Do Mice Have Bones – How Small of a Hole Can a Mouse Fit Through
Having a rat for a roommate might seem all fun and games in Ratatouille, but it’s a nightmare in real life. Forget Conjuring, the soft pitter patter of feet scurrying through the carpeting, the constant squeaking in the odd hours of the night, the scratching, the droppings, the chew marks, and the destruction is frightening enough to give the homemaker the jibbies. These pesky pests with their flexible bodies and Houdini like abilities can cause quite a menace. In fact, rats are so tiny and adept at breaking into the house most people wonder if they have any bones at all? What sorcery is this!? Well, that is what we will be talking about below. Here is a comprehensive list of all rat-related questions that you have wondered about followed by some tips on how to get rid of them.
How Do the Mice Get In?
First things first, scour the house and the surrounding property for potential entry points through which pests can invade your space. And we’re not talking about the windows and the doors, but also the tiniest cracks on the windows, holes through the roof, any tear in the pipelines or just about any minute entry point you might come across, however inconspicuous it might seem, a rat can probably enter through it.
The size and skeleton structure of the pest has a huge role in its survival. Dr. Bobby Corrigan, an award-winning rodontologist, states that a mouse will probably find its way through a hole if it’s deep enough to accommodate a #8 pencil. Other pest control consultants prefer using a dime to measure this.
The Anatomy of a Rat- Do mice have backbones?
Rats, though very malleable have their own anatomical restrictions that you can exploit. For instance, rats have large skulls that often get stuck when they’re trying to pass through especially small holes. It needs balance and proper footing to find its place and move through the obstacles placed in its way. The skeletal system, like in us, serves the purpose of protecting the internal organs and it allows both movement and support to the rodent. The difference lies in the structure and positioning of the bones. Rats have narrower, longer and brittle bones giving them the flexibility to get into compact spaces with ease. Also, mice prefer dark, dingy places to nest and breed, and can accommodate themselves in the corners of your property.
The very small rats can fit into a hole that’s 1/4thof an inch, while an average sized mouse needs a hole that’s considerably larger. We recommend that you use a thin-lined mesh for blocking the entry points around the property.
Do Mice Have Bones? Busting the Collapsible Skeleton Myth
Do mice have backbones? Skulls? Collarbones? Yes, contrary to what one might think or believe mice do have bones, they are arranged in a different way though. There are few extra bones that help him balance out the size with swiftness. A close observation of its movements and bone structure would reveal the other differences that we share with these pests. Mice are mammals, vertebrate creatures with a similar skeletal structure to humans. They have a total of 231 bones, including 25 vertebrae in the tail.
There has been a rumor going around the town for years now that rodents have collapsible skeletal structures that allow them to squeeze through tiny spaces. Another rumor states that rats don’t have a collar bone. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but both these statements are not true. Mice do have surprisingly flexible skulls and ribs though, also, their shoulder bones are a lot narrower helping them get into tiny spaces with relative ease.
The clavicle of a mouse is sloping, unlike ours. The clavicle present in the mouse doesn’t work as a barrier like it would for humans. The mice skeletal develops in accordance with its lifestyle, it has adapted its physical body to fit into compact areas because of the constant digging they indulge in.
Can Mice Flatten Their Bodies?
Mice, although very tiny, cannot simply flatten their bodies and fit through any space available. Even they have their restrictions. Rodents have a backbone, a skull, about 20 bones in their tails and about 200 other bones in their bodies. However, they also have surprisingly strong teeth and claws that can dig and bite through wood, plaster and mud alike. These anatomical perks give them more accessibility and advantage to get inside your house.
The smallest hole a mouse can crawl through as discussed before is a quarter of an inch. If the skull of a mouse can fir through the hole, so can the rest of its body.
How Small a Hole can a Mouse Fit Through?
Mice, like all mammals, have bones in their body. So how do they manage to squeeze through the impossibly tiny holes into your house? well, that’s an evolution for you. These creatures have molded their bones, modified their bodies in such a way that they can easily pass through tiny gaps and cracks. Underneath all that fur and fat, there are a very narrow skeletal, surprisingly strong legs and agile limbs.
A hole the size of a nickel is big enough for a rat to pass through, while one large as a dime is big enough to accommodate a mouse. And if the crack or crevice is not big enough, well their strong paws and sharp incisors effectively dig their way through. Rats use their whiskers to determine whether the hole is large enough to pass through. They simply poke their nose into a hole, dashing in if it’s accommodating enough or going off in the other direction. This is why pest control services insist that you cover the slightest holes and gaps in and around the house as they can be potential entry points for these pests.
Can Mice Climb Over Beds?
Rats are very agile, swift creatures, quick on their feet and very silent in their movements. They can not only jump on walls, get into cabinets, infiltrate your pipelines and make their nests up your attic but also invade your very beds at night! However, it is highly unlikely that the mice will climb over your beds when you’re on it. They are very elusive creatures, frightened by the slightest noise and movements made by us.
Sometimes, rats use the mattress and underside of the beddings for breeding. During winters, these pests need a warm, dry and safe space to raise their young ones. what better option than a soft, comfortable and plush mattress? Sprinkle a few drops of peppermint oil or tea tree oil over the covers to keep the mice away.
How Long Can Rodents Jump?
Measuring about 2-3 inches in length with a 4-inch long tail, rats have fairly elongated bodies, giving them a swiftness that most creatures don’t have. The fact that these pests are very lightweight (weighing less than a pound) and have very malleable structures further give them an added advantage. They are nocturnal creatures that can jump as high as a foot and can climb up smooth vertical walls and ceilings. They are also very quick on their feet, running with a speed of 12 feet per second and can swim for almost half a mile non-stop.
Yes, contrary to popular belief, a mouse doesn’t just scutter around on the floor. They are capable of climbing walls, getting up on the attic, the ceilings, the window sills, the garages and even on the bed (although they usually avoid that).
Can Rats get Stuck?
Yes, occasionally. Rats, especially overweight ones have more fat in their abdominal areas and are hence at risk of getting stuck in spaces a healthy rat might easily pass through. On other occasions, fear or adrenaline rush might cause jerky movements or lock of limbs. And the fact that these pests have a tendency of getting into the tiniest of spaces like the walls and the pipelines doesn’t help matters at all. So, if you hear squeaking from the dingy crawl spaces and ducts around the house, chances are, there is probably a rat stuck in there crying out for help.
Also, only the smallest and most agile of rats can fit through the tiny spaces and crevices of the house. An overweight rat or a large mouse might prefer the larger, comfier corners of the house. You can install a ½ x ½ inch wire mesh on the outer boundary of the property to rat-proof the enclosure.
How to Get it Out?
Well, now that you have located the source of the sound and the distress- i.e. the mouse stuck in the walls, the next step it to get it out. You can either help them out and then rehabilitate them elsewhere or exterminate them and then get rid of their bodies. Drill a hole the size of a nickel in the drywall, place the mouse trap (glue traps or poison ultrasonic pest control devices, etc.) in there. If you see a dead mouse in, cut out a larger hole (about 6-9 inches) and then reseal the wall once you’ve dispensed of the corpse.
The Bottom Line
No one wants to share their space with a rat (unless you have a pet rat or something). These nasty, sneaky pests are nothing but the harbinger of disease and destruction, ruining the furniture, spreading diseases and leaving their feces everywhere they go. The next time you hear noises in the middle of the night or catch something whooshing past you in a blur, investigate- it might just be a mouse that is planning to usurp your property. These tiny creatures might seem harmless, but believe us when we say, they need to be exterminated and dealt with soon.