How long does a vole live and how does a mouse winter?

 How long does a vole live and how does a mouse winter?

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The field mouse is a small rodent that spreads all over the world. Belongs to the most numerous species of mammals - the mouse.

There are more than 100 species of this animal on the planet. Its peculiarity is that it perfectly and easily adapts to any living conditions. There are no mice only very high in the mountains and in areas covered with ice.

In this article, we will talk in detail about what a vole mouse is, how long it lives and how it reproduces. You will see a photo of this mammal, learn how harmful and dangerous mice are for gardens, fields and farms.

Field mouse: description

Field mouse description:

  • Body length no more than 12 cm, excluding the tail. The slender tail makes up 70% of the body length.
  • The body is oblong. The hind feet are elongated and protrude forward when running.
  • Long muzzle, small round ears, oblong nose.

The fur is hard, rough, short. The colors can be different - gray, brown, ocher or beige. An even line of black or brown shade runs along the spine. The color of the abdomen is snow-white. At the base, the hairline has a dark shade. Small spots may be present on the chest.

It is interesting! The shade of the animal's fur depends on its age. The older the field mouse, the lighter its fur. With age, the dark base of the hairline begins to lighten. Individual hairs may be gray.

The vole mouse has unique teeth, a pair of long incisors on the lower jaw grow all her life. To prevent excessive growth, and they grow at a rate of 1-2 mm per day, the mouse is forced to continuously grind them against solid objects.

In terms of weight, the average animal does not weigh more than 20 grams.

A photo

Distribution of animals

This representative of the fauna is widespread in Europe. Also, animals can be found in China, Mongolia, Denmark, Finland, Korea, Taiwan. In the Russian Federation, the rodent is common in Primorye, Siberia, and the Urals. Often settles in the hills, climbs low into the mountains.

Found near the Black Sea, Azov Sea. Dislikes desert forest-steppes and continuous forests. It takes root well in humid interfluves.

It prefers overgrown meadows with small depressions, collective farm arable lands, sunny edges of deciduous forests and, of course, vegetable gardens. It can be found in greenhouses, greenhouses, cellars, barns, abandoned utility sheds and even in residential premises.

IMPORTANT! With the onset of the autumn period, rodents move into haystacks, haystacks, heaps of straw.


The breeding period for the vole mouse is from early spring to mid-autumn. In one season, the animal is able to bring 3-4 offspring... In rare cases, up to 5-6. Bearing pups lasts 21-23 days. 5-7 babies are usually born in one litter.

Babies are born helpless and blind, but they develop very rapidly:

  • 12-14 days after birth, they receive their sight.
  • They become independent in 30 days after birth.
  • Young individuals are capable of giving birth to young as early as 90-105 days after birth.

How long does a field mouse live? The life span of a striped field mouse can reach 7 years, but in the wild, animals usually live for a year or two.

Now imagine how fast rodents can breed in just one summer season, provided there is an abundance of food and sun.


In summer and spring, field mice are active in the evening and at night. In autumn and winter, they can be active during the day. They do not hibernate.

How vole mice winter:

  • Natural shelters or earthen passages can be used as minks.
  • Their burrows reach 3-4 m in length and have 2-4 exits, one of which leads to a watering hole.
  • Dwellings necessarily have a nesting chamber and 2-3 storerooms in which winter supplies are stored.
  • The storerooms are located at a depth of 0.5-1 m.

IMPORTANT! Rodents living in swampy areas do not dig holes. They build nests. The main material is grass. Such dwellings are usually located on tall shrubs.

Distinctive features

Vole mice have their own, distinctive from other rodents, features:

  • Depending on the habitat (eastern and western), individuals have different colors and sizes.
  • It differs from other rodents in the presence of an even strip along the spine.
  • Unlike mice, it has a larger body size.
  • It differs from the Daurian hamster in a longer tail.
  • Unlike lemons, it has a longer puberty - about 100 days.
  • Compared to other rodent subspecies, the field mouse has an underdeveloped auricle.
  • The fur of field mice is coarser. And in adults, soft needles often appear, like hedgehogs.
  • Field mice belong to a mobile subspecies. They are characterized by seasonal feeding movements.
  • Can be found in swampy areas. At the same time, they use grass nests as burrows.

Very often other species of mammals that look like voles are mistaken for mice. The most common types of rodents that resemble mice in appearance:

  1. Ground rat. Despite this name, this animal actually belongs to the mouse family, but differs from the voles in its large size.
  2. Baby deaf. Lives underground and belongs to the hamster family.

And also rodents from the vole mouse family:

  1. Yellow and steppe pestle. Outwardly they look like mice, but they have a number of distinctive features. Read more about pestles here.
  2. Red and bank voles. Forest dwellers differing from the field by the color of the fur coat.
  3. Roe vole. This species lives in colonies and is capable of making significant, up to 15 kg, reserves for the winter.
  4. Gray vole.

Read about different types of voles here.

What harm is done to a person?

Voles are capable of causing very significant harm to both the storage sites of the crop and the plants in the fields. They are able to damage vegetables planted in the garden and spoil the preparations for the winter in the cellar.

Moreover, these rodents are carriers of infections that are fatal to humans, such as leptospirosis, tularemia, tick-borne typhus fever.

Ways to fight and protect

The main difficulty in fighting field mice is that they live in places hidden from human eyes. This means that catching or poisoning them is quite problematic. therefore the first priority in the fight against voles is the need to find and destroy their homes... This can be done in the following ways.

Drive mice out of the territory

First of all, you need to try to drive out rodents from the site.:

  1. Mow tall grass, remove dry foliage and weeds. You also need to get rid of branches and heaps of plant debris. These are all great burrowing sites.
  2. Fruits that have fallen from the tree should not remain on the territory of the site, since they are an easily accessible source of food for the voles.
  3. Digging up the site can help get rid of burrows and underpasses.
  4. To prevent rodents from spoiling fruit trees, a fine-mesh net is driven into the ground around the trunks. The same can be done around the perimeter of the entire site.

We use scarers

The use of special scarer devices can speed up the process of expelling voles from your territory. They are installed around the perimeter of the site and provide protection against moisture ingress.

We use mousetraps

Conventional mouse traps can also help fight mice. Experienced gardeners recommend installing these devices on the site in early spring and late autumn., since it is at this time that mice reproduce most actively. So that pets do not suffer, the mousetrap can be covered with a box; this will not stop the mice in pursuit of bait.

We use poisons

In late winter and early spring, the use of poisons is very effective. At this time, the mice are hungry and not very picky about food. Poisons are placed directly in burrows.

How to get rid of field mice in the house?

If you have mice in your house, use the time-tested, traditional methods:

  • Mousetraps. At the same time, do not forget about safety measures so that people and pets are not injured.
  • Scarers. The special devices are safe for humans and pets, but have a negative effect on mice.
  • Observing all precautions, you can use poisons.
  • Cat. The most effective, proven and safest "remedy" for mice. If you don't have a cat in your house, borrow it from friends for a while.

Thus, it is quite possible to get rid of mice in the area or in the house. It is enough to create unbearable living conditions for them. And so that the voles do not appear again, prevention is needed - maintaining cleanliness on the site, timely cleaning of vegetable debris and food waste.


In the video, you can see what field mice look like:



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