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The British Mice Identification Guide

There are many different types of mice native to Britain. Any type of mouse found in your home is unwelcome but knowing the species of mouse currently causing the nuisance is important. Here at Avon Pest Control, we provide you with a handy guide to British mice identification, so you know what you are dealing with.

Only a few mice species are considered pests, these can pose a threat to homes and businesses. We help you identify the top 3 mice species in Britain today. So you can better control their numbers. These are the most common mice you might encounter within your property, garage, outbuilding or shed. The top three includes the house mouse, field or wood mouse and the yellow necked field mouse.

British Mice Identification Guide - The Wood Mouse one of the most common mice in Britain today.

The Wood Mouse by Christian Fischer

Field Mouse – Wood Mouse (Apodemus Sylvaticus)

Appearance: This wood or field mouse is the most common species of mouse in Britain. It has a sandy brown fur, with a white-grey belly. They have large back feet to aid jumping.  The tail is around the same length as the head and body combined

Behaviour: Wood mice are extremely quick and nocturnal, so can be difficult to spot during the daytime. This species does not hibernate, meaning they can be an all year pest. They will try to find a warm indoor location during winter, including your home!

Smell: no strong smell

Diet:  Wood mice mainly feed on nuts, seeds and invertebrates, storing seeds and berries in autumn time.

Lifespan: around 1 year in the wild.  Up to 3 years in environments with less predators and more favourable conditions

British Mice Identification Guide - Comparing field or wood and house mice.

House Mouse (Mus Musculus)

Appearance: Unlike the field mouse, this species is all over brown-grey in colour, including the tail. They are around 7.5- 10 cm from nose to tail base. Their tails are almost completely hairless, and around the same length as the body, measuring around 5- 10cm.  Unlike the field mouse, their hind feet are small.

Behaviour: House mice, as the name implies, tend to live in close proximity to humans. So, if you see a mouse, there is a high chance it is a house mouse.  Like the field mouse, house mice do not hibernate.

Smell: Unlike the field mouse, these mice are strong smelling!

Diet: The house mice eat around three grams of food per day and favour cereal. Rather than storing food like the field mouse, the house mouse tends to eat as soon as they have located a food source.

Lifespan: The house mouse lives for around 1 year in the wild.  Up to 3 years in environments with less predators or more favourable conditions.

British Mice Identification Guide - Micromys Minutus or the harvest mouse

Micromys Minutus or a Harvest Mouse

Harvest Mouse (Micromys Minutus)

Appearance: This species is the smallest rodent in Europe, weighing up to just 6g.  It is reddish-brown in colour, with a white belly. Unlike field or house mice, harvest mice have a prehensile tail, which aids grasping, climbing and manipulating objects, aiding them to move quickly through long grass.

Behaviour: Harvest mice tend to build their nests above the ground in tall grasses. Harvest mice are less active in winter, but do not hibernate.

Smell: Unlike house mice, this species does not carry a strong odour.

Diet: Harvest mice eat mostly seeds and insects, but also dine on fruit and nectar.  Like the field mouse, harvest mice store food in their nests to help sustain them over wintertime

Lifespan: The harvest mouse has an average life span of around 18 months, but they can live to around 5 years in captivity.


British Mice Identification Guide by Avon Pest Control - woman holding a dead mouse

If mice have begun to feel the cold and settled into your home, call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463 or click here to visit or website for more information on our mice pest control services.

Our qualified, responsible technicians will happily discuss your pest problem and provide friendly, expert advice.

Avon Pest Control can also help and assist with the decontamination of your home or business after the pests have been removed.

COVID-19: We are currently operating with strict PPE controls on essential work for your safety.



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