Little field mice may look sweet and cuddly, but they are wild mice. Not only can they bite, they can also harbor diseases and become frustrating pests for homeowners to contend with. Don’t attempt to catch or hold a field mouse you find outside -- regardless of size. Little ones exhibit the same behaviors as large ones. Don't try to keep a field mouse as a pet. If you find field mice living in your home, call a professional exterminator to trap or otherwise remove them before they do long-term damage.
Field Mice and Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control, mice can harbor diseases and pass them to humans. Transmission occurs primarily through human contact with infected mouse feces, disease can be transmitted through bites. Rodent-related diseases include hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
Field Mouse Biting Behaviors
While little field mice aren't known for biting, they may bite when scared or cornered as a way to defend themselves. You may come across common field mice living in your house, barn or cellar. They can reproduce quickly and chew on insulation, wiring and woodwork. If you're trying to eradicate mice from a dwelling, live traps are a humane way to proceed. Wear gloves when handling live traps for mice to ensure you don't get nipped.
If you get bitten by a field mouse, wash the wound with antibacterial soap and call your doctor for advice. Depending on the circumstances and where you found the field mouse, your doctor may want to examine you or caution you to watch the wound for signs of infection. This typically includes a red inflamed area around the bite mark, fever, skin that’s warm to the touch, and potential streaking of red lines away from the wound.
Mice as Pets
You can find mice who need homes at some animal shelters and animal rescue agencies. You can also buy mice at pet stores. Either is a safer approach than trying to keep a wild field mouse. While pet mice can be tamed with handling, they tend to be skittish pets who don’t usually like to be held and may bite out of fear of being dropped. This makes them less-than-ideal pets for young children.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.