How to tell a field mouse from a house mouse

How to tell a field mouse from a house mouse

Telling a field mouse from a house mouse can sometimes be hard, but their characteristics and behaviours differ quite a bit. Here are a few tips to help you make the difference.

Field mouse

Field mouseField mice are heavy feeders, and they won't hesitate to use your vegetable garden to satisfy their hunger.

How to tell it's a field mouse

An adult field mouse can be up to 10.5 cm in length, and its tail between 6 and 9 cm. Its coat is beige, red-brown or dark brown, with a white belly. Its eyes and ears are smaller than those of a house mouse. Field mice are excellent jumpers and their hind legs are stronger than those of house mice. The weight of a field mouse varies between 13 and 27 g.

Behaviour

Its diet is highly diversified and usually includes seeds, young plants, buds, berries, insects, mushrooms, snails, earthworms and root vegetables such as carrots, zucchinis, etc. It varies according to the season.

Field mice reproduce quickly; they can have from 2 to 4 litters per year, with 4 to 6 babies each time. An adult field mouse will live a maximum of one year, the winter being a very difficult period to get through. This small rodent is usually active at night and is very common in rural areas.

House mouse

House mouse

House mice are the most common mammalian rodent. They are clever, which makes them hard to catch. 

How to tell it's a house mouse

A house mouse measures between 7 and 9.5 cm, with a tail about the same length. Its coat is uniformly grey-brown. It has small legs and big ears, and its weight varies between 12 and 30 g.

Behaviour

A house mouse eats about 3 grams of food per day. Its diet is also diversified. House mice prefer cereals and seeds, but they also eat vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, roots, meat, etc. 

During its life cycle, a house mouse will have 7 or 8 litters, each giving between 4 and 16 babies. They won't hesitate to invade your home to get an easy access to food and shelter. The life expectancy of a house mouse is 2 to 3 years maximum. House mice are usually active at night.