Field mice are often confused for house mice and vice versa, which is an easy mistake to make when you aren’t fully aware of the differences between the two. Being able to identify which one of these species you are dealing with will allow you to better get their populations under control. So how exactly can you tell the differences between these two species?

Physical differences

On average, house mice are smaller than field mice, with house mice reaching lengths of about three inches, while field mice are about three to four inches long on average. They also have different tails. House mice have hairy tails, while field mice have shorter, hairless tails. When it comes to the fur, house mice have light brown or gray coats, while field mice are darker in coloration, with their belly being white or another light color.

Behavior

When it comes to differences in behavior, we can start by looking at their eating habits. House mice will eat almost anything as soon as they find it, while field mice will gather food and store it in their nests. Let’s also take a look at their nests. When outdoors, the house mouse will create its nests in fields or under shrubs, and when it enters the home, it will build its nests in the attic, garage, or the inside of the walls. Field mice will build their nests either underground, or in hollow trees.

Life cycle

A field mouse will live on average for about a year and a half, while house mice will live around one year. However, when one of these rodents is in the home, they can live two or three times longer. In terms of reproduction, both species are able to have six to eight babies per litter, with up to ten litters per year.

Levels of danger

Both species are carriers and spreaders of serious diseases, and both species are capable of doing damage to the home. The field mouse is a known carrier of the hantavirus, which is a potentially dangerous respiratory disease. House mice are also capable of spreading this disease, but they also have the ability to carry diseases like leptospirosis and choriomeningitis. Both species are also often infested with parasites such as ticks, which will be able to spread Lyme disease.

If you are dealing with one of these two species, we can help you get rid of them. Contact us today for more information.

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