Although there are many different types of mice in South Africa there are two main species that are problematic. The two most common mice found are the House Mouse and the Field Mouse, but did you know that apart from humans, the striped mouse is perhaps the most common mammal in South Africa?
Striped Mouse (Rhabdormys Spec.)
This genus is so prolific because it can live in different habitats whether moist grasslands, desert regions, mountains and at the edge of forests.
The striped mouse got its name from its four characteristic dark stripes on its back, separated by three lighter stripes.
Field Mouse (Apodemes Sylvaticus)
Field mice hardly ever go inside buildings, unless they get cold during winter. These mice are often found in outbuildings and sheds where fruit, grain and vegetables are stored.
Suffice to say, they are a huge problem for farmers and businesses that operate in the agricultural sector.
The lifecycle of the Field Mouse
The lifespan of a field mouse is about two or three months, although they can survive up to twenty months in the wild, and two or more years in captivity.
The breeding season is usually between March and April to October and November. Gestation is in the region of 25 days. Survival of the young and adults is poor during the first half of the breeding season as adult males can become aggressive towards one another and to the young, who are then driven from the nest.
It is difficult to eradicate mice using DIY methods as they breed prolifically – a far better option is to call in the experts to rid your yard or farm areas of these pests. Professional advice and expertise are vital to keeping field mice in check.
House Mouse (Mus Musculus)
House Mice are active throughout the year, which means they can always become problematic.
The House Mouse has relatively small feet and a small head with large eyes and ears which distinguishes it from brown rats (Rattus Norvegicus).
The house mouse is usually ground living and burrowing, but often climbs, with its food preference being cereals. They can eat as much as 3g of food a day and can survive without any added water but will drink up to 3ml a day if their food is especially dry.
The lifecycle of the House Mouse
The House Mouse produces between four to sixteen young per litter between seven and eight times a year with a gestation period of three weeks.
Managing mice infestations using bait alone is not enough – improving living conditions and hygiene in general and calling in an expert pest control company is essential to keep these pests at bay.