What Do Mice Look Like?
Mice are one of the most common rodent home invaders in the United States. They are characterized by pointed snouts, small, rounded ears, and tails that are as long as or longer than the length of their bodies. Most species of mice are no more than 5 inches in length and weigh around one ounce. Their eyes are quite small, and all species of mice have poor eyesight. However, their excellent hearing and sense of smell helps compensate for their weak vision. Mice are usually brown or black but may also be white or gray. Their underbellies are usually a shade lighter than the rest of their fur. Like other rodents, mice have sharp incisors that grow persistently, which results in constant gnawing to keep their teeth from growing inward.
Three types of mice live in our service area. The most common is the house mouse, but populations of deer and white-footed mice are also prevalent. While each animal is similar in certain ways, the species possess some differentiating characteristics. For example, the deer mouse has eyes and ears bigger than those of the house mouse. The ears of the deer mouse are hairier than both other species, and the rodent also has a two-tone tail, which typically measures longer than those of the other types of mice. The house mouse is known for its nearly naked tail, which contrasts with the finely haired tails of the other two species.
As the name implies, white-footed mice have white feet. House mice are associated with a musky odor that does not present with deer or white-footed mice. While house mice live close to human habitations, both the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse inhabit fields, forests, and grasslands and come into contact with humans much less frequently. Nevertheless, all species of mice carry dangerous pathogens that can cause sickness in both humans and pets. Deer mice and white-footed mice are known carriers of the hantavirus and can also play a role in the transmission of Lyme disease.