Does the House Mouse belong here?

Where did the House Mouse come from? Well, as it turns out, it really does not belong in the United States, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. It is native to the dry grasslands of eastern Asia, but hundreds of years ago it managed to hitchhike with human caravans, traveling to the coasts of Europe where it then hopped aboard ships that transported it to America and all those other countries that it now inhabits. As an introduced species of animal, now living where natural controls and natural predators do not exist, the House Mouse flourished, breeding, multiplying, and expanding its range without anything to stop it, and competing with the existence of native animals in the process.

How can I tell what kind of mouse it is?

There are many kinds of mice in the United States, and it may be easy to confuse those that are natives with those that are introduced. Others you may be aware of around your business or your home are species such as Meadow Mice (also called Voles) or Deer Mice. These usually stay outside the structure, but they too can cause some severe problems, and we are well aware of the recent disease outbreaks spread by Deer Mice - the Hantavirus and Arenavirus, which we have profiled in a separate BugInfo article for you.

Probably most common around homes, of these other mice, will be the Meadow Mouse, and you easily can distinguish between these different kinds by the following characteristics:

  • Meadow Mouse - stocky build, short tail, ears are very furry
  • Deer Mouse - slender build, long hairy tail that is white on the bottom
  • House Mouse - slender, long bare tail, ears are almost bare of hairs, belly light colored


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