Field Mice Life Cycle, Eating Habits, & More
What Is A Field Mouse?
To no one’s surprise, a field mouse is just a mouse that lives in fields or meadows! The term refers to a variety of rodents, and the only real distinction between field mice and house mice is where they live. Many field mice are actually deer mice.
Field Mice Life Cycle
Adult field mice can breed as early as fifty days old, and they tend to have litters with between 10-20 pups in them, which is why they reproduce so fast! Here are more details on the field mouse life cycle:
- The gestation period is only 20 days
- Females can breed again as early as 2 days after weaning babies
- Inbred mice have a shorter gestation period, allowing them to breed even more quickly
In total, one female could possibly have 6-8 litters a year, which is about 160 babies!
What Do Field Mice Eat?
Field mice will eat anything that is not meat. They love to feed on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Mice consume about 3.5 oz of food per day, which may not seem like much if you only have a few of them, but mice reproduce fast! That could add up to a lot of crops and grains lost for a farmer, which is why they can be a real problem!
Field Mouse vs House Mouse
Despite the name, field mice and house mice are very similar! However, there are a few differences. Here are some things to look out for:
- House mice are solid in color, usually light brown or gray, while field mice have a mix of brown and white fur.
- House mice have shorter and rounder noses than field mice.
- Field mice store their food by hoarding crumbs near the nest, but house mice do not.
- House mice do not carry Hantavirus as field mice do.
Are Field Mice Dangerous?
Field mice can carry parasites on their bodies and in their feces that have been known to cause serious illnesses in humans, such as Hantavirus. This virus has been known to cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in humans coming in contact with excretions from field mice. Since they will normally defecate shortly after eating, chances are anything they have been into will have feces in it, so it’s important to solve the problem before it gets out of hand.
Getting Rid of Field Mice
In many places, such as farmlands around Pennsylvania, field mice cause real devastation for crops. There are a few ways you could get rid of a field mouse infestation on your own.
DIY Field Mice Removal
The best way to get rid of field mice is with traps or poison. Just be careful where you put them so that no one else comes in contact with them.
Make sure that all openings are covered around your house. You will also want to make sure that there are no openings in barns or sheds where grain or crops are being stored. Using hardware netting can help to cover holes while still allowing venting.
Preventing them is the best method. You may not be able to prevent all of them from getting into crops, but there are things you can do to limit them. A good natural enemy to field mice is a cat. You could get a few outside cats to roam around in the fields at night to catch the mice. Traps are also a good idea; just remember where you put them because they will catch other things as well.
Call Spectrum For Rodent Control
Getting rid of any pest on your own can be difficult, but field mice are especially tricky due to the frequency with that they reproduce. If you need help, call Spectrum Pest Control! We’ll have you, your family, and your crops protected in no time.