The field mouse is the common term for the long-tailed field mouse or wood mouse. It is a small mouse with large eyes and ears, and its fur is mostly dark brown with white along the underbelly. Adult long-tailed field mice are about 10 cm in length. The long-tailed field mouse is omnivorous, meaning it eats both plants and animals. Field mice commonly eat seeds, berries, fruits, insects, invertebrates, and even carrion.
The long-tailed field mouse is nocturnal. It spends the daylight hours hiding and the nighttime hours scavenging for food. Field mice are most often found in forests, grasslands, and fields where there is abundant food.
Field mice are granivores for the most part, meaning the majority of their diet consists of seeds. The most common seeds for the field mouse are those from trees such as oaks, ashes, hawthorns, and sycamores. Field mice often store seeds in their burrow to last the winter months.
Wood mice feed on both living and dead insects such as grasshoppers, spiders, caterpillars, and moths. Field mice also eat the larva of insects which they find burrowed in the ground. This is most common during the winter months when seeds and berries are scarce.
Field mice eat a variety of invertebrates including centipedes, earthworms, snails and slugs. Field mice are also known to eat carrion.
Field Mice as Pests
Field mice are commonly thought of as pests because they often eat from gardens and planted crop fields. Field mice will eat almost anything, including a variety of fruits, seeds, and nuts, found in gardens or orchards. A large infestation of field mice can be detrimental to a field of crops. Field mice can also invade the home, feeding on human food in cabinets and pantries. Their urine can cause salmonella contamination in the home.
- field mouse on a log feeding image by Ashle Whittle from Fotolia.com