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how many mice can a mouse have

how many mice can a mouse have

how many mice can a mouse have

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A mouse, plural mice, is a small mammal. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). Mice are also popular as pets. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are locally common. They are known to invade homes for food and shelter.

Mice are typically distinguished from rats by their size. Generally, when a muroid rodent is discovered, its common name includes the term mouse if it is smaller, or rat if it is larger. The common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific. Typical mice are classified in the genus Mus, but the term mouse is not confined to members of Mus and can also apply to species from other genera such as the deer mouse, Peromyscus.

White mice

Domestic mice sold as pets often differ substantially in size from the common house mouse. This is attributable to breeding and different conditions in the wild. The best-known strain of mouse is the white lab mouse. It has more uniform traits that are appropriate to its use in research.

Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of arthropods have been known to prey heavily upon mice. Despite this, mice populations remain plentiful. Due to its remarkable adaptability to almost any environment, the mouse is one of the most successful mammalian genera living on Earth today.


In certain contexts, mice can be considered vermin. Vermin are a major source of crop damage, as they are known to cause structural damage and spread disease. Mice spread disease through their feces and are often carriers of parasites. In North America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse excrement has been linked to hantavirus, which may lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

Primarily nocturnal animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of hearing. They depend on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators.

In the wild, mice are known to build intricate burrows. These burrows have long entrances and are equipped with escape tunnels. In at least one species, the architectural design of a burrow is a genetic trait.

how many mice can a mouse have
how many mice can a mouse have


Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have confirmed that mice have a range of facial expressions. They used machine vision to spot familiar human emotions like pleasure, disgust, nausea, pain, and fear.


In nature, mice are largely herbivores, consuming any kind of fruit or grain from plants. However, mice adapt well to urban areas and are known for eating almost all types of food scraps. In captivity, mice are commonly fed commercial pelleted mouse diet. These diets are nutritionally complete, but they still need a large variety of vegetables.

Mice do not have a special appetite for cheese. They will only eat cheese for lack of better options.

The warmth and the food

Mice may seem small and harmless, but they can do a whole lot of damage to your home. They sneak into your homes for the warmth and the food. Mice have their babies and before you know it, you have a full-blown infestation.

They do not stop at your furniture and appliances. Instead, they take the liberty of eating up your food as well. It’s exactly like having a new roommate who uses stuff, eats your food, and drinks the milk from the carton. The difference is that these rodents have no reason to be there and that they contaminate the food. They bring in another set of problems with them. These include lice and diseases you do not want in your home.

How Long Do Mice Live?

The average lifespan of a mouse is about 12 months in the outdoors. But when they take refuge in your house, they can live up to 2 or even 3 years. You may be thinking that you can wait for the mouse to die on its own but what about its babies and the babies of their babies? The rate at which these breeding machines multiply is almost unbelievable.

In the wild, they are an important part of the food chain. Many large birds feed on them to sustain their existence, just like mice feed on insects to sustain theirs. In a way, they are maintaining balance, but inside your home, they are only bringing disease and destruction so if you are in the Houston area and need our services make sure tocontact us online or give us a call today.

When Does Mating Begin?

For starters, you have to have two mice, a male and a female. In some instances, females are already able to conceive at four weeks, but it usually isn’t until they are between six and eight weeks that they begin ovulating.

Once a pair successfully mates, it typically takes a little less than three weeks for the gestation period to be complete. The mother gives birth to between five and seven pups, although twice as many are possible.

how many mice can a mouse have
how many mice can a mouse have

What Might Keep These Numbers Down?

One of the reasons nature has decreed that animals in the wild have large litters is because of the environmental factors that work against their vulnerable young. Lack of sufficient shelter or food means that only the heartiest will survive, and mothers may even eat their young ones in stressful situations. According to University of Oklahoma professor Douglas W. Mock, author of More than Kin and Less than Kind, a mouse might devour her offspring for two reasons.

  1. A mother will devote her family’s limited resources to the offspring with the best likelihood of survival; removing those she deems to be less hearty allows for less competition for food among the ones with the greater potential
  2. The calories obtained from eating her young allow the mother to better care for the surviving pups and be strong enough to have another pregnancy

Animal Kingdom

For mice, as for many in the Animal Kingdom, it’s all about survival of the species, rather than survival of the individual. And the fathers take that very seriously, wanting to ensure that it is their genes specifically that are passed along to the offspring. If a male mouse suspects that the litter produced by his mate belongs to another male, he will kill the ones he believes are not his own.

Sometimes the male mouse doesn’t even have to wait for the babies to be born! When a recently impregnated female is separated from her mate, and a new dominant male enters her territory, the female may abort her fetuses. It is a decrease in progesterone production, caused by pheromones secreted by the male, that triggers this sudden termination of pregnancy. Known as the Bruce Effect, this phenomenon is not unique to mice and happens to other animal species as well.


If you think you can avoid dealing with that mouse in your home by simply waiting for it to die, think again. The life cycle of a mouse makes it easy to see why these rodents are such common pests. It’s not that the mouse lifespan is unnaturally long, but more that mice are notorious breeders. Just one female mouse in your home can average between 25 and 60 offspring in a single year. At that point, you no longer have a mouse problem – you have a mouse infestation.


When a female mouse gets pregnant, it only takes between 19 and 21 days for her to give birth to a litter. Each litter typically consists of five or six mouse pups, though it’s not rare to see as many as 12 in a litter.

A typical female mouse can birth between five and 10 litters per year. She can mate immediately after giving birth, meaning mice can birth a second litter in as little as 25 days after the first. This cycle continues until the mouse dies. By that time, her offspring’s offspring have likely also birthed a few litters, which are starting to breed.


The pups are born without fur, ears or the ability to see. Because they’re blind and defenseless, the mother mouse nurses her pups for 21 days. These early days in the life cycle of a mouse are filled with rapid progress. On the fourth day, their ears are fully developed. Hair begins to grow around the sixth day, and by day 10, they have a protective coat of fur.

The pups still won’t open their eyes until around day 13 or 14, but after that, they are almost fully-grown adults. On the twenty-first day, weaning occurs. Most male pups will leave their mother’s territory, but many young females stick around for a while. Regardless, for both sexes, nursing is over and they’re ready to start chewing through your food and possessions.

how many mice can a mouse have
how many mice can a mouse have


At 6 weeks old, the female house mouse is sexually mature and ready to start producing pups of her own. This quick maturation process gives mice immense breeding capabilities. Living indoors enhances these capabilities, since they can then breed all year long. Outdoors, breeding only occurs during spring, summer and fall. The winter months are too harsh for successful breeding.

And just like the breeding output increases if a mouse takes refuge in your home, so does the length of their life. While the average mouse lifespan is only about 12 months outdoors, indoors, this number can climb to 2 to 3 years. This is because indoors, mice aren’t exposed to harsh environments or natural predators. That leaves them with nothing to do but eat through your valuables, spread disease to your family and breed future generations to carry on the scourge.

Stop the life cycle of a mouse before you have any of these problems on your hands. Call Terminix®, the professionals who know how to shorten the mouse lifespan considerably.

How Many Babies Do Mice Have at Once?

Most people know that mice populations grow rapidly. If you see one mouse, there is a pretty high chance there are more not too far away.

Not only can mice have multiple babies at once, they also can have multiple litters each year. Female house mice can have up to six pups every three weeks and can give birth to a second liter as early as 25 days after the first. In one year, they can give birth to approximately 35 babies. On average humans will only have one baby per year and a total of two in their lifetime, so compared to people, that is a lot of mice!

21 days

Mice are born without fur, ears, and the ability to see. Because of this, mothers nurse their babies for 21 days. By the fourth day their ears fully develop, by the tenth day they grow a full coat of hair, and by the fourteenth day they open their eyes for the first time. After 21 days of nursing, the pups will wean and leave their mothers. At two months old, female mice are fully matured and can begin having pups of their own.

Thank you for staying with this post “how many mice can a mouse have” until the end.

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