Ever been sitting at home relaxing, then out of the corner of your eye, you spot a small rodent?
As you turn your head, you realize it is a mouse, and your heart sinks as you ponder…
I wonder how many more there are?
It is a big question! And one that is difficult to answer too.
When you see one mouse, you might well assume that you have more… and you might be right!
If I told you that 1 mouse can turn into 127 mice within 147 days, would that concern you?
How many mice do you have?
The short answer is if you:
- Have only just heard or seen the mouse
- Haven’t noticed any more signs
Then you may have got lucky! You may only have one mouse.
However, if you hear mice regularly, and you notice droppings and gnawed items, then it is very likely that you have more mice.
Recommended reading: Hunting down common points of entry for mice. That knowledge is vital for keeping them out of your house, and winning the rodent war!
The first question you need to ask is:
How long has the mouse been in my house?
How Long Has The Mouse Been In My House?
To find out how many mice you have in your home, this is one of the most important questions to answer.
You can do a few things to determine how long you have had a mouse in the house.
The odds are that if you have not seen any evidence of mice activity, and you have only seen 1 mouse, then you may have got lucky!
Has The Mouse Built A Nest?
It is important to hunt throughout your home for nests.
If you are unable to find a mouse nest in your home, that is awesome news! It means it has not been in your home long enough to create one.
What Is The Average Litter Size For A Mouse?
Why is it important to know the average litter size?
It is important to know because if you think you have more than 1 mouse in your home and think they may have set up a nest, you know how many more mice will be in your home.
There is more bad news too! A female reaches sexual maturity at around 6 weeks old. If you have had mice in for longer than 6 weeks, you may have a mouse infestation on your hands! Time to get out the mouse traps and peanut butter (for bait)…
So, If You See One Mouse, How Many Do You Have?
You are asking the question now means that you are unlikely to have seen mouse activity before now.
That is good news!
It is good news because it means you have probably caught your mouse problem before they set up home in your house.
The longer you leave the mouse problem, the more chance you have of allowing a family of mice to expand and destroy your home!
If you have noticed mouse activity in your home before and are only asking this question, you should take the average litter size as the answer, plus 1 (female mouse). The answer is 8.
- If seeing a mouse is the first time you have notice mouse activity in your home, it is likely only to be 1 mouse.
- If you have noticed signs recently but have ignored them or not realized they are signs, I would suggest the answer is 8.
- As time goes by, the mouse population in your home explodes, and it is not possible to count how many.
You will need to check around your home for mouse activity. This is best completed during the day (mice are nocturnal).
Check throughout your house for:
- Mouse droppings
- Evidence of nesting
- Gnawed items
The more of these items you see, the more chance you have more than one mouse in your house.
1 Mouse Turns Into Many Mice VERY Quickly!
If you have been through the questions on this post and have concluded that you only have 1 mouse, it is awesome news, congrats!
I want to run you through some math to show you how quickly 1 mouse can turn into a house full… first, we need to make an assumption. You have 1 in your home, and it is a pregnant mouse looking for somewhere to nest.
Day 1: 1 mouse
A female mouse is pregnant for around 21 days. The average litter size for a mouse is 6-8. Let’s assume this litter is 6.
Day 21: 7 mice (4 females, 3 males)
A female mouse reaches sexual maturity in 6 weeks. In 6 weeks, you may have 4 pregnant mice in your home.
Day 84: The 4 pregnant mice have given birth. Assuming that the 4 pregnant mice give birth to 6 mice each, you will now have 31 mice in your home. The initial mouse + 6 + 24 (new litters). If we break it down by gender, you now have 16 females and 15 males (on average).
Time for a reminder: in 6 weeks, all of the female mice will reach sexual maturity.
Day 147: All of the female mice have given birth. That is 16 female mice that have given birth to an average of 6 mice per litter. 16 x 6 = 96 mice. Add that to the previous number of mice, and you now have 127 mice in your home.
1 mouse to 127 mice can only take 147 days!
I could continue, but I think you get the picture. The message is clear, even if you only have 1 mouse in your home, you should be declaring an all-out war to get rid of it!
Is there ever just one mouse?
The number of mice inside your home depends entirely on how long you have either:
- Not noticed mouse activity
- Ignored the signs of mice
If you catch it as soon as it enters your home, then it is very likely to only be one mouse in your home. If you have been hearing noises for some time, there are likely to be more!
It would be best to react immediately when you hear mice noises and seal up those entry points.
Ultimately, the answer depends entirely on the amount of time the mouse has been in your home. If it has been in your house for more than 6 weeks, you could easily have a mouse infestation on your hands. If you have only found 1 mouse, and that is now gone, you should continue to look for further evidence of activity.
Check all the places mice like to hide in your home.
Leave no stone left unturned. If you want to get rid of mice from your home, you need to spend a lot of time investigating. If you don’t do it correctly, you could have a mouse infestation in no time.
Do mice leave on their own?
Mice have been known to leave on their own, yes… but don’t bank on it happening!
It all depends on what you have on offer. If you allow easy access to:
…then the mice will definitely not leave! If anything, you are risking an infestation.
The only time I have known mice to leave without any form of pest control is when all the attractions are removed from the property. If they don’t have anything to eat, they will leave in search of food. If they do not feel safe, they will seek another area to set up a nest. For instance, if you have a cat in your home, the mice will be very fearful! The presence of any predator will make mice fearful of settling down in that area.
Also, just because you are lucky enough to have a mouse that has left on its own, it doesn’t mean that it will not be back, and it doesn’t mean that no other mice will find their way in! You must spend some time investigating any potential entry points around your home. This is the best form of rodent control; take it from me!
I have a monthly task in my diary to check around my house for points of entry. If I find any, they are sealed up immediately! Prevention is better than a cure.
How Many Droppings Does One Mouse Leave?
You probably do not want to know the answer to this question, but I will answer it!
A mouse is capable of producing between 50-75 droppings every day.
Not only is that particular stat disgusting, but it also vastly increases the chances that a disease will be transmitted.
Hantavirus is a very nasty disease and is transmitted through mouse droppings. Ultimately, you will want to clean up mouse droppings as and when you find them. This will reduce the chances of disease transmission. When cleaning mouse droppings, I always wear the following:
- Facemask – do reduce or remove the chances of breathing in dry mouse droppings.
- Feet protectors – if I don’t have any, I will place plastic bags over my strong boots.
- Strong gloves – my preference is for strong rubber gloves as you can dispose of these once you have cleaned up the droppings.
If it is a big clean-up job, I will also wear a disposable coverall suit.
Does one mouse mean an infestation?
Not necessarily, no.
One mouse might be a single mouse… you might be lucky!
Having said that, there is also an excellent chance that you have more mice, which can be considered an infestation. You need to check to see how many mice you are dealing with by following the advice on this page.
Always ensure that you record any evidence of mice activity (such as mouse droppings) because you will need that info to increase your confidence that all the mice have gone and you are totally rodent-free!
After reading this article, you are now in a much better place to understand how many mice you have and address any mouse infestation you may have.
When writing this article, what concerned me most of all was the math to figure out how quickly 1 mouse can turn into 147 mice in 127 days. I am not going to lie; that sent a few shivers down my spine! Imagine taking that many mice one… your home will be destroyed!
If you notice 1 mouse enter your home, get rid of it quickly. And don’t be fooled if you do not hear any noise during the day, because mice are nocturnal.
With that in mind, it is vital to ensure that you follow an excellent pest control guide to get rid of mice. Stop mice from getting in, sure up those entry points, and you are winning the war!