Why Are Mice Able To Squeeze Through Very Small Spaces?

One of the most effective methods for best control is prevention, and this method often includes searching your home’s outer walls for entry points. However, when searching for these entry points, you might start to wonder what exactly are you looking for? How big of a hole do mice and other pests need to enter the home? Well, a good rule of thumb is that if a hole is large enough for a #2 pencil, it is large enough for a mouse. You can also use a dime to identify entry points. Basically, the hole needs to have a diameter of about a quarter of an inch. So how are mice able to squeeze through holes this small?

The myth of the collapsible mouse skeleton

One of the original explanations for the ability of the house mouse to squeeze through really small spaces was that the species was equipped with a collapsible skeleton. There are also theories that mice do not have collarbones. Both of these speculations are not true. Mice have a sloping clavicle that is in a position which allows it to squeeze through tight spaces. In fact, its entire skeletal structure, starting from the skull, is “streamlined” so that no body part gets in the way when the mouse is in tight spaces.

Avoiding getting stuck

So how does a mouse know which spaces it can squeeze through? It might seem like a sixth sense at first. However, it’s just one of the regular five senses. A mouse will use its whiskers to gauge the width of a hole. As it enters and travels through the hole, its whiskers will indicate if it’s viable to continue. Basically, if the head can fit through a tight space, the body of the mouse can as well.

Have mice entered your home?

Finding and sealing all the holes in your exterior wall that are more than a quarter inch wide is essential to prevent mice from entering the home. However, these small rodents are very adept at infiltration, being excellent climbers and diggers, so even with our best efforts, they may still be able to find a way in. If you suspect that you have a mouse infestation, contact us today. The house mouse can reproduce very quickly, and an infestation can get out of hand fast. Getting rid of this pest as soon as possible is paramount.