As far as indoor pests go, mice are particularly intelligent creatures that are able to thrive within human dwellings without attracting the attention of a home’s occupants. Mice are always exploring indoor environments in order to map out the location of other mice, food and water sources, hiding places from predators, and nesting sites. This allows mice to secure shelter within areas of a home where they are most likely to survive and reproduce. Generally, mice are most active within and around homes just after dusk and shortly before dawn.

The average home range of house mice extends 10 to 30 feet from their nesting sites, but when mice nest within homes where food sources and harborages are abundant, their home range becomes much shorter. For example, mice that nest in wall voids in kitchens, cupboards or pantries may not have to travel farther than a foot in order to secure food and water. Due to their relatively high intelligence for house pests, mice exhibit unpredictable behaviors that make them hard to eliminate from homes. For instance, house mice have often been observed walking around glue traps, catch traps and other threatening objects indoors, making them difficult to catch without help from experienced pest control professionals.

The ability of mice to successfully co-exist with humans in homes and buildings can be partly explained by people’s attitudes toward mice, which are typically less hostile than their attitudes towards other common house pests, such as rats. The positive way in which mice are depicted in children’s books, movies and TV shows contributes to a general tolerance of the pests among children that often lasts well into adulthood. This attitude, as well as the small size of mice, makes it easy for people to forget that the pests spread disease to humans, and contaminate indoor food sources.

Have you ever found mouse feces within your home?