There are several species of mouse in the U.K. The door mouse, Harvest mouse, yellow necked mouse, wood mouse and House mouse but it is only the latter two that are of any concern when it comes to pest control.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) is very common and is considered to be a major pest as they spoil large amounts of stored products and food stuffs, the damage is not just restricted to nibbling the food but also by urinating on it. House mice continually dribble urine as they move around which then contaminates food destined for human consumption as well as animal feed. House mice are known carriers of diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus.
House mice originated in Asia but have since spread throughout the world, they are very adaptable animals and will eat almost anything and do not rely on a water supply being available as they can obtain enough moisture from whatever they eat. House mice are able to squeeze through gaps as small as 6mm and are very easily transported unnoticed from place to place.
An adult house mouse has a body length of around 80mm and its tail is longer than its head and body combined, they are generally brownish grey in colour. The snout is pointed, and the ears are large with some hairs.
House mice will live indoors or outdoors and sometimes burrows, but is almost unknown in sewers.
House mice live on average 9-12 months and are sexually mature at 42 days the litter size vary but usually 5-6 is the norm, it is possible for them to produce 8 litters per year.
The wood mouse or longtailed field mouse (apodemus sylvaticus) The wood mouse is another highly adaptable species, and can be found in a wide variety of habitats such as woodland, hedgerows, parks, gardens, wasteland, pastures and arable fields. It is easily distinguished from the house mouse due to its larger ears and eyes, and its golden-brown colouration. It mainly feeds on seeds, berries and invertebrates and is generally less of a problem as a pest species, but will enter homes especially during the colder winter months.
The Wood Mouse is predominently nocturnal and is about 11cm in length with its tail being as long as its body which gives rise to the name long tailed field mouse it weighs around 25g and has an average lifespan of 1 and a half years. Breeding takes place from February to October.
The gestation period of wood mice is 25–26 days and each female produces on average five young. The offspring are independent after about three weeks and become sexually active after two months.
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and surrounding areas.