white footed mouse image

What Kinds of Mice Live in Basements?

Homeowners that find tiny, rice-sized droppings and hear scratching or squeaking noises in their basements are likely dealing with a mouse infestation.

Several types of mice, including field mice, are known to hide in secluded areas throughout the home, so species identification often comes down to appearance and smell.

  • Body: Field mice have brownish backs, white bellies, and bi-colored tails, while house mice have solid gray or brownish fur.
  • Eyes: Field mice tend to have larger eyes and ears relative to their head size than house mice.
  • Odor: House mice carry a much stronger and more unpleasant, musty odor than field mice.

Does Mouse Species Matter?

While the two types of mice create similar problems for residents, there are some differences in their behavior.

Field mice in basements or homes do not persist in the house environments year round, whereas house mice populations will stay in the house, as they prefer to live outdoors in meadows and barns.

However, when they do come indoors, field mice tend to be more robust and energetic than house mice, which are meeker in the presence of humans.

Damage Caused by a Field Mouse in the Basement

While making themselves at home in basements, the pests cause expensive damage.

Insulation and packing supplies like cardboard and newspaper make excellent nesting materials, while exposed pipes, beams, and wiring are ideal for gnawing.

Basements used for storage also offer a variety of hiding places that make field mice difficult to remove.

Field Mouse Diseases

Any mouse can have fleas and ticks in their fur.

However, unlike house mice, field mice in basements are constantly exiting the home and returning. Therefore, they are more likely to pick up disease-carrying parasites like Lyme carrying deer ticks.

Rodent droppings are also reservoirs for Hantavirus. In dark basement corners, it’s easy to overlook mouse droppings and step on them, releasing infected waste particles into the air.

Mouse-Proofing Basements

Field mice rarely bother with buildings that don’t have easy exits and entrances.

Habitat Modification
Make basements less attractive to the pests by caulking holes or filling them with steel wool. Pay special attention to areas where utility lines enter the house.

Traps and other control methods are available, but have their own dangers and hassles.

Call the Experts
Trust the experts at Western Pest to remove field mice in the basement.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857