The Life Expectancy of Mice

The Life-Expectancy of Mice

Mice are very small creatures that do not live for long. However, that does not mean that you should not call for rodent control if you see any signs of an infestation. With their short life spans, they mature very quickly and can do a lot of damage in a very brief amount of time. Trying to wait out the mice won’t work either because they reproduce quickly and prodigiously. Here are some answers to questions you may have about the life expectancy of mice.

How Long Do Mice Live in the Wild Versus as Pets?

In their natural habitat, mice can live between six months and 18 months, with the former being much closer to the average. They are vulnerable to medical conditions as well as predators. As pets, mice are largely protected from predators and have access to veterinary care and a consistent supply of food. As a result, pet mice tend to live longer than wild mice, but not by much. Pet mice are only expected to live about two years.

What Are Common Causes of Death for Mice?

In the wild, mice are likely to be killed by predators. For example, even though rats and mice are both rodents, rats are much bigger than mice and may see them as prey. Other predators that prey on mice include snakes and coyotes, as well as owls and other birds of prey. Domestic animals, especially house cats, may also hunt and kill mice.

If the mice survive being hunted by predators, they are also susceptible to developing chronic medical conditions that may be fatal, such as kidney disease and cancer. In fact, mice are used for researching conditions such as cancer in part because they are biologically similar enough to humans to be affected by many of the same diseases.

Another potential cause of death in mice is high heat. Mice have less body mass than surface area and thus are less able to regulate body temperature to cool themselves. Exposure to temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit makes mice uncomfortable, while temperatures in the upper 90s can kill them.

While wild mice that make their nests in human homes still aren’t expected to live longer than two years at the most, they may last longer than those that live outside. There is much less exposure to predators and often easy access to food and water, removing some of the challenges that they face outdoors. The climate is often artificially controlled to comfortable levels. Nevertheless, even well-fed and well-protected mice in your home eventually succumb to medical conditions.

Does the Mouse Species Make a Difference?

Life expectancies may vary for different species of mice. The deer mouse is the shortest-lived species with a life span of between two and 14 months. The house mouse typically lives between nine and 12 months. Of the three, the white-footed mouse has the longest life expectancy, but even this is no greater than one to two years.

Why Should You Have Rodent Control Rather Than Waiting The Mice Out?

Some property owners may assume that, because the mice only live two years at most, an infestation is a problem that eventually takes care of itself with time and patience. However, while the original mice that infested your home will die within two years, they will reproduce and give birth to many litters of babies in that time. Not only that, but the females of each new litter become sexually mature at six weeks old and able to start producing litters of their own. By the time the original mice die, the infestation may have grown to hundreds or even thousands.

Furthermore, even in a short amount of time, mice can cause significant damage to your property. They can also expose you to dangerous diseases. Learn more about the risks of rodent infestation and the pest control services that Truly Nolen provides.