Mice are identical to roof rats in many aspects, they are found in the same structural habitats as the roof rat. But unlike the roof rat they will readily investigate any new object in their territory. They can fit into an opening the diameter of a pencil. Mice are active during daylight hours as much as night time hours, so seeing them during the day does not always indicate any special conditions. A female house mouse gives birth to approx. 6 mice about 19 days after mating and is capable of mating again in 2 days. A mouse can produce 6-10 litters in a year and are able to mate only 2 months after birth. Mice establish a nesting site near sources of food and feed 15-20 times a day.
Rodents can spread many diseases that can be spread to humans and livestock including the Hanta Virus. This disease can produce a deadly infection in humans - over 50% of human cases have been fatal. Humans can become infected with the hanta virus when they inhale dust which has been contaminated with rodent urine and feces. Most individuals who have become infected have lived or worked in areas that were heavily contaminated with rodent droppings. If a human being becomes infected, signs of illness usually appear about two weeks after exposure, although the time can range from a few days to as long as six weeks. The first signs are fever, headache, and pain in the abdomen, joints, and back. Afterwards, the patient's lungs begin to fill with fluid and breathing becomes extremely difficult. A high proportion of the patients die, but early treatment offers the best chance of survival. If you develop symptoms that are suspicious of HPS, and you have worked with or been around wild rodents within the last six weeks, report this information to your physician immediately. Most individuals who have contracted HPS have acquired the disease by living and sleeping in areas where there are large populations of rodents and large quantities of dust contaminated with their feces.