Can Mice Climb Trees?

Rodents generally comprise a remarkable 40 percent of all mammals inhabiting the planet today. Mice make up a considerable percentage of members of the rodent family. Mice live in a variety of different habitats, from fields to forests to deserts and a myriad of other locations. There are even mice that are capable of climbing trees (and other structures) in order to find shelter and food.

Habitat Preferences

The ability and desire of some mice to climb trees will be discussed in more detail in a moment. Before this discussion commences, it is helpful for you to understand the habitat preferences of these rodents.

The vast majority of mice species prefer to stay low to the ground. By staying at this level, brush and other types of debris provide mice shelter from predators and other dangers.

Mice invade homes, businesses, and other structures as well. Most mice enter into these structures from the ground floor or even the basement. Once inside a residence or business, mice are apt to nest between walls, under floorboards, in cellars or basements. With that said, once, inside a manmade structure, some mice will make their way to the attic or into the space above a false ceiling.

Once inside a residence or business, mice are likely to feel a bit more protected overall, causing them to venture upward. In addition, these rodents are also drawn to out of the way spaces, which include places in a building including cellars, spaces between walls, attics, and so forth.

When it comes to mice that do climb and are discussed in a moment, these species will access homes, businesses, and other structures from upper levels. Thus, these mice likely will elect to build their nests in the attic or at other upper locations of a structure.

The Climbing Ability of Mice

A good percentage of mice have solid climbing abilities. With that said, despite having this ability, many do not avail themselves of it with regularity.

If a surface is rough, a mouse will be able to climb up it with relative ease. Trees and the bark on them represent an ideal surface for a mouse to scale. Similarly, mice can do decently when it comes to climbing on such surfaces on the exterior of buildings like stucco, brick, and stone. Concrete that is dated and somewhat coarse, thus lacking a smooth surface, is also navigable by mice.

Mice in Roofs and in Attics

Some mice will access a structure via the rooftop. They accomplish this most often by climbing a tree that has branches that hang over a roof. Mice are capable of powerful leaps, a fact that permits them the ability to go from an overhanging branch to a rooftop with relative ease. Depending on the surface of exterior walls, these can also provide mice access to a rooftop.

Mice can enter into a residence (or other types of buildings) through a variety of passageways that may exist on a rooftop. These include everything from chimneys to vents to even small holes that might exist somewhere on a rooftop. A mouse is able to get through a hole that is not more than a U.S. dime in diameter.

Mice Nesting in Trees

Mice do nest in trees in some situations. There are even species of mice that will nest either on the ground or in trees. A deer mouse is a prime example, of a species of mouse that demonstrates this level of flexibility.

When nesting in trees, mice are inclined to take over bird or squirrel nests that have been abandoned by their original occupants. They may also build nests in holes that exist in a tree for one reason or another that were not previously habited by another animal.

Hazards of Tree Climbing Mice

Tree climbing mice can present a hazard to occupants of a home or business. As mentioned, these mice may elect to migrate into a building. If this occurs, these mice can present a hazard to the physical structure of the building and the health of those individuals that occupy or access the premises.

Mice naturally gnaw on objects. These include electrical wires, boards, walls, and other items. This activity can result in serious damage to a home or business. For example, about 25 percent of all house fires in the United States are attributed to damage rodents cause to electrical systems.

Mice also spread disease. This includes bacteria or viruses that can be contained in droppings. Because deer mice particularly are regarded as tree climbers, rodents that will enter a home or business via a rooftop, concern over serious disease is a real factor. Deer mice have been confirmed to carry what is known as the hantavirus. This virus is found in droppings, even dry droppings.

Dry droppings crumble easily, which can result in dust and the virus becoming airborne. The harmful particles can end up circulated through a home or business HVAC system, jeopardizing the lives of people within these types of structures.