Creature Control

Mice can get big, folks!

dead mouse on red gloveWith 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.