Mice are a group of animals that are in their own category, because while they are wild, they have evolved to live alongside humans. This is why they are known as commensal animals. For the most part, as homeowners we are focused on how mice live indoors, so we can better remove them if they start an infestation. However, understanding how they live outdoors can help use better understand how to implement effective control measures.

Where do they live?

When outdoors, mice tend to look for ready-made shelters, rather than building their own burrows. As such, they are interested in piles of brush or vegetation, cavities inside wood, rock piles, and in areas along ditches. Mice may also wander into urban areas, but not infest any building, and simply hide in cavities that they find there, or go to the nearby park and look for nesting locations under planters or shrubs. When they wander near homes, but don’t actually enter, they may set up in a shed or barn, or underneath unused yard equipment.

What do they eat?

When living outdoors, mice tend to make use of whatever they can find. They will mostly feed on plant seeds, insects, grains, and sometimes small animals. Different species will have different propensities. For example, the deer mouse has a more protein heavy diet, focusing on meat, larvae, slugs, snails, baby birds and even other mice. When living near people, the mice can be very inventive when it comes to the food they choose. They can pick up food out of the trash, go for pet food, or eat out of bird feeders.

Why do they move indoors and how do they do it?

After mice infest the yard, they are likely to move indoors when the temperatures drop. They may also barge in when they need food, but they may still keep their nests outdoors. However, to enter the home, they will need to find some access points, and these access points consist of any crack or gap that is wider than a quarter of an inch. To stop this from happening, you will have to mouse-proof your home by looking for and sealing all of these entry points. For more information on how mice infest the yard and then hop into the home, or if you have a mouse infestation on your property that has to be removed, contact us today.