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field mouse in winter

The term “field mouse” encompasses a variety of different species including deer mice and brown mice. Field mice are small and brown or tan in color. Similar to other species of mice, field mice can’t hibernate. That’s why they have to get creative to survive the winter. Here are a couple ways that field mice stay safe as the temperatures plummet:

1.   They Burrow

Deer mice frequently live and nest in burrows all year. They frequently dig these burrows under or into existing structures such as tree stumps or rocks.

Mice can’t dig through frozen ground, but they can continue to use burrows they already made in the winter. A deep enough burrow may provide enough warmth and cover to allow the field mouse to survive freezing temperatures.

Burrowing field mice can be a problem when they inadvertently dig into your home. Mice tend to dig near or under existing structures like your deck or porch. While they’re burrowing, they may find a crack in the foundation, baseboard, or frame. If they do, they’ll follow the heat source straight into your home. Some field mice may also chew through insulation in order to get inside.

2.   They Nest

Field mice tend to construct small nests out of a wide variety of materials. Their nests usually end up looking like clumps of grass, paper, fabric, insulation, and dust.

In the winter, field mice tend to build their nests in warm areas. They’ll fill out a nest in a burrow, or in an existing structure… like your home. In fact, the search for nesting materials may bring field mice closer to your home. They’ll pull loose insulation or fabric materials away from vulnerable areas of your home. If, while they’re scavenging materials, they happen to find a way in, they’ll take it!

3.   Climb

Brown mice, in particular, are great climbers. They use their climbing ability to enter warm areas most animals may not be able to access. They climb up trees to find hollows or even enter roofs, attics, or vent systems.

Once mice access your roof, they often chew or squeeze their way past shingles and into your home’s insulation. Eventually, they could end up nesting in your attic.

4.   They Sneak Inside

Usually, field mice infestations occur when the mice are trying one of the winter survival techniques listed above. Field mice infestations are especially common in rural or wooded areas.

Field mice infestations usually start in your basement, crawl space, or attic. To stop mice from getting in, patch up gaps in your walls, especially around utility lines and sills. Pay special attention to your dry food and make sure it’s secured in airtight hard plastic containers.

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If you’re in need of help with any kind of mouse or rodent infestation in your home or business, it’s time to get in touch with Plunkett’s. Whether you have house mice, field mice, or something else entirely scurrying around your home, we’ll drive them out for good!

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