Sometimes known as meadow voles, field mice are a common sight near wooded areas, especially those that contain thick brush. They are small mammals, just six or seven inches long, with short furry tails. They can be distinguished from regular mice by their longer fur and shorter tails. They also have smaller eyes than regular mice and blunted snouts rather than pointed ones. If your home is situated near woodland, you may see field mice on your property now and then; their presence doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem.
However, field mice can become a problem if they decide to build their nest on your property. They won’t usually enter people’s homes or workplaces, preferring to make their nests in lawns or gardens. Occasionally, they will wander into a building through a crack in its foundations or gaps in its doors and windows. Sometimes people inadvertently carry them inside within bundles of firewood. Once inside, field mice will try to find their way out again, but they can cause some trouble along the way.
If you have field mice on your property, there will be clear signs of their presence, one of which is droppings. Field mouse droppings are small, dark brown, and shaped like rice grains. They are similar to the droppings of true mice but tend to be smaller. Unlike regular mice, whose droppings are usually found indoors, field mice tend to level their droppings near fences and outbuildings or in tall grass. If you also find evidence of branching runways through your grass that leads to small tunnels, these are typical of field mice.
Inhaling field mice droppings can spread hantavirus and other illnesses to people. If you suspect you have an infestation on your property, you should try to deal with it as quickly as possible.