Mice are not man’s best friend. The House mouse like our houses because mice are opportunistic, and because life in the wild is usually more perilous for them than life with us. Heavy predation, weather and starvation are all great threats to the house mouse, especially in the wild. Exponential reproduction rates and the short period between birth and sexual maturity more than make up for high mortality rates.
Let’s suppose the airport flight schedule shows that you face a two hour flight delay. Suppose too that the person sitting next to you looks very different from you. Maybe he is an African pygmy, an Australian aboriginal or a Bandaho River tribesman of the Amazon forest. You try to think about what you might have in common to talk about. One thing you might say is something like, “hey, how ‘bout those House mice?” Unless he lives pretty close to one of Earth’s poles he has to take stringent measures to keep the House mouse out of his lodging, just like you and I. The House mouse lives on every continent except Antarctica, although the species’ origin is thought to be somewhere in Eurasia. You can probably come up with a better line then that. Small talk was never my forte.
This little House mouse loves the company of Human beings. In areas not inhabited by humans the House mouse is content to live in the wild. They are incredibly opportunistic both in habitation and diet. Basically they live wherever they can and eat anything that does not make them sick. Their dietary preference runs along the lines of seeds, leaves, roots and stems of plants. They will also eat cockroaches (bless their miniscule little hearts) , carrion (second blessing), caterpillars and beetle larva. When they cohabit with us humans they vary their wild diet to match ours. They will even fatten themselves on your hand soap or glue. The little darlings repay you for the food in a currency resembling grains of black rice.
Wild House mice like to live in elaborate borrowed burrows, where the soil conditions permit and someone else will do the major digging. In the burrows they organize pantries, sleeping nests, toilette areas and several escape routes. If the terrain is more rocky than soily, a protected rock crevice makes a nice home too. Since a rocky home lacks flexibility a House mouse may have to store the food off the premises, but that works too. In human homes they are famous for living behind the wainscot or any other panelling, the attic, under the floor, inside a couch or almost anywhere. In rural areas they favour grain storage areas as dwelling places, but, again, necessity is the mother of invention and these animals are the Thomas Edisons of the animal world.