Mice facts

Scientific name: Mus Musculus, Peromyscus maniculatus

Class: Mammalia

Familly Muridae for the house mouse; Cricetidae, for the deer mouse

Order: Rodents

Life span:
The house mouse can live up to 2 years, but on average, we talk about a life expectancy of 1 year. The deer mouse, on the other hand, can live up to 8 years in captivity, but only 1 year in the wild, as mice are prey hunted by many predators.

There are many species of mice in Quebec. The most likely to be found in our homes are the following:

  • Deer mouse;
  • House mouse.

Mice can mate all year round, except in winter for the deer mouse. The house mouse reaches sexual maturity as early as 5 to 6 weeks, while the deer mouse becomes mature around 2 months. Gestation time varies from 18 to 30 days depending on the species and litter sizes can range from 1 to 18 mice.

Mice can be found throughout North America in all climates, with a preference for grasslands and woodlands.

Why do mice squeal?

Since mice have a very complex social life, their squeaks are an important form of communication between individuals. For example, the male emits bridal songs to seduce the female. Some of these squeaks are even inaudible to humans, because they are ultrasounds.

Do mice hibernate?

No, mice remain active in winter, constantly looking for food and shelter to protect themselves from predators

Do the teeth of mice grow continuously?

Yes! Since mice are rodents, their incisors grow continuously all their lives.

Do mice like cheese?

Contrary to popular belief, mice do not really like cheese. Since they developed their diet long before cheese appeared, mice did not learn to need it to get their essential nutrients.

Why are mice used in research?

The house mouse is one of the most commonly used animals in the laboratory because of its genes that are very similar to those of humans, their ease of maintenance, and its very short life/reproduction cycle.