General Information About Mice

Mice (Latin: “Mus”) are everywhere around the world. They are at home in the Woods, in Savannah and in our cities. They do not exist in Antarctica, it is too cold. Mice live long as Synanthropic of people in his vicinity. The House mouse is the best-known member of the genus of “real mouse”. There are almost 40 more types of mice and they can be found mostly in Africa and South and Southeast Asia.

Fact sheet

Mice reach a body length of 4.5 to 12.5 cm. In addition a three to eleven centimetres long tail. The animals bring between 12 and 35 grams. There are some significant deviations: so the “Etruscan Shrew” weighs two grams just while a well-fed laboratory – or color mouse can weigh even 60 grams. The skin of mice can be soft, rough or even prickly.

Their colours also vary greatly. In particular through breeding, there is a whole range of colors. In the wild, they are usually grey or brown on the top, the underside is lighter, can be grey, Brown, or white. Even though the tail at the first glance looks hairless, so it is covered with fine hairs, and he has clearly visible rings of scales.

Hausmaus (Mus muscuclus) zwischen trockenen Broten.
Lodger since the new stone age: House mice


Originally get mice out of Africa, southern Europe and parts of South and Southeast Asia. The species known today as the House mouse is originally from India and later came to Central Europe. Excavations show that House mice lived already in the Neolithic in the proximity of people and have settled there domestically.

The human touch gave some “ride” the small rodents, so that they could spread all over the globe. With ships they reached America and Australia.

Traditional habitats are forests and savannas. But you can meet them also in the Alpine mountain world. The House mouse and the African Pygmy Mouse have set up in the vicinity of human settlements – also in the apartment.

Mice have can swim but prefer solid ground under your feet. Back in the mid of the 17th century has been experiments with mice. Today, laboratory mice are a popular object for the conduct of research and to the study of diseases such as cancer.

Waldmaus (Apodemus sylvaticus) auf moosigem Waldboden.
Mostly nocturnal: our native forest mouse

Way of Life

Real mice don’t Hibernate, can their body functions shut down but so far, that they fall into a State of torpor to conserve energy. This is always said, when food is scarce.The wild species are typically nocturnal, while the species close to the people on the road are both on the day and at night.

Mice are mostly vegetarian. There are also types that not Spurn insects and other small animals. The easiest House mice, which eat all what man left carelessly around leaves have it.

Mice come originally from the darkness, lived in cracks and crevices. Therefore, their sense of smell is very well pronounced and the body odor an important means of communication. The repertoire includes inaudible ultrasonic sounds but also for the people.

Eine Gelbhalsmaus oder Große Waldmaus (Apodemus flavicollis) hat eine Eichel vor sich liegen.
Plant food is preferred


In principle, all eat mice. Plant food is indeed preferred, but also insects are on the menu. Forest mice take even small birds and worms. The bark of young trees is not spurned in an emergency.

There is food in abundance, mice create a stockpile for worse times, for example, for the winter months. Mice contrary to popular depictions are not particularly on cheese, however. You must lure them into a trap with aromatic sweets or with bacon. Mice as pets get usually dry food.

Neugeborene Hausmäuse liegen nackt und mit geschlossenen Augen auf Holzspänen.
Six to eight times young – in one year


As far as there are no food shortages, mice are very fertile. Mouse females can give birth six to eight times a year. If for example a field mouse couple starts with the reproduction in February/March, animals can be there until the end of the year 1200, which emerge from the offspring and their offspring.

It is interesting that the young mice are sexually mature at the age of ten to twelve weeks. About three weeks the mouse females are pregnant and the litter can be up to eight young in size. With a life expectancy of one to two years, it is necessary to get the kind of big issue.

At birth, the young are naked, blind, and deaf and weigh less than a gram. A fine hairs fluff is one and a half weeks later. They open their eyes after about 15 days and after three weeks they no longer need the mother’s breast. They have increased their weight until that time already on six grams.

Ein Waldkauz (Stryx aluco) mit erbeuteter Waldmaus im Schnabel.
Mice are on the menu at many birds of prey


Mice have many enemies. Close to the people, there are cats, but also rats and beech Marten. Barn owls hunt not only in nature but also in buildings. They like to lurk in barns on a mouse bite.

There are many other birds of prey after the mice in the wild here. You can recognize even telltale traces of urine from the air using of ultraviolet rays, have left the mice in their paths, and thus involuntarily show their whereabouts. Also foxes, weasels, Martens, and hedgehogs are the small rodents on the heels.

Read more: What do mice eat?

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