Where Do Mice Go in the Winter? {Do They Hibernate?}

Do you not see any mice activity in the winter? Are you wondering where do mice go in the winter?

Do mice hibernate? How cold is too cold for a mouse? Where are they hiding? Just because you don’t hear them, does it mean they are asleep somewhere hidden on your property?

In this article, we will discover, “Where do mice go in the winter?”

Where Do Mice Go in the Winter?

Mice are still active during the winter. They do not hibernate. They may reduce their activity and seek shelter to avoid predators.

They can burrow deep into the ground and rest are while taking care of their young. Mice can also find voids in your wall, attics or crawl spaces to nest for the winter. Dropping temperatures lead mice to seek warmth.

They can store food for the winter and enter your homes without you noticing. Unfortunately, mice can also bring in parasites such as fleas and bed bugs along with diseases like hantavirus with them when they enter your home.

Do Mice Come in the House During Winter?

Yes. Mice come to houses during winter because they are drawn to heat and the opportunity to find food in our homes. They will find ways to enter our home through:

  • openings
  • cracks
  • gaps
  • piping
  • vents

They will try by any means necessary. If they can detect that there is a heat source that is warming up an enclosure, it means survival. A mouse will do whatever it takes enter your home during the winter.

Do Mice Come Out More in Winter?

No. Mice do not come out more during the winter. However, they are still actively looking for food or possibly upgrade their shelter. If they find one in your home, they will stay there for the winter.

Your home provides warmth, comfort from predators and protection as a perfect place to raise young pups. They will also be able to find traces of food sources and bring it back to their nests.

They will create nesting areas such as in between your walls or up in the attic. Mice tend to stay towards the ground level, in crawl spaces or basements. They will try not to disturb you,  but they will not be completely quiet because mice do not hibernate over the winter.

Can Mice Freeze to Death?

Sure. Mice, animals and humans can all freeze to death. Mice can be forced to extreme weather conditions and remain alive due to their adaptation and furry coating.

Mice can hide from dropping temperatures by burying under the ground or finding suitable nests that keep them out the frigid weather. Despite the cold, mice do not hibernate and will come out to forage for food when necessary.

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Do Mice Hide in the Winter?

Yes. You may not see the activity of mice that much in the winter because they are hiding. They are not hibernating however.

Mice can disappear into their nest underneath blankets of snow. They would much rather prefer your warm home when the weather is turning cold and the temperatures are dropping.

Can mice survive cold weather? Yes. Field mice would be able to tunnel deeper through snow to keep them alive during the winter season.

Any crack, crevice or gap that is suitable for a mouse to fit through will be a suitable location to spend the winter away from harsh winds and cold winter temperatures.

Do Mice Hibernate?

No. Mice have not adapted to hibernate over the winter. They need to continue foraging for food and looking for shelter. They also need to avoid predators during this time.

These rodents are able to dig deep into the ground and burrow there. They can bear their young and take care of them over the winter.

A mouse rather find a void in your wall or an entry way through your attic or crawl spaces. During the winter season they are still:

  • actively building nests
  • procreating
  • foraging 
  • avoiding predators 

Do Mice Sleep During the Winter?

No. Mice do not hibernate during the winter. Of course, mice rest over the winter and reduce their activity. Some species of mice such as deer mice will become dormant and sleep for longer stretches compared to other types of mice.

Mice take advantage of warm sunny days during the winter to forage further away from their nest for food. They tend to stay within a 10 to 25 foot radius at best.

If they do not need to venture to find any type of seeds or other food sources, they will stay put.

What Is the Coldest Temperature Mice Can Survive?

It is hard to say the exact temperature that a mouse can survive in. There are different types of mice, especially Arctic mice that can survive in areas where they reduce their body temperature to 68°F and still remain active.

Mice can use a strategy of dormancy called torpor. During this time, they can survive long periods of cold by remaining inactive. They can burrow deep under the snow and remain there until they are warmer days ahead.

Until then, they can hydrate themselves on the snow and find food in the form of frozen seeds or any other type of food sources that are available to them.

What Temperature Can Mice Withstand?

Mice are able to withstand really hot temperatures. The temperature can reach all the way up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they reach this level of heat, they will need to hydrate themselves.

They may experience heat-related illnesses and die suddenly from sun exposure if they do not find a cool place to hide.

Do Mice Hate Cold?

Mice do not hate the cold, but they prefer to find warm, dry locations for colder temperatures. However, mice constantly feel the need to build nests or forage for food.

Mice can find shelter in your home or office locations to escape winter’s frigid temperatures for short periods of time.

They will still venture out if they can find an opening where they can squeeze their bodies through and return back to the warm area that you have provided for them without you noticing.

Do Mice Burrow in Snow?

Yes. Mice, rats and voles are a few rodents out of many that can dig tunnels under the snow. They can travel between burrows and find food sources while remaining undetected from predators.

If they find passageways into your home, mice can enter to seek warmth and shelter. They will look for cracks in your walls, open windows, vent or pipes.

How to Prevent Mice From Entering Your Home During the Winter

When the winter season approaches, you should follow these steps to keep mice out:

  1. Do not take a break from landscaping chores around your house. Break up piles of leaves and keep vegetation or roughage at least 20 ft away from your home. Continue to trim weeds and don’t let any type of vegetation collect against your house.
  2. Install weather stripping, door sweeps and seal any cracks. Make sure to use caulking on any areas that are showing cracks or gaps that mice can squeeze through. If a pencil can you fit through, a mouse can also.
  3. Check your cables, wires and plumbing and make sure they are sealed. Mice can crawl through sewage pipes and plumbing.
  4. Make sure there are screens around your outdoor vents to keep mice out. Use steel mesh over fiberglass.
  5. Place rodent traps around the exterior of your home and in areas that you do not frequent too often like crawl spaces or attics.
  6. Check on these traps regularly because they can turn into an infestation of insects and parasites if the trapped carcasses remain there for a long period of time.

Mice in Winter: How Do I Keep Them Out?

Keep mice out during the winter by following the steps below:

  • Keep garbage can lids secure.
  • Seal cracks.
  • Cover vents with steel mesh screens.
  • Repair gaps.
  • Trim overhanging trees.

If you are able to follow the steps and go above and beyond these simple procedures, you will be able to proactively keep mice away from entering your home.

What Do Mice Do In Winter?

You will not see as many mice during the winter as you do in other parts of the year. The simplest answer is that they are resting, but they are not hibernating.

They are finding places to burrow or remain in their nests while seeking warmth during this season. You may find them in:

  • hollow logs
  • holes or tunnels
  • bushes
  • inside your home

Attics, wall spaces or basements or anywhere a mouse can still find adequate food sources would be attractive during this time.

Mice are active all year round. They will store food in their nest if possible by hoarding over the fall season. Caches of food can be found all over your home if you have an infestation.

This is why it’s important to continue home maintenance and inspect the perimeter of your property to make sure that there are no openings or available areas where mice can enter when they are seeking warmth over the winter.


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