Why Is House Mouse Behavior Within Homes And Buildings So Complex, And Why Are They More Difficult To Control Than Other Rodent Pests?

Experience with crushing bugs and being a skilled bug-spray marksman will not qualify a person for a job as a pest control professional. In fact, there are several pest management licensing programs that provide individuals with the knowledge necessary to perform a number of both basic and specialized pest control services. Examples include pesticide applicators licensing, fumigation licensing, termite control licensing, area-wide pest control licensing, agricultural pest control licensing, and many more. Virtually all pest control licensing programs involve educational courses on arthropod, rodent and wildlife biology.

Knowledge of pest biology is particularly important when it comes to rodents, as rodents are relatively intelligent and complex creatures, making them difficult to control. Knowledge of rodent biology allows pest control professionals to pinpoint where in a structure rodents are likely to seek out food and establish nesting sites. Understanding rodent biology also allows pest control professionals to effectively eliminate rodent infestations in unconventional settings. In New York state, several rodent species are known pests of homes and buildings, but the “big three” include Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice. Of these three rodent pests, house mice are, by far, the most common and difficult to control, as house mice have evolved alongside humans longest. Eliminating house mice from a home or building is just about as difficult as eliminating an animal from its natural outdoor habitat.

Since house mice do not hibernate, they are not protected from the excessive cold of winter, which often proves fatal to the animals. Avoiding predators while also struggling to locate food and shelter is a tremendous challenge for house mice, especially during the winter. In order to increase their chances of survival, house mice gradually evolved to live in close association with humans where warm shelter and food are easier to access. Since animals generally avoid groups of humans, living in human settings provides house mice with a largely predator-free environment. According to scientists, house mice first began exploiting human environments around 15,000 years ago, long before the advent of civilization and even agriculture. Living with humans allowed more house mice to survive and reproduce, and today, they dwell primarily indoors and are considered the most successful organisms on the planet.

Have you ever struggled to control a house mouse infestation?