House mice: Second of the five most commonly encountered pests

Mar 20, 2020, 12:25 PM by Fred Speer

A few weeks back, Clark, your neighborly pest control, lawn care, and termite control expert, shared a list of the five most frequently encountered pests that you may see crawling or otherwise moving in and around your home. The list includes the following rogue’s gallery:

  1. Roof rats (February 28)
  2. House mice
  3. Argentine ants
  4. Cellar spiders
  5. German cockroaches

The list was generated from pest trend data from across the state, and was analyzed by Clark Pest Control’s chief pest expert, Darren Van Steenwyk, Director of Learning and Technical Services.

This week, we meet the ubiquitous house mouse, a constant and unwanted visitor in homes and businesses across California. Why are house mice so common? Where might you encounter them in your home? What you can do to reduce your risk? Clark is pleased to share the following information:

- The adult house mouse ranges from 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches in combined length of head and body, with a tail length of an additional 2 3/4 inches. Its fur is short, and coloring is gray, with either light gray- or cream-colored fur under its belly.

- Mice can access a home through openings in the foundation the diameter of a dime.

- House mice are found where food and shelter are plentiful, and if you’re seeing mice active in the daytime, the population at your home most likely is exploding.

- Mice prefer nesting sites that are dark, in secluded places with an abundance of nesting materials, which can include paper products, cotton, packing materials, insulation, and fabrics.

- Mice typically will eat anything, but they prefer seeds and insects.

- A house mouse’s territory is relatively small, and it usually travels along walls and objects on the floor. These pathways are typically free of dust or cobwebs, but contain droppings that are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, rod-like and smooth with pointed ends.

- Droppings or urine from mice can contaminate surfaces in kitchens and pantries, and are vectors of several food-borne diseases, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.

- Eliminating sources of food and water, and exclusion measures such as screening, caulking, or otherwise closing off access points, will help keep mice out.

Why is the house mouse so common? The house mouse reproduces very quickly, and does not require an overabundance of food to survive. When it becomes established in an area, it may not venture far out from its nest to look for food.

Where might you most often encounter or notice mice? The first place usually will be in your garage and storage shed. That will lead to activity in common areas where food is stored, like your kitchen and pantry.

Is there anything you can do to reduce your home’s risk? Clean in those areas where mice are found, and keep food sources (grains, seeds, cereal, pet food, and other foodstuffs) in sealable containers.

If you have concerns about mice around your home, call or text California’s trusted, friendly rodent management expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339), or send an email to

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Clark Pest Control public health statement:


The number-one priority at Clark Pest Control is protecting the world where our employees and customers live, work, and play. We are closely monitoring the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and our top priority is keeping our employees and customers safe. Our organization has had a longstanding partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has spawned multiple public health and educational initiatives involving pest-related health risks. In addition to following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO), we already have policies and procedures in place across our business to address issues that may arise during this outbreak and potential pandemic events.