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house mouse

Fact File

Scientific Name: Mus musculus musculus

Classification: Mammalia, Order Rodentia, Family Cricetidae

Identifying Characteristics

This species has a total length from 154-175 mm, and the weight is 13-30 grams. The color of the back is yellow-brown to gray-brown, and the belly is paler to white. The ears are naked, and the tail is not sharply bicolored, nearly naked. This species is capable of breeding throughout the year, and several litters of 3-10 young are born per year. The nest is a loose structure of rags, papers and grass. This species is colonial, and displays social dominance. It is nocturnal. They will consume anything organic although they prefer grain. They can be known by their spindle shaped droppings. This species is exotic introduced. Predators include owls, hawks, fox, coyotes, weasels, raccoons and cats. They are often used as a laboratory animal. They are a greater health hazard than the Norway rat since they are able to gain access to humans and their food storage areas.


This species is widespread along roadways but reaches high densities near granaries and barns. In the winter they inhabit barns or other buildings and in the summer they build their nests closer to food sources in the fields.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.