Do Mice Breed in Winter?

Do Mice Breed in Winter?
May 22, 2024 Cure All Pest Control

You’re curled up on the sofa enjoying a cosy evening in when you hear it – that telltale scuttling sound in the wall. Uh oh. Has Mr Mouse moved in for the winter? You frantically Google ‘do mice breed in winter?’ and find yourself down a rabbit hole of searching for treatments that are safe and affordable. Before you know it, you’re wide awake at 2am worrying about a rodent family taking up residence in your home. Well, worry no more! This handy guide will give you the lowdown on mouse behaviour so you can rest easy knowing exactly what’s going on behind your walls and how to handle it. Arm yourself with the facts so you can deal with any unwelcome visitors swiftly and humanely. Read on for the definitive answer to ‘do mice breed in winter?’ plus tips to outsmart these wily little creatures and protect your home.

Do Rats Breed in Winter

Do Mice Breed During Winter Months?

While many animals become less active during winter, mice remain busy breeding throughout the year. Mice are opportunistic breeders and do not have a fixed breeding season. As long as there is access to food and shelter, mice will continue mating and reproducing.

Female mice can have five to six litters per year, with five to six babies in each litter. This means a single pair of mice can produce up to 60 offspring annually! During winter, mice take advantage of shelter and warmth to raise their young. Your roof cavity, garage, and crawl spaces make perfect nesting spots for mice families.

Do mice slow down reproduction in winter?

Mice do not hibernate and remain active breeders in winter. However, their reproduction rate may decrease slightly in the coldest months when food sources are scarce. The gestation period for mice is around 19 to 21 days. Baby mice, called pups, grow rapidly and become independent after 2 to 3 weeks. At 6 weeks, young mice are ready to mate, beginning the cycle over again. So once you notice the first signs of mice infestation, the clock is ticking for you to find a resolution, or the problem will become much harder to handle.

What does this mean for homeowners?

The fact that mice remain prolific breeders in winter means homeowners need to be proactive about rodent control and prevention year-round. Mice infestations should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid significant property damage and health issues. It is best to contact a professional pest control company that can inspect your home, determine the severity of the infestation, and implement an effective treatment plan. Cure All has the proper training, equipment, and pesticides to eliminate mice and seal up any entry points to prevent the pests from returning.

Why Mice Continue to Breed When It’s Cold

Even though winter means colder temperatures, mice remain active and continue breeding.

Their biology allows them to stay warm. Mice have a high metabolic rate, thick fur, and the ability to huddle together for warmth. This means they can maintain a consistent body temperature even in freezing weather.

Food sources are still available. While some food sources may be more scarce in winter, mice are opportunistic eaters and will feed on anything from pet food to trash. As long as there are crumbs or scraps, mice can find nourishment. They are also hoarders and will store excess food to eat later.

Shelter is plentiful. Mice can take up residence in small cracks, attics, basements, sheds, and under porches – any space that protects them from harsh weather. Once inside, they build warm nests using shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous materials.

The breeding cycle continues year-round. Female mice, known as does, can become pregnant again within days of giving birth. A single female mouse can have up to 60 babies in a year. The gestation period is short, only about 3 weeks, so even in winter, multiple litters can be born.

While winter may seem like an unlikely time for mice to breed, their biology, behaviour, and access to food and shelter allow them to remain active in cold months. The only way to stop mice from breeding on your property is through professional pest control and rodent-proofing your home. At Cure All Pest Control, our trained technicians can implement a customised plan to eliminate existing mouse problems and prevent future infestations so you can enjoy a mouse-free home all year long.

Signs of a Mouse Infestation in Your Home This Winter


If you start noticing tiny, dark brown pellet-shaped droppings around your home, especially in corners and along walls, you likely have an active mouse infestation. Mice produce up to 100 droppings each day, so keep an eye out for frequent droppings in areas where food is stored like the pantry or under the sink.

Gnawing Damage

Mice have sharp teeth that never stop growing, so they constantly gnaw on wood, electrical wires, and anything else to wear them down. Look for shredded paper products, holes in walls, chewed up insulation, and frayed wires. Mice can cause house fires by chewing through wires, so this type of damage needs to be repaired immediately.

Tracks and Trails

Mice travel the same paths repeatedly, leaving behind grease tracks and tail marks. Look along walls and in corners for paths of dirt or grease about 1/4 inch wide. Mice are also noisy, making scratching and squeaking sounds in walls, under floors, and in the attic. You may hear them most at night when they are most active.

Holes and Entry Points

Inspect your home for any holes or cracks leading into the interior, especially around foundations, under decks, and in the attic or basement. Mice can enter through holes as small as 1/4 inch in diameter. Seal any entry points you find with wire mesh, caulk, weatherstripping or door sweeps to block mice and further invasions.

If you spot multiple signs of mice in and around your home, you likely have an infestation that requires pest control to eliminate. Take action quickly before the problem becomes severe and the mice start causing damage or spreading diseases. It’s best to get professional help to remove mice humanely and close off any ways they are getting inside.

How to Prevent Mice From Breeding in Your Home

Once mice find their way inside, the last thing you want is for them to start breeding and raising families in your walls or attic. The best way to prevent an infestation is by eliminating access points to your home and removing food sources that attract mice.

Seal any cracks or holes leading inside

Mice can squeeze through openings as small as a 10-cent-piece. Do a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior for any cracks or holes in foundations, siding, rooflines, and entryways. Use caulk, weatherstripping, wire mesh, or repair damaged areas to seal these up. This will eliminate ways for mice to get in and make your home less inviting.

Store food in airtight containers

Mice are drawn to easy access to food waste and crumbs. Keep all food, even pet food, in sealed bags, boxes or jars with tight-fitting lids. Take the trash out regularly and clean up any spilled food right away. Mice can’t breed without a food source, so make your home as inhospitable as possible by removing access to leftovers and scraps.

Clear brush and wood piles next to the house

Mice like to nest in dark, sheltered areas with plenty of material to build their nests. Trim plants, shrubs and trees back from the house and get rid of any wood piles, yard waste or debris stacked next to exterior walls. This eliminates spots for mice to hide, build nests and gain access to your attic or crawl space.

Use humane deterrents

You can use humane deterrents like ultrasonic repellents, predator urine or essential oils with a strong smell to naturally drive mice away from the home. These methods make the area unpleasant and discourage mice from sticking around to breed. Place deterrents, especially predator urine, near any holes or cracks leading inside as an extra precaution.

By taking steps to eliminate food sources, shelter and access points into your home, you can make the environment inhospitable for mice and prevent breeding. In severe cases of infestation, it may also help to hire a professional pest control service to fully eliminate the problem. The key is vigilance and making your home as unappealing to mice as possible.

When to call a professional Pest Technician

As much as we hate to admit it, mice activity tends to increase in many homes during winter. If you start noticing signs of an infestation like droppings, gnaw marks or actual sightings of mice, it’s best to take action quickly before the problem becomes severe. DIY methods may seem appealing to avoid costs, but professional pest control is often the most effective approach, especially for widespread infestations.

Droppings and Damage

If you notice an increasing amount of droppings, especially in areas where food is stored like the pantry or kitchen, or see damage to wiring, insulation or other parts of the home, it’s best to call in the pros. Mice are notorious for chewing through materials to make nests, and the longer an infestation continues, the more damage can accumulate. Professional exterminators have the proper protective equipment, bait and traps to eliminate even large colonies of mice and safely clear out any nesting areas.

Safety and Effectiveness

DIY pest control may seem easy, but using over-the-counter poisons or traps in a home can be dangerous if you have children or pets. Professional exterminators are trained to thoroughly inspect the home, determine entry points, and develop a comprehensive treatment plan using products approved for residential use. We also have knowledge of the most effective baits and extermination methods for your area. Multiple visits are often required to fully eliminate an infestation, so hiring a pro helps ensure the job is done right.

While the thought of an infestation can be unsettling, calling in a professional as soon as you suspect mice activity is the smartest approach. We have the proper tools, training and knowledge to eliminate the problem in a safe and effective manner. Protecting your home, family and belongings is worth the investment in professional pest control. Cure All Pest Control technicians are available for emergency inspections and can develop a custom treatment plan to rid your home of unwelcome mice.

Do Mice Breed in Winter? FAQs

Do mice hibernate in the winter?

Mice do not hibernate during winter. Unlike some small mammals, mice remain active year-round. While they may spend more time in sheltered areas like attics or basements in very cold weather, mice do not hibernate. They continue to forage for food, build nests, and breed, even in winter.

How often do mice breed?

Under ideal conditions, a female mouse can give birth to a new litter every three to four weeks. This means a single female mouse can have up to 10 litters per year, producing up to 60 young. However, in winter their breeding slows down due to less available food and harsher conditions. Female mice are typically only able to sustain one to two litters over the winter months.

How can I prevent mice from breeding in and around my home?

The key to controlling mice breeding on your property is exclusion and population control. Seal up any holes or cracks leading into your home, especially around foundations and in attics or basements. This will eliminate access and shelter for mice. You should also practice good sanitation like clearing brush, wood piles, and clutter around the exterior of your home. Reducing available food sources will make the area less habitable for mice. You may also need to use humane mouse traps or baits to control existing populations and limit breeding.

By understanding mouse breeding habits and biology, homeowners can take effective steps to prevent infestations and limit mouse activity on their property year-round. Exclusion, sanitation, and population control are the keys to controlling mice, even in winter. Staying vigilant and addressing signs of mice early will help ensure they do not become a problem in and around your home.