The Secret Lives of Mice
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