The two types of mice in Britain which can become pests are:

  • The house mouse

  • The long-tailed field mouse

The adult house mouse may weigh up to 50 grammes; usually has brown fur on its back and is grey underneath; its ears are fairly large in relation to its body and its feet are small. The tail is the same length as the head and body but is much thinner than the tail of a young rat.


Mice are widely distributed throughout urban areas and in farm buildings. The long-tailed field mouse is common on agricultural land but is not generally considered a pest unless it takes up residence indoors.

The house mouse is a more common domestic pest which will nest in partitions, floors and behind wall boarding. Mice are most active at night and will range over a very small area if food is plentiful. They are less dependent on water and will normally obtain sufficient moisture from their food.


Mice, like rats, are a major hazard to health. They are responsible for the spread of many diseases some of which can be fatal to man. They eat food which may be intended for human consumption and contaminate much more with their urine, droppings and fur, which must then be disposed of. Mice will also cause structural damage to property by gnawing through woodwork, wires, pipes and household items.

Life cycle

The life expectancy of mice is around one year during which time a female may breed up to six times. The average size of a litter is six. Breeding occurs throughout the year but especially in the Spring and Autumn.

Control of infestation

Mice are particularly difficult to control because of the rate at which they breed and are able to colonise new areas.

By ensuring that your premises are in good repair and that no food is left around the house or garden you will prevent mice from being encouraged onto your property.

If you need help in treating a mouse infestation or have any further questions, please contact SDK Environmental Limited (Trading as DialAPest) on 03444 828 325 between 9am and 5pm seven days a week. Calls to 03444 numbers are charged at a local rate.

Date of last review: 30 November 2015