With warmer temperatures, mammals have woken up from dormancy and are getting active. With rodents giving birth to young, there is a surge of rodent activity and it is not uncommon at this time of year to deal with squirrels or mice getting into attics.
A common mistake we encounter when people call with a rodent problem is misdiagnosis. They hear banging, thumping, or scampering in the ceiling and assume a raccoon or squirrel when in reality it is a fat mouse. “There is no way a mouse could be making the noise I am hearing,” they say. How big can mice get?
Well, as you can see from the picture above, mice can get pretty darn big. This one was removed from a customer’s garage. A standard house mouse (Mus musculus) will be about three inches in length and fairly thin. However, a well fed mouse who has had ready access to a food source for some time might be longer and can certainly be rather fat.
If this mouse was running around in a drop ceiling or duct or near a fan vent, it could easily be mistaken for a squirrel. Mice can be very large; in addition to this, sound can be reverberated when a mouse is running in a hollow wall void or drop ceiling that can make it sound larger.
I suppose while it may be disgusting to think of such big fat mice running around your ceiling, it is a consolation that what you probably think is a coon or squirrel – very destructive animals – may more than likely be mice, which are still undesirable but not nearly as destructive.