When Mice Sing About Love

Before we start, let’s clarify one thing: we’re pest exterminators. We provide state-of-the-art pest control services aimed to remove unwanted visitors in your home.

What that means is rodents are our sworn enemies! But even so, we have to give it to them – although it’s our job to teach you how to get rid of mice, their commitment towards romance is worthy of our respect!

For one, while the average man’s idea of romance this Valentine’s was probably a generic brand box of chocolates, male mice were wooing their fair maidens with heart-throbbing serenades.

Squeaking of Love

In all seriousness, while they’re not quite at the level of the musical mice in Monty Python, mice, do, in fact, sing.

A group of scientists in Washington University made this discovery by pure accident! It all started with an investigation of how male mice responded to sex pheromones released in the urine of female mice. When the males came in contact with the cotton swabs dunked in the urine, they immediately broke into song!

But a little work is required for us to hear their songs. That’s because they’re at a pitch we humans can’t pick up with our ears. We’re only capable of detecting up to 20 kilohertz, while their lyrics are registered in between 35 to 125 kilohertz!

In order to make them audible to human ears, scientists recorded their passionate serenades, and lowered the pitch without interfering with the tempo. What they discovered was that their ultrasonic chirps weren’t just random – the male mice belted out several different types of syllables arranged in a steady tempo! In essence, their vocalizations met all the characteristics of song.

They also found that the males sang louder and more complex tunes when they smelled a female out of their sight. And once the desired mates were within reach, the males switched to simpler songs in order to save their energy for physical courting.

She Squeaks Back

Mice are rather shy when it comes to expressing their feelings. They seldom make any obvious movements when they’re crooning, which makes them very difficult to spot.

However, thanks to a new gadget devised by a group of researchers in the University of Delaware, that problem became a thing of the past!

They came up with a new, complex array of microphones in a sound analysis chamber to pick up calls made by four mice: two males and females. They could pinpoint, with 97% accuracy, which song came from which mouse!

That’s when they discovered that female mice actually sang back to their courters. Females who joined the male mice in a duet slowed their pace, and let the males catch up to them. However, unresponsive females kept up their pace, as if they were eager to get away from the desperate bachelors.

Love Is In The Air

So it turns out the ability to love really isn’t just a human trait, after all!

Females who participated in these love duets showed an increased state of receptivity, and a whole lot of affection. Previous research indicates that these love-struck females not only give birth more frequently, they also produce stronger and healthier pups when they’re paired up with a male they’ve chosen!

Unfortunately, mouse romance often translates to mouse problems, you don’t want to be giving these scurrying pests the chance to use your home as a stage for their serenades!

We at Terminix Canada have provided superior pest management services to the GTA for 20 years! If you’re having mouse problems, or an issue with any other pest, we specialize in fast and environmentally friendly pest control services.

Call us today at 905-738-6676!