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“The kids love these SwifTraps. I feel a bit like a schoolboy myself as I go out each morning to count the last night's catch.”
Interesting facts about mice
Mice originated in Asia and spread through Europe many centuries ago. Mice arrived in Australia on the ships of explorers, traders and colonists.
Mice are well-adapted for living year-round in homes, food establishments and other structures. Homeowners are especially likely to notice mice during winter, following their autumn migration indoors in search of warmth, food and shelter. Once mice become established inside a home, they can be extremely difficult to control.
The greatest economic loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be thrown out because of damage or contamination. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household items are contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing.
- gnaw through electrical wiring, which can cause fires and failure of freezers, clothes dryers and other appliances.
- can transmit diseases, most notably salmonellosis (bacterial food poisoning) when food is contaminated with infected rodent faeces. Other diseases include rickettsialpox, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptosporosis, ratbite fever, tularaemia, Lyme disease and dermatitis caused by the bites of mites from the mice. Hantavirus (pulmonary syndrome) is another danger that is becoming more common.
- compared to rats, forage only short distances from their nest, usually not more than 5 to 10 metres. When food and shelter are adequate, their foraging range may be only a few feet and prefer to travel adjacent to walls and other edges. For this reason, SwifTrap should be placed in areas where mouse activity is most apparent.
- prefer cereal grains and seeds in their diet. They are sporadic in their feeding, particularly when there are many food sources available. In these situations, mice may make 20 to 30 visits to different food sites each night, taking as little as 0.15 gram of food at each site. Sites may vary from night to night, but certain sites where the mouse feels safe are nightly favourites. When food sources are limited, mice may visit the source 200 or more times per night, but only 20 milligrams may be taken during each visit. In all, the average mouse will consume only 3 to 4 grams or about 1/10th of an ounce, of food per night.
- can live in a lab or as a pet for up to three years but usually only live for about 5 months in the wild, mostly because of predators, such as cats, snakes and foxes.
- have good senses of smell, taste and hearing, however they have poor vision and are colour-blind.
- are nocturnal and are seldom seen during daylight unless they are at high densities.
- reach sexual maturity at 6 to 10 weeks of age and give birth to litters between 6 and 10 times in a single year under suitable conditions. Gestation is 19-21 days and mothers can re-mate immediately after giving birth. The average litter size is 5 to 6 but can be as high as 13. In Australia, breeding peaks in spring/summer while there is abundant high protein food from insects, seed and growing plants.
- can reach plague proportions in just one season. One breeding pair can produce 500 mice over a five month period under ideal conditions.
- can dig, vertically jump up to 40 cm, fall at least 2.5 m without injury, and squeeze through openings as small as 6 mm wide.
- depending on soil type, mouse burrows can withstand heavy rainfall. Only prolonged flooding affects mice in the field.
- as adults, can consume about 2-3 g of food per day and are omnivorous, in the field surviving mainly on grass seeds, grains and legumes, insects, snails, earthworms, plant tissue and some fungi, when available.
- usually do not need to drink as they can obtain sufficient moisture from their food.
- aren't necessarily killed by cold weather and frosts, but it may
restrict population growth.