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The Secret Lives of Mice

Written by PETA | October 7, 2011

As the nights get chilly, the thought of passing the evenings with friends and family in a nice, warm house sounds delightful … to mice. Like humans, mice are social animals who enjoy each other’s company, and while you might not be so eager to enjoy theirs, you might have a little more respect for them after reading these fascinating mouse tidbits:

  • Male mice compose complex, ultrasonic songs as part of their courtship rituals.
  • Having wooed and won a partner, male California mice stay with her to help with the birth and first cleaning of the pups.
  • Mice are smart. Wood mice make signposts out of leaves and twigs. And if there’s a flood, a mouse might hitch a ride on a frog.
  • Mice are clean and fastidious animals. They designate separate areas of their homes to use as dining rooms and bathrooms

If—despite their charm—you still don’t care to share your home with mice, the best way to keep them out of your humble abode is to prevent them from getting inside in the first place. Seal mouse-size holes (mice can enter a hole the size of a dime), keep food in sealed containers, always clean up crumbs right away, and use safe, homemade deterrents like peppermint-soaked cotton balls. If you already have unwanted mouseguests, never use cruel glue traps, which leave the animals to suffer slow deaths from suffocation or dehydration. Instead, pick up a few humane mousetraps and set the mice free outdoors.

Written by Heather Faraid Drennan

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  • Connie Rodgers says:

    We have the same problem as the Canadian commenter below – it’s mighty cold out there in January! I take it that you bait the traps, but our issue is that I think we have MANY mice out in the barn. I flicked the light on out there much later than usual – and the antics of the mice flyin’ around the chicken coop were hilarious. Why we have 6 barn cats is…well, it’s obviously not for mouse control. I’m just not sure that I need all those mice (albeit super cute little guys) in the house to look after until spring…
    Any ideas? Anyone willing to take a few on?? 🙂

  • Nicola says:

    My Jack Russel terrier caught some in our house. She’s just protecting the dog food the mice steal. It’s natural. I have bought a humane trap; works so well. I let the mice free in fields quite a distance from my house. They are so cute! I could never kill the little critters 🙂

  • ann says:

    Field mice are really cute But they carry fleas, ticks and germs that can make people really sick. I use a humane trap and take them out far into the woods. In the winter I find a place such as a tree hollow and leave bedding material and food. I also have a cat I put used kitty litter in my attic basement and garage it helps keep the number of mice down. Most houses have them but people don’t know it.

  • billy williams says:

    This is a great & interesting article!-I LOVE MICE!-And have had them in the house,we caught 4 in a humane mouse trap(similar to yours)and let them go in a park-And,2 Sue-I would put a bell on your cats so animals can hear & get away from them-they have ones that people can’t even hear!-Great Article!

  • PopArt says:

    Interesting article, but mice should find a different place to live. I’m a meat-eater, and I am proud of it!

  • melissam says:

    I love that they don’t poop where they eat! So smart!

  • monkeydoodle says:

    I love mice and had many as pets and they were so colorful. The overbred and soon I had 75 mice with no end in sight. So forgive me farmer Brown. I had to let them go in your overgrown field of grass. I am sure they are happy. But I learned something. They leave a trail of urine and feces where ever they go. The eat their own feces for nutrients that one pass through their digestion doesn’t release. So I evict the wild mice out of my house and keep food sealed.

  • Sue says:

    My daughter and I rescued a field mouse from two of our cats who were “playing” with her. This was in the middle of winter and in Canada that means temperatures in the -20C to -30C degrees. What did we do? We put her on a safe “box”, went to our local pet supply store and purchased a mouse-sized cage, bedding, food, etc and gave her a “home” until the weather warmed up and she could be returned to her field. We were happy to help “Pip” and would do the same for any animal that chooses to “visit” us.

  • JessicaKNowak says:

    This is a great article! My fiance and I actually just realized we have mice and have been trying to figure out what to do. We’ll be looking for some humane traps and letting them go outside! 🙂