Mice can cause serious distress to households. They will chew and tear household items including furniture, upholstery and clothes. These items can also be contaminated with feces and urine. Stored food can be contaminated, too. This chewing can be particularly troublesome when it the mice chew through electrical wiring which can potentially lead to fires.
House mice can be very detrimental to humans due to the fact that they are often vectors for, or carry, disease. They have been connected to the spread of salmonella, rickets, rickettsial pox, bubonic plague, typhus, leptospirosis, tapeworms, ring worms and swine dysentery. Recently researches have shown that they carry the mammary tumor virus (MMTV) that is now being studied to determine if it is linked to breast cancer in humans.
Field mice can also be harmful to humans. They often carry deer ticks that are vectors for Lyme disease and may carry the bacteria for Four-Corners disease. Watch out for their excrement as it too may carry a disease harmful to humans, the hantavirus.
Mice do offer value to the medical community in that they are often used in medical testing. An additional benefit is that they are an important prey animal to their many predators. Cats, red fox, weasels, ferrets, mongooses, larger lizards, snakes, hawks, falcons and owls are all predators of house and field mice.