What does the House Mouse look like?
The length of the House Mouse’s body from the tip of the nose to the hind end is an average of 3 to 3.5 inches and the almost bald tail is between 2.5 to 3 inches. The average body weight of a health adult is between 1.4 to 1.6 ounces. The coloration of the wild House Mouse may vary from a dark brownish gray to a light brownish color. They have an elongated pointed snout, hairless ears that are rounded and stick outward. This nocturnal rodent has small, round and dark chestnut to almost blackish colored eyes that are sensitive to bright light.
What are the behavior habits of the House Mouse?
House Mouse is one name for this clever rodent however they are also known by the name “Field Mouse” as well. Though it is the same species two different names are used depending where a mouse chooses to live. For example if a mouse lives within a human structure such as an office building or townhouse or apartment building the term “House Mouse” is used but if the mouse lives on the edges of a corn field or in a meadow the term “Field Mouse” is used. No matter where this mouse choose to live its survival insist it always lives in very close proximity to humans.
The House Mouse is an excellent climber, jumper and swimmer. They are capable of climbing any vertical surface that is pores or has a rough enough texture for the mouse to get their tiny claws into. Not only can they climb up to an attic using wooden structural beams in an interior wall but they can also reach an attic by climbing straight up the exterior of a home. The House Mouse can climb up brick walls, stone wall, vinyl siding, cedar siding and more. When they are unable to access the interior of a building or home around the ground level they climb the exterior wall and search other potential entry points. Climbing allows them to investigate gaps around the top of a door or an open window. They will also run across power lines to access a home or building.
House Mice are predominately nocturnal. During the day time the House Mouse sleeps an average of 12 ½ hours every day. About 30 minutes after sun set and 30 minutes before sun rise is their first and last feeding time. Nesting sites are typically within 30 feet from their food source. Any secluded cavity in a wall or box or in a piece of furniture or in an appliance or in a closet or in a kitchen cabinet can provide a secure nesting site. The nest is constructed from soft materials such as cloth, insulation, and paper.
The House Mouse is territorial and follows one of two different social structures. A population of House Mice in one territory may be commensal which is when a male lives among several females and their young at the same time. Males usually stay within their own territory and try not to venture into another males area. Population increase will cause this social structure to collapse and a hierarchy social structure will take over. The hierarchy social structure of the House Mouse is when food sources are plenty and the population of House Mice rapidly rises. At this point a single male no longer defends multiple females for mating in the territory but the most dominant males mate with the females. With hierarchy social behavior in place a female may mate with multiple males. House
Typically mice are afraid of rats because rats will kill and eat them however they will coexist in the same territory when food is abundant. Food dictates everything with House Mice. Food determines where they live, how many young they give birth to and more. The more humans within close proximity to a population of House Mice the more food sources are available and the large the population of House Mice gets.
Like many rodents and mammals the House Mouse uses pheromones to communicate with each other. Both the female and male have preputial glands that produce pheromones. Male House Mice also have pheromones in their urine and tear fluid. They are able to pick up the sent trail with pheromones using the vomeronasal organ at the bottom of their nose.
House Mouse urine has a very bad odor to it. The pungent odor engulfs any home or building that has a mouse infestation do to them constantly urinating throughout their territory. Some homeowners detect the fail odor from the mouse urine before they ever see a mouse. The strong ammonia like odor from the male House Mouse’s urine is a lot stronger and smells a lot worst the female’s urine.
House Mice were spread across the world between the 1600’s and 1800’s on large sail ships. The House Mouse even landed on and populated small South Atlantic islands where many species of sea birds lay their eggs and raise their young. The small House Mouse can be quite aggressive especially when it comes to food and on Gough Island House Mice have learned to attack large one meter tall chicks from sea birds. Several House Mice will gnaw on the sea bird chicks at the same time until it bleeds to death. Basically the mice start to feed on the sea bird chicks before it’s even dead.
What does the House Mouse eat?
The House Mouse is a scavenger and will feed on just about anything that is eatable. Natural foods include grains, plant matter, nuts, and seeds however they will eat anything from McDonald’s French fries they find laying in a parking lot to an apple they find in a fruit bowl on a kitchen countertop. They do prefer high protein, high sugar, high fat human foods over their natural foods. They will eat meat and have been known to eat other mice that have died in a snap trap. A Field Mouse will make a meal out of a baby bird that fell out of the nest and is lying on the ground and at times will feed on baby birds in a birds nest. They will eat some types of insects and occasionally an earthworm. House Mice will also feed on their own droppings to consume nutrients they produce in their intestines. One mouse eats about 3 grams of food each day which equals out to be about 8 pounds of food each year. Often their water intake comes from the moisture within the foods they eat.
What attracts a House Mouse to a home or building?
The House Mouse is attracted to any area that has food, water, and shelter. Un-kept, un-tidy homes or buildings with clutter offer a House Mouse plenty of safe and secluded places to nest. On the inside of a home pest control companies have reported finding mouse nest in clothing piled up in a bedroom, in a cleanex tissue box, in a bag of crocheting yarn, in a sports bag, in appliances, in attics, in a oatmeal box, in a sofa, in a mattress, in a boot, in walls, in closets, in cabinets, and many other areas. On the exterior of a home pest control companies have found mice nesting in a pile of firewood, under a tarp, in a gas grill, under a hot tub, in outbuildings, in tree stumps, under concrete walkways, in crawl spaces, around pond banks, in barns, in livestock feed containers, and everywhere else these tiny rodents feel safe.
Un-clean environments such as kitchen floors and countertops with crumbs can provide enough food to maintain a health population of mice. A piece of dry dog or cat food is a perfect meal. Often mice will inspect under appliances like a refrigerator to find granulates of food. A drip from a pipe or faucet and even pipes that sweat with condensation can provide plenty of water for a House Mouse.
What damages do House Mice cause to a home?
House Mice can cause many costly damages and create an unhealthy environment in your home. They are responsible for compromising support beams in attics and crawl spaces when they gnaw halfway through them. They can render furniture useless by chewing on the edges and on the fabric. House Mice frequently build their nest in furniture such as sofas and chairs. They create fire hazards by chewing on electrical wire insulation. Water damage is a threat to any home that has a mouse infestation due to rain running in the holes they have chewed through on the exterior of the home. They also cause water damage by chewing small holes in pipes to access drinking water. A small drip from the pipe will sustain a healthy population of mice however that small drip may go unnoticed for a long time and create water damage in your walls or ceiling.
House Mice mark their territory by urinating on everything within their territory. This means the mice in your home have and will continue to urinate on your carpet, sofa, kitchen countertop, floors, clothing, beds and more. Many homeowners smell the urine from the mice before they ever know they have a mouse infestation. Their urine has a powerful musky odor and it smells terrible.
How does the House Mouse enter homes and buildings?
Above is a photo of a 1 1/4” inch diameter hole about 6’ feet above the ground. Field Mice climbed up the exterior vertical wall behind cedar siding and chewed a hole through the exterior wall to access the inside of this Annapolis, Maryland home.
The little specks of black on the white firming strip is mouse droppings which indicates the pathway the mice used to this hole. The homeowner now has a snake infestation because the snakes are entering the home to feed on the mice. The snakes are picking up the sent trail (using their tough) of the mice on the outside of the home and follow the sent trail through the hole that the mice chewed through.
A mouse living in your yard may soon become a roommate living inside your home after it picks up the smell of dinner coming from your house. The superior vision, hearing, and smell this tiny rodent comes equipped with helps it to easily enter you home. They have extremely strong and sensitive toes which gives them the ability to vertically climb any porous material such as brick. Their ability to identify objects by touching them allows them to inspect crevices around your home to identify potential entry points. These superior senses allow them to locate vulnerable potential entry points around the exterior of your home. If the mouse does not find a suitable pre-existing entry point that is a ¼ inch or larger then they will make a suitable entry point by chewing open one. The size of the hole only needs to be about the size of the mouse’s head because if a mouse’s head fits through the hole then the rest of the mouse’s body will also fit through.
A common entry point around the foundation of a home is gaps under doors. Some doors have a gap at the bottom already however some doors don’t have a large enough gap so the mouse will chew a hole at the bottom usually near or at the corner. Some doors are steel and the mouse can’t chew through steel but if the steel door has a rubber weather guard at the bottom the mouse will be able to chew through it within a minute. A mouse may have to climb the exterior wall to reach gaps around the top or along the sides of the door.
House Mice often climb vertical walls such as brick, stone, stucco, cedar siding, to access windows and attic spaces. They will enter open windows and chew holes through screens. They will climb air conditioning pipes wrapped in insulation and electrical wires. Trees and tall bushes close to the rooftop are a big help for a mouse that wants to enter the attic.
ceilings, as well as through sewer lines. If drainage pipes are not properly sealed, mice may enter homes through sink or bathtub drains. They are also known to find their way inside via entry holes around plumbing and oven gas lines.
As a result of dropping temperatures, infestations tend to begin in fall. After a colony enters a structure and finds it to be safe and warm, they rarely venture outside again. Mice proliferate quickly and populations may exceed 200 specimens within a matter of months.
In order to prevent mice from entering the home, all cracks, openings and holes should be sealed with metal or cement. All doors and windows must close properly. Store foods in glass or metal containers with tight lids, and be certain to dispose of all food waste as soon as possible. Contact a pest control professional for help and additional solutions.
What are the signs of a House Mouse infestation?
Quite often the presents of mice in a home will go un-noticed for weeks or even months before a homeowner takes notice of tell tail signs. Below is a photo of a Silver Spring, Maryland home that had a mouse infestation. The elderly couple that lives in this home did not realize they had a mouse problem until they moved everything out of a kitchen cabinet to clean. To their surprise mice droppings were everywhere. Mice urinate on everything in their territory so upon entering the home the smell of mouse urine was also very noticeable however the home owners were so use to the smell they did not realize it was mouse urine.
Homeowners almost always see other signs of a mouse problem before they see the holes the mice have chewed. Usually the first thing people see is mouse droppings in the kitchen. Homeowners quite often first realize they have a mouse problem when they perform their spring cleaning rituals and see mouse droppings when they move the refrigerator out to vacuum or move everything out of a kitchen cabinet. Droppings along baseboards or droppings close to a pet’s food dish.
Pets (dogs and cats) often bring the fact that there is a mouse problem to our attention when they respond to hear mice within the walls. A dog or cat may become more and more agitated or anxiety at night when mice are most active. The human occupants of the house may also hear the mice running in the walls or scratching especially when a female is preparing a nesting site for her soon to be born babies.
Tunnels or gulf ball size holes throughout the attic or crawl space insulation is a clear indication of a mouse problem. You may also see droppings on top of the insulation along their trails will be present. Because attic or crawl space insulation acts as a sponge you may also smell the musky ammonia like odor from their urine. Exterminators use black lights to identify the urine.
Mice frequently gnaw on wood or other hard materials to maintain their teeth so it’s not uncommon for homeowners to see gnaw marks on support beams in the attic or even on kitchen cabinets, trim around the baseboards, and furniture.
Mice are known to gnaw on many different materials to maintain their teeth including electrical wiring in attics and wall cavities. If a house has a mouse infestation it is not uncommon for a homeowner to experience electrical problems of some kind. A light may no longer come on or an outlet may not work when plugging in a devices. Even if the homeowner has not experienced any electrical shortages pest control exterminators often find electrical wiring in attics that mice have gnawed on.
The above photo was taken in the crawl space under a house in Baltimore, Maryland. As you can see mice have enlarged a pre-existing hole to gain entry to the next level. Most likely the mice were using the electrical wire to climb up and down and in the process they also gnawed on the protective rubber cover that encases the electrical wiring.
Mice prefer to travel on the same path(s) close to walls, borders and baseboards. In doing so oil from their fur leaves what’s called rub marks. The more frequently that path is used by a mouse or mice the darker the rub mark will become. In some case the rub marks permanently stain the surface. Below is a photo of a rub mark created by mice traveling back and forth against the baseboard over and over again.
What are the mating habits of the House Mouse?
Mice are able to mate for the first time when they are about 6 weeks old. The estrous cycle is the time in which female mice are able to reproduce. Female house mice that live indoors all year long have an estrous cycle throughout the year. Female mice that live outdoors are capable of expelling their estrous cycle during winter or colder months. Typically four to six days is the length of the female house mouse’s estrous cycle. If males are absent from a territory and the territory becomes over populated with only females then the females may not have an estrous cycle at all or may not until the female population diminishes in the territory or until males are introduced back into the territory. If a female has not had an estrous cycle for a long period of time and is then introduced to the scent of a male she will go into an estrous cycle within three days.
Male House Mice emit a specific ultrasonic sound or call when attempting to attract a female in her estrous cycle. The call becomes more and more frequent as a male picks up the pheromone sent of a female during her estrous cycle as well as during and after mating occurs.
House Mice are monogamous at times and polygamous at other times depending of the situation. However the majority of the time they are polygamous. Male House Mice can be very territorial and will fight to the death to protect their territory and the females that reside within that territory. Polygamous male House Mice tend to have little to no dealings with their offspring. The females within the territory will form communal nursing groups which helps to better protect the pups.
Female House Mice are sometimes polygamous also having multiple mating partners during one mating period. This act will allow the female to become pregnant by multiple males at once meaning she will give birth to a litter that has multiple fathers. Nature has equipped House Mice with the ability to be able to detect a specific hormone in urine which allows them to determine whether the mouse that left that urine is related or not. This helps prevent inbreeding. Both females and males prefer to mate with unrelated partners.
What are the nesting habits of the House Mouse?
House Mice build nest to deliver and raise their pups in. The number of mice living in a nest can vary but usually is between 3 and 24 mice. Homeowners and pest control companies have found House Mice nesting in mattresses, in dresser drawers, in shoes, kitchen cabinets, sofas, in boxes, in luggage, in file cabinets, in wall cavities, ceiling voids, under appliances, in piles of clothing, attic or crawl space fiberglass insulation, in wood piles, in debris piles, in unused cars or vehicles. House Mice are also commonly found nesting behind, under and in appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers. It is common to find them nesting under gas ovens where they can benefit from the heat of the oven as well as rip apart the insulation that protects the internal heat of the oven to construct their nest. The constant running of a refrigerators motor provides plenty of warmth for the new born pups. Basically, any area that provides warmth, dryness, seclusion and protection from predators. The nesting site must also be in close proximity to a food source. On the inside of a home House Mice will rip apart paper, string, fabric, insulation, mattress and pillow batting, carpet, cardboard, plastics and other soft materials they can manipulate and construct their nest with. On the outside House Mice will often use grass clippings and straw to construct their nest.
House Mice will chew holes through baseboards to nest in wall cavities. Usually these holes are found when a homeowner moves furniture for cleaning purposes. As you can see in the photo below this Columbia, Maryland homeowner moved a large bookcase away from the wall and found that mice chewed a hole in the corner through the baseboard. The homeowner was prompted to move the bookcase when they noticed books were being chewed on and paper was being shredded. Apparently mice were ripping apart the books to construct a new nest behind the baseboard. You can also see the rub marks from the oil and dirt from the mouse fur and mouse urine. The dark stain on the baseboard and the dark stain on the carpet clearly show the trails from the mice. This hole was less than 4 months old.
How many young do House Mouse have and how are the young raised?
The female House Mouse has a gestation period of between 19 and 21 days. Typically a female will give birth to between 3 and 14 young but the average litter size is between 6 and 8. The average female house mouse has 5 to 10 litters each year which equals out to be 30 to 80 new mice per year.
Baby House Mice are called pups and are born without fur and blind. They cannot hear for the first four days of their life because their ears are not fully developed when they are born. After the fourth day their ears have developed enough for them to hear. On day 6 their fur has grown enough to see it and on the 10th to 13th day their eyes open enough for them to be able to see. When the pups are about 21 days old they are usually stop nursing off of the mother and are on solid foods. At 6 weeks old both the young males and females reach sexual maturity and are able to mate for the first time.
What types of damages do Mice cause?
The general rule is that for every mouse you see there is 5 to 10 mice you don’t see. So if a homeowner is seeing a mouse on occasion they need to be aware that there are several other mice living in the house also. The more mice and the longer period of time the mice are living in the house the more damage will be done and the more costly it becomes to eradicate the mice, seal the entry points, cleanup the feces and urine and repair the damage(s) they caused.
Most homeowners that discover mice in their home in the early stages of an infestation and have an exterminator or pest control company take care of the problem typically do not experience much damages. However, even if the mouse problem is in the beginning stages a mouse most likely chewed a hole through the exterior of your home to gain entry and that hole is like an open door. It’s imperative to fine the holes and properly seal them to prevent other mice or snakes that are looking to feed on the mice from entering your home.
The photo above shows a heavily used mouse trail that was discovered on top of firming strips behind cedar siding on the exterior wall of the home in Frederick, Maryland. Mice were climbing about 5 feet up behind the cedar siding then running across this firming strip and entering a hole they chewed through to access the interior. This mouse trail is littered with acorns that the mice have been eating. The red arrow points to a snake skin that was left behind by a snake that was feeding on the mice. Even though this snake skin is on the exterior of the home it is very likely that the snake continued on the trail following the scent of the mice to the inside of this home. Over 20 mice were trapped in the interior of this home and 6 large Black Rat Snakes were removed as well.
Damage(s) caused from Mouse urine and Droppings
A single mouse is capable of leaving behind 50 to 75 feces pellets each day and hundreds of droplets of urine per day. The feces pellets and urine droplets are usually scattered along the trails that the mice use over and over. Eventually urine pillars are formed when the mouse urine accumulates over time. House Mice make urine pillars from grease, dirt, and urine.
Damage(s) caused by Mice chewing and gnawing
House Mice constantly chew or gnaw on many different materials and surfaces for different reasons. Mice are rodents and all rodents must gnaw on materials such as wood to maintain their teeth and prevent their teeth from over growing. House Mice will gnaw on furniture, baseboards, walls, kitchen cabinets, support beams in the attic or crawl space, clothing, rubber, plastic, and more.
When water is scares House Mice are known for chewing a hole through PVC pipes and copper pipes to access the water inside the pipe. This usually happens in a wall cavity or ceiling. Even if the mouse only chews a pin size hole in the pipe water will leak or drip out causing water damage to everything below. Even if the mouse only chewed a pin size hole the constant dripping will saturate sheet rock, plaster, insulation, support beams and more. A pin size hole may go un-noticed for a long period of time or until the homeowners takes notice of the water damage. Sever damage will occur from the water constantly leaking out of the pipe if a larger hole was chewed through the pipe.
It is common for House Mice to chew holes through the exterior walls of a home to access the interior in search of food and protection from predators and harsh weather. These holes are usually found at the bottom of a door or around the foundation of the home or around pipes and electrical wiring that leads into the home. House Mice will chew through vinyl, cedar, and light gauge aluminum siding to enter a home. They will also climb vertical exterior walls to locate a vulnerable spot they can chew through. No matter where the mouse chews a hole through it will have to be repaired to prevent other mice or pest from entering and to prevent water from causing damage to the interior of the home.
House Mice are notorious for chewing on electrical wire. Though it is extremely rare for a fire to start from mice chewing on electrical wiring in a home however they often cause light fixtures and electrical outlets to short out. Some homeowners don’t even realize they have a mouse problem until they have to call an electrician in to investigate electrical problems. As the electrician conducts his or her inspection they discover Romex electrical wiring that has gnaw markings.
Should homeowners try to take care of a mouse infestation their self?
In attempt to save money homeowners often try to take care of a mouse problem on their own by setting snap traps or placing other mouse control devices alongside baseboards and in kitchen cabinets. Usually do-it-yourself pest control projects end in failure do to the homeowner’s lack of knowledge or experience about mouse or rodent control. Many do-it-yourself rodent control projects end up costing the homeowner more money than if they would have just hired a pest control company or exterminator from the beginning.
Many mouse control products that are sold to the general public do not work and in some cases they attract more mice. A study on ultrasonic mouse control devices at the University of Virginia concluded that these devices actually attract more mice instead of running the mouse out of the house. The ultrasonic noise emitted from the device actually replicates the specific ultrasonic sound or call that male House Mice use to attract females for mating.
Many homeowners have put out poisons to take care of their mouse problem but sometimes that ends in very bad results. A homeowner in Frederick Maryland attempted to resolve a mouse infestation on her own by putting out mouse poisons and unfortunately killed her dog. The poisons did in fact kill the mice but her dog eat one of the dead mice in the yard which caused the dog to die. Many of the mice on the inside of the house also died and as a result her house smelled so bad she had to move out for a month since the mice died in the walls and their carcasses were not accessible. The photo below shows a dead mouse in the homeowners yard.
How to hire the right pest control company?
Most homeowner’s assume all contractors, pest control company’s and exterminators that advertise on the web are licensed and insured but they are not. The first thing you should ask when you call a pest control company is “are you licensed and insured.” Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control is insured, licensed and is recommended by the state of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control is a full service pest and wildlife control company. We evict or trap the invasive species and seal existing entry points to prevent future infestations. Our team of experts will also restore any damaged areas back to its original state.
How long does a House Mouse live?
Many animals such as cats, hawks, owls, snakes, and more prey on mice when they live outside. Because of this and harsh weather field mice or mice that live outside live to an average of 6 months. Even in that short time period a female mouse is able to give birth to between 15 and 40 baby mice. Mice that live inside homes and buildings often live two or three years. This still sounds like a short life span and you would think that with such a short life span House Mice would struggle to survive as a species however in two to three years a female is capable of producing 60 to 240 baby mice.
What predators does the House Mouse have?
House Mice that live outside in the wild are called Field Mice and Field Mice have a high mortality rate in the first year of their life do to the many predators that seek them out around the clock. Birds of prey including several different species of hawks and owls feed on mice almost daily. Several different species of snakes also prey on mice. Snakes such as the black rat snake enter homes through the same entry holes mice use to track down and eat the mice. Some homeowners have discovered several snake skins in their attic or basement meaning that a snake or snakes have been surviving off of the mice living in their home for many months. Domestic cats prey on mice. Many farmers keep many barn cats to control the population of mice in barns. Mammals such as raccoons, fox, skunk and opossums will feed on mice. Even rats have been known to eat the occasional mouse.
What diseases does the House Mouse carry?
House Mice carry several diseases that can be transmitted to humans however it typically happens in homes that have an infestation of mice. Children are far more prone to contracting a disease from mice because they are always putting their hands and other objects in their mouth. House Mice urinate on everything in their territory and the urine can be difficult to impossible to see with the naked eye especially if the urine is on carpet. If a child is crawling on the floor or a sofa were mice have been urinating then the child is going to get mouse urine on their hands.
A child in Columbia Maryland had a severe infection in his blood do to the high amount of mouse urine found in the child’s blood. A highly recommended pest control company was called in to thoroughly inspect the home to determine how this child could have ingested enough mouse urine to cause a blood infection and make this child so sick. The pest control expert used a high powered black light to identify any areas where the mice were urinating. He discovered that mice were urinating on everything along their trail from their nest which was behind the child’s toy chest to the dog food bowl in the kitchen which was about 15 feet away. He also discovered that the mice were urinating on a reclining chair next to the child’s toy chest. A second mouse nest was discovered in the living room sofa and a third in the child’s upstairs bedroom were the mice were nesting in the child’s mattress. A constant food source was available because the child had a pet bird in his bedroom and the bird constantly throwing its bird food out of the cage on to the floor.
The Center For Disease Control has provided an up-to-date list of what diseases humans are currently contracting from House Mice. Humans contract these diseases through their feces, urine, saliva, bites and simply through physical contact with dead or live House Mice. Some of these diseases are spread to humans indirectly through ticks, mites, and fleas that have fed on infected House Mice then bit a human.
These disease are:
- Humans contract this infectious disease by drinking water and by eating food that is contaminated with urine from infected House Mice.
- Humans can also become infected by physical contact and from mucous membranes with water or soil that is contaminated with infected House Mouse urine.
- Humans contract this disease by breathing in dust that is contaminated with House Mouse urine or droppings.
- Humans also contract this disease by physical contact with House Mice or their urine and droppings as well as through bite wounds.
- Humans contract this deadly disease from being bitten by a flea that first bit an infected House Mouse.
- Humans can also contract this deadly disease from physical contact with an infected House Mouse.
- Humans contract this disease from being bitten or scratched by an infected House Mouse.
- Humans can also be infected by physical contact with a dead or live House Mouse or by eating or drinking foods that have been contaminated by infected House Mouse feces.
- This is a very common wide spread disease that humans contract by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with House Mouse feces.
- Humans contract this disease by physical contact with infected dead House Mice or by being bitten by an insect that has first bitten an infected House Mouse.
- Humans can also contract this disease by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by a dead House Mouse or by breathing in the bacteria.
What do Mouse droppings look like?
Above is a photo of mouse droppings at the top of the quarter and rat droppings below the quarter. Mouse droppings are smooth with pointed ends between 1/8” inch to a ¼” inch long.