples and will eat the seeds of newly planted legumes.

Life Span: It is usually a year due to exposure to dangerous environments and predators. However, they can live for up to three years under ideal conditions.  

Signs of Infestation: The droppings are tiny, dark brown, and resemble rice grains. They are found near fences, outbuildings, and tall grass. You can notice teeth marks on tree trunks or leaves. Field mice dig underground tunnels by creating branching routes in the grass paths. Hence, you can find multiple burrow entrances in the yard.

House Mouse
mouse identification chart - house mouse

House mice can be found attacking your house or business at any time of year because they are active all year.

These mice are usually active at night, but they will venture out during the day to look for food. 

Appearance: House mice have a brown-grey fur coat that extends down to their tails. Of all the mouse breeds, their tails are unique. Their tails are almost hairless and are scalier and thicker than other mouse species. They have big ears and eyes, a long, pointed snout, and small feet. The body and head length is around 95 mm, with a tail approximately the same length. They weigh about 12 to 30 g

Diet: House mice require up to 3 g of food every day to survive. They do not require any additional water to survive. If their diet is very dry, they will drink up to 3ml each day. Cereals, insects, fruits, seeds, and grains are the preferred food

Life Span: It can be as short as one year if they live outside, but it can be as long as three years if they reside indoors. 

Signs of Infestation: They include droppings, gnawed plastic or furniture, footprints, and rodent sightings. They have a musky odor, and hence, you will be able to tell whether they’re living with you! They use shredded fibers and other found materials to make nests. They thrive in undisturbed surroundings like shoeboxes and storage crates.

Yellow-Necked Mouse
mouse identification chart - yellow-necked mouse

The yellow-necked mouse is mostly found in broad-leaved woodland and habitats like rural gardens, buildings, and hedges.

They are often mistaken for wood mice. However, the two species were separated in 1834.

Appearance: Their backs are brown, and their undersides are white, with a distinct band of yellow fur around the neck. Yellow-necked mice have a long tail, huge ears, and large eyes. They are often larger than the other mouse species. The head and body length is about 95 to 120 mm, and the tail length is 75 – 110mm. They weigh between 14 and 45 g.

Diet: They mostly eat fruits, nuts, shoots, insects, and seeds.

Life Span: They have a short life span of about 3-4 months. 

Sign of Infestation: Their burrows could be found underground. They contaminate or consume stored food. They interfere with electrical wiring

Harvest Mouse
mouse identification chart - harvest mouse

The harvest mouse is Europe’s tiniest rodent and the only rodent with a prehensile tail. This allows it to hold objects and move fast through tall grass.

They exist in long, tussocky grasslands, hedgerows, reed beds, and woodland edges.

Appearance: Harvest mouse has small eyes, a blunt nose, and their hairy ears are small. The head and body are of the same length, and the prehensile tail is the same length (about 5-7cm). Has a russet orange bottom and a white underbelly. They weigh about 5 to 8 g

Diet: They feast on seeds, sweet fruits, and on occasion, soft-bodied invertebrates like snails and slugs.

Life Span: It is usually around 18 months; however, they can live up to 5 years when in captivity.

Signs of Infestation: They take grain from cereal heads, thus leaving sickle-shaped remains behind.

Vole Vs Mouse
mouse identification chart - vole vs mouse

Voles are frequently confused with other creatures. Because of their little, brown, round-eared look, they are confused for mice.

Voles, on the other hand, are unique creatures with their own set of features. Voles resemble field mice’s stockier kin.

Mice are social creatures that prefer to be in groups. The vole is well-known for being monogamous.

Voles have shorter tails, bigger bodies, rounder, blunter snouts than mice while having rounded ears like mice. The fur of most voles is a mix of black and chestnut brown. Their eyes are black and are small.

Signs of infestation include tunnels that are roughly two inches long and two inches wide. Partially eaten root vegetables or bulbs in your garden. Shrub and tree trunks will have 1/4th inch teeth marks.

Mole vs Mouse

Moles are not rodents like mice but insectivores. The snout of a mole is pointed like mice. Unlike mice, moles have muscular front shoulders and oversized frontal feet and claws.

The feet are used for digging, and their eyes and ears are so small and cannot be seen. Whereas mice usually have large ears and small but visible black eyes

Moles live in tunnels underground (10-20 inches long). The majority of mice species can squeeze through tiny openings in foundations, in garages, and around doorways. Mice make nests in hidden spots near food sources once indoors.

Moles are predatory animals that eat earthworms, beetles, grubs, arthropods that live in the soil, and other animals. They can consume more than their own weight in a single day. Mice are opportunistic omnivores who eat both animal and plant matter. They also consume seeds, grains, insects, tiny vertebrates, and carrion

Mouse with No Tail

The majority of mice with no tail are bought in pet stores. The bodies of these mice are normal, with a nub for a tail. When these mice are bred, they produced babies with typical tails. 

Most likely, these mice with no tail are just regular mice who had their tails accidentally “cropped” early in life, i.e., bitten off, stuck in something, etc.

A real mouse with no tail would resemble a tailless rat in appearance. It would have no tail, or only a nub at the base, with no sign of a stump. Its pelvic anatomy would be altered, resulting in a rounded hind end similar to that observed in tailless rats.


Mice come in different shapes and sizes. Some mouse species are more common in houses than others.

You can look for particular features to help you identify the mice infesting your home. This will help you to effectively get rid of mice from your property.

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