- Size: About 8 to 13 cm long (excluding the tail)
- Color: Brown or gray with a lighter belly
- Appearance: Long tail, slender body
- Attraction: Dense vegetation areas for food (seeds, bulbs, insects), shelters in compost heaps or under outbuildings
- Detection Element: Noises under the floor or in the walls, footprints in the dust, damage to indoor plants.
Appearance of the Field Mouse
The field mouse, a small rodent mammal, is distinguished by its characteristic appearance that facilitates identification. It generally has brown-gray fur, paler on the belly, and a relatively long and thin tail, often half the length of its body. Its ears are quite large and rounded, while its eyes are bright and expressive. An adult measures between 8 and 13 centimeters long, not including the tail, and weighs about 20 to 40 grams. This modest size, combined with an agile silhouette, makes it easily distinguishable among other small rodents.
Habitat of the Field Mouse
Field mice favor varied habitats, but they show a preference for wooded areas, fields, and gardens, where they can easily find food and shelter. In Quebec, in villages like Roxton Pond, Chambly, or Bécancour, their presence is notable. These regions, offering a combination of agricultural areas, forests, and urban zones, provide an ideal habitat for field mice. The mix of vegetation cover and the availability of food, such as seeds and small invertebrates, are key factors explaining their abundance in these areas.
Behavior of the Field Mouse
The behavior of the field mouse is primarily characterized by its nocturnal nature. These rodents are mostly active at night, where they go in search of food, mainly seeds, fruits, and insects. They are also known for storing food in their nests for less abundant periods. Field mice are excellent climbers and swimmers, allowing them to escape predators and explore various environments. In terms of social behavior, field mice tend to be solitary, except during the breeding season. Their ability to quickly adapt to different environments allows them to survive in varied conditions, whether in rural or urban areas. This adaptability, combined with their high reproduction rate, explains why they are so widespread and often perceived as pests in certain regions.
Distinguishing the Field Mouse from Other Rodents
Although often confused with the field mouse, the house mouse is distinguished by several characteristics. House mice are generally smaller, with a body length of 7 to 9 cm, and have a tail almost as long as their body. Their fur is often uniformly gray or brown, unlike the field mouse which has a more nuanced hue and a lighter belly. Moreover, house mice tend to settle near human dwellings, seeking food and shelter, while field mice prefer more natural outdoor environments.
The shrew, a small insectivorous mammal, is distinctly different from the field mouse. The most striking feature of the shrew is its long pointed nose, unlike the more rounded snout of the field mouse. Shrews also have denser fur and a more slender body. They are much smaller, with a total length usually not exceeding 7 cm. Unlike the field mouse, shrews are not rodents and have a diet mainly composed of insects and small invertebrates.