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House mouse

House mouse
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Mus musculus

This tiny rodent has greyish fur, large ears, a pointed snout and a long, scaly tail. Apart from humans, it is probably the commonest mammal in the UK.

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It is a nocturnal creature and is often considered a pest, as it spoils food and carries disease. Mice are quite aggressive towards each other and fights are frequent.

They construct a system of tunnels to live in, which may be quite simple or more complex with several chambers and exits. Females are able to produce up to 10 litters in a year, each with between four to eight young. Within three weeks of birth, the young mice are independent.

The wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus appears rather similar, but has more orange-brown fur and large, protruding eyes. This mouse is common in woods, hedgerows and scrub. It is a good climber and is often found in trees. It also enters houses in search of food.

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What does it eat?

Grain, seeds, roots, fungi and insects. Inside the house they seem to eat almost anything!

When will I see it?

At anytime of the year. Tends to come in the house during the winter months.

Where will I see it?

Around log piles, outbuildings, patio pots; sometimes in the house. Also on farmland.

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