I've read on many pest control websites that if you catch a mouse in your home that they must be taken 1+ miles away, otherwise they will easily make their way back to their old home (ie. your house).

I live in a suburban street in an urban part of London. How could a mouse realistically find its way back to my house if I dumped it in the local park, 0.2 miles away?


Cropped screenshot of Mousetraps.org.uk

  • 1
    In terms of speed, mice can maintain velocity of several miles per hour, topping out at 8 mph. Size doesn't seem to be an issue. Considering other homing species are known and creatures such as rainforest moths can find mates, it doesn't seem particularly unbelievable that a mouse can find something only a mile away.
    – user11643
    Apr 24, 2020 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


In the "Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal" issued by the CDC, there is a report of a trial that involved one pinyon mouse (P. truei) and 19 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus).

The trial apparently demonstrated that when removed from the location of the infestation and dislocated at to different distances ranging between 50m and 1200m (0.03 miles to 0.75 miles), adult deer mice made their way back almost every time.

Other age groups of deer mice took a longer time to return (up to two weeks) but many of them were found near the original location within 24 hours of release[[2]].


Some rodents have been documented to move similar distances (e.g., 1,200 m), but they took more than 2 weeks to complete the trek [3].

Homing ability, site fidelity, and navigational proficiency of rodents are well documented [4,5]


All credits to the editors of EID Journal.

  • 3
    It's worth noting that 1200m is less than a mile, btw. Nov 14, 2014 at 14:30

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