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How Long Can Mice Live Under Floorboards?

How Long Can Mice Live Under Floorboards?

How long can mice live under floorboards? Mice can be a troublesome pest in any home. They are known for being sneaky and can enter homes through small crevices and holes. Additionally, they are known for causing damage to homes as they chew through wires, insulation and other materials. One of the most perplexing questions that homeowners have is how long mice can live under floorboards. We will explore this question in more detail and provide you with all the information you need as a homeowner.

How Long Can Mice Live Under Floorboards?

Mice are incredibly adaptable creatures, and they can easily thrive in a variety of environments. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine how long they can live under floorboards. Without any food or water, mice can survive for up to seven days. However, if there is a continuous supply of food, such as crumbs or pet food, mice can survive for several weeks or even months. Additionally, mice are known for hiding in small spaces, so it can be challenging to detect them when they are living under floorboards.

The lifespan of a mouse also plays a significant role in how long they can live under floorboards. Typically, mice live for around one to two years. However, if they have access to food and water, they can live for much longer. Additionally, female mice are capable of producing up to 10 litters per year, and each litter can contain up to 12 mice. This exponential growth can make it challenging to control a mouse infestation.

Detecting mice living under floorboards is not easy. However, some signs can indicate their presence, such as scratching sounds, urine, and droppings on the floor, and chewed wires or insulation. To get rid of a mouse infestation, homeowners must identify the source of the problem and eliminate it. This can be achieved through humane traps, poison, or professional extermination services.

Prevention is better than cure, and homeowners should take adequate measures to prevent the entry of mice into their homes. This includes sealing any holes or cracks in the walls, regularly cleaning up crumbs and food debris, and storing pet food in airtight containers. Additionally, homeowners should maintain their home’s cleanliness and hygiene to discourage mice from entering.

How To Prevent Mice Under The Floorboards?

Keeping those pesky mice out from under your floorboards requires a multi-pronged approach that tackles both entry points and their attractive qualities. Here are some key steps you can take:

Seal Up Entry Points:

  • Inspect: Thoroughly examine the perimeter of your home, focusing on walls, pipes, vents, and gaps around doors and windows. Look for holes or cracks as small as a dime, as that’s all a mouse needs to squeeze through.
  • Seal it up: Use caulk, steel wool, or mesh to plug any potential entry points. Consider reinforcing vulnerable areas like airbricks with gnaw-proof materials.
  • Don’t forget the inside: Check for gaps around pipes, wires, and behind appliances. Seal them similarly to exterior points.

Make Your Home Unwelcoming:

  • Food Storage: Store food in airtight containers, and clean up spills and crumbs promptly. Don’t leave pet food accessible overnight.
  • Garbage Disposal: Use bins with secure lids and keep them outside or in a garage. Take out trash regularly.
  • Minimize Clutter: Remove debris and piles near your home that could provide nesting material or hiding spots.
  • Moisture Control: Fix leaky pipes and faucets to eliminate sources of moisture that attract mice.
  • Natural Repellents: Use peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, or other natural repellents in potential entry points and nesting areas. Be cautious around pets and children.

Additional Measures:

  • Set humane traps: If you suspect an infestation, consider using humane traps to capture and release the mice outside.
  • Consider professional help: If the problem persists or seems overwhelming, consult a licensed pest control professional for targeted solutions.


  • Persistence is key: Mice are clever and persistent, so consistently implementing these measures is crucial for success.
  • Combination approach: Combining different strategies creates a more effective barrier against rodents.
  • Safety first: When using chemicals or traps, prioritise the safety of your family and pets.


Mice can live under floorboards for several weeks or months if they have a continuous supply of food and water. Detecting them can be challenging, but signs of their presence include scratching sounds, urine and droppings on the floor, and chewed wires or insulation. To prevent a mouse infestation, homeowners should take proper precautions such as sealing holes and cracks and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in their homes. If you suspect a mouse infestation, it is advisable to seek professional help to eliminate the problem.


The lifespan of a mouse under floorboards depends on several factors, making it difficult to give a precise answer. However, here’s a breakdown of some key aspects influencing their lifespans:

Ideal Conditions:

  • Food and Water: Access to consistent food and water sources like crumbs, spills, or condensation can significantly extend their lifespans, potentially reaching 2 years or even longer in perfect conditions.
  • Shelter: Secure, warm, and dry underfloor spaces offer protection from predators and weather extremes, further boosting their survival chances.
  • Minimal Competition: Absence of other mice competing for resources or introducing diseases allows them to thrive.

Challenges and Threats:

  • Predators: House cats, snakes, birds, and even larger spiders can prey on mice under floorboards, significantly shortening their lives.
  • Diseases and Parasites: Crowded spaces under floorboards can facilitate the spread of diseases and parasites like mites, fleas, and worms, compromising their health and lifespan.
  • Poisons and Traps: If humans try to control infestations, mice might encounter rodenticides or traps, leading to quick death.
  • Exposure and Accidents: Drafts, cold temperatures, or injuries from falling objects can shorten their lifespan.

Overall Range:

Considering both favourable and unfavourable factors, the lifespan of mice under floorboards can range anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, with the average likely falling somewhere between 6 months and 1 year.

Additional Points:

  • The species of mouse also plays a role, with house mice generally living shorter lives than field mice due to their smaller size and higher vulnerability.
  • Access to veterinary care, like in situations where humans care for pet mice living under floorboards, can significantly extend their lifespan.

Remember, under floorboards offer mice a relatively protected environment compared to the outdoors, but it’s still far from ideal. Their survival primarily depends on the specific conditions and challenges they encounter.


How do mice typically enter homes and what damage can they cause once inside?

Mice can enter homes through small crevices and holes. Once inside, they are known for causing damage by chewing through wires, insulation, and other materials.

What are some of the signs that may indicate mice are living under the floorboards?

Scratching sounds, urine and droppings on the floor, and chewed wires or insulation are some signs of mice living under floorboards.

Approximately how long can mice survive without any food or water when living under floorboards?

Without any food or water, mice can survive for up to seven days under floorboards.

What factors allow mice to survive for extended periods when living under floorboards?

Access to food sources like crumbs or pet food, shelter from predators and weather extremes, and lack of competition from other mice can allow them to survive for several weeks or months.

How can homeowners locate exactly where mice are living under the floorboards?

Homeowners can look for signs like scratching sounds, droppings, urine stains, or chewed materials like plastic to identify locations where mice are active under floorboards.

What methods can homeowners use to humanely get rid of mice living under the floorboards?

Humane mouse traps, sealing entry points, removing food sources, and professional pest control services are effective and humane methods to eliminate mice under floorboards.

Why is it better to prevent mice from entering the home rather than eliminating an existing infestation?

Prevention is better because once an infestation is established, mice can breed rapidly. It’s easier to keep them out altogether than to eliminate an entrenched population.

What specific measures should homeowners take to mouse-proof their homes?

Homeowners should seal cracks and holes, clean up food spills and crumbs, store pet food in chew-proof containers, and maintain cleanliness and sanitation.

How often and how rapidly can mice reproduce when living under ideal conditions?

Female mice can produce up to 10 litters per year with up to 12 mice per litter when living under ideal conditions.

What predators, diseases, and other threats can shorten the lifespan of mice living under floorboards?

Cats, snakes, birds, spiders, mites, fleas, worms, rodenticides, traps, cold temperatures, and injuries from falling objects can shorten the lifespan of mice under floorboards.


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