The saying that if you see one mouse that there are likely to be more is very true. House mice tend to live in groups and venture out to find food and nesting materials in pairs or larger groups.
Mice are social creatures which is why they tend to live in colonies. Once there are already mice in the house, you can expect more mice because of their rapid breeding but also from the trails they leave behind to communicate with other mice.
Do Mice Live in Groups?
Though there are a few bachelor mice roaming around alone, most mice stick to their family. Mice are social creatures that live by their family’s social construct and hierarchy.
Mice are also territorial and don’t share their living space with other families. When the males meet with non-family members there can be an altercation.
One of the reasons why mice live in groups is that they breed extremely rapidly. A female mouse can have a new litter every six weeks with up to 14 newborns in each one.
Mice also reach adulthood very soon, meaning that it is not long before the young mice start to have litter of their own. Male and female mice will generally start breeding at around six to eight weeks of age.
You don’t need to do a lot of math to figure out that once there are mice in your house, they can multiply very quickly. This is why that single mouse that you’ve seen scurry away is likely accompanied by many more brothers and sisters.
Once mice have reached adulthood, they don’t necessarily go out into the world to build their own families either. Because of their social constructs, mice prefer to live with their family – especially the male mice that can become territorial with strangers.
How Do You Know If There Are More Mice?
Mice are nocturnal which is why you might see signs of mice without seeing the rodents themselves. Telling signs of mice in your house are mouse droppings, noises in the walls at night and bite marks on furniture or plastic.
To find out whether there are several mice families in your house, you will need to look at the signs of their territory. Look for the above mentioned telling signs but also for markings on wood or walls and an unusual musky smell from their urine that marks their territory.
Mice don’t like to venture further than about 25 feet from their nest. This means that if you find very scattered evidence of mice in your house, there might be several mice families living with you.
How Do Mice Travel?
Mice travel in groups to find new nesting sites and in search of food. Other than these two reasons, mice prefer to stick to their little living space where they are safe from predators.
It is usually the males that go foraging for food. Male mice leave their nests in pairs or groups of three and go looking around the house for crumbs and leftovers.
Mice are very aware of the dangers of being caught so they prefer to crawl around in dark tight spaces like cupboards than to risk coming out in brightly lit open spaces. When they do appear in open space, they tend to do so one at a time while the foraging mates are awaiting the return in a safer space.
Both male and female mice go out in search of nesting sites. They prefer places that are well hidden from enemies with enough nesting materials nearby.
It is the female mice that build the nest so they are the ones that you can see searching for fur, string and other soft materials. Regular vacuuming will help to discourage mice from nesting in your house.
Do Mice Attract Other Mice into Your House?
It is possible for mice to attract more mice from a different colony into your house. This is because mice leave behind pheromones wherever they go which can encourage other mice to come inside.
Pheromones are a way for certain animals to communicate non-verbally. Pheromones are a chemical that animals can recognize and causes specific reactions.
For example, mice that have found a good source of food or nesting material will leave behind pheromones to guide their mates to the same source. However, it is not only the family that can pick up these scents but outsider mice can as well.
This means that the pheromone trail left behind by a mouse can attract new mice to the same site, in this case your house. Since mice are territorial, the newcomers might set up their home elsewhere in the house but still near food and nesting materials.
If your house has small cracks in the doors, windows or roof, it is very easy for new mice to come inside. This is why you should always make sure that the exterior of your house is mouse-proof.
Mice tend to live in a colony and venture out to find food and nesting materials in pairs or even larger groups. Even though you might not see more than one mouse at a time, you can bet that the others are still hiding in their nest or elsewhere in the house.
The reason why mice live in groups is because of their rapid breeding and the social construct of their family. It is difficult to completely get rid of mice because the family is constantly expanding.
Mice leave behind pheromones that guide other mice to food and nesting material sources. This is one reason why new mouse families might enter your home.
The best way to keep the problem from getting out of hand is to contact a professional once you have seen a mouse or evidence of mice in the house. The professional will know how to make sure that the breeding stops and new mice cannot enter the house.