three mice on a shoe

Here’s How Fast a Mouse Infestation Can Spread in Your Home

Have you ever wondered how places can become overrun with mice? Most people assume it must be the result of neglect. After all, on the surface, it looks like a problem that has had a lot of time to fester and grow.

However, most people don’t realize that mouse infestations can start small and get out of control fast. How fast, exactly? That’s precisely what we’re going to explain below.

Mouse Litters and the Mouse Life Cycle

A female mouse reaches sexual maturity at about 2 months old, which means she is old enough to start having babies (or pups). Unlike some animals, mice breed year-round, so the female does not need to wait until a certain season to begin mating.

Her litter, on average, will range in size from six to eight pups. The mouse raises each litter of pups for about 21 days, after which they’ll wean, leave her, and set out on their own. In just another five weeks, any female pups she had will be sexually matured and ready to breed.

What happens to “mom?” She’ll be busy with another litter soon, perhaps in as little as 25 days. Mice can have several litters a year, producing around 35 pups annually.

How Fast Can a Mouse Infestation Spread?

So we know that one mouse produces about 35 other mice each year. To get an idea of how fast a mouse infestation can spread, let’s crunch a few simple numbers.

Let’s say that just 18 (about half) of this mouse’s pups each year are female. Now you have 19 breeding females (including the original mother). Within one year of that first litter, each of those 19 mice will produce another 35 mice. Again, we’ll assume that 18 (about half of the pups born each year) are female.

Let’s do some math to see how many breeding female mice we can end up with by “Generation 3”:

19 breeding female mice + (19 breeding female mice x 18 female pups born per year) = 361 total breeding female mice

That’s a lot of breeding female mice. Of course, this is a rough and simple calculation, and it only includes 3 generations of mice and not the several other generations that would rapidly follow. It also leaves out factors that might control or decrease the mouse population, such as natural predators and food shortages. However, it does demonstrate that mouse populations grow rapidly and exponentially if left unchecked.

Don’t Let Your Home’s Mouse Problem Get Out Of Hand

Controlling a mouse infestation with long-lasting results can be next to impossible without professional training, experience, and equipment. At Horizon Pest Control, our rodent control experts not only tackle existing infestations but also specialize in preventing future problems. For help with a mouse problem in your New Jersey or New York home, contact our team online or by phone today: (888) 617-6133.