Will Mice Bite You In Your Sleep? Crawl On You? What To Do For Mouse Bites

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Pest Control | January 16, 2024

Woman sleeping thinks will mice bite you in your sleep, do mice bite, will sleeping with the lights on keep mice away, can mice climb beds and what is rat bite fever and what’s a mouse bite mark look like?

Will mice bite you in your sleep like other household pests, such as bed bugs, when you’re wrapped up all nice and cozy for the night?

Many people who are dealing with a possible mouse in the house, or even worse, an infestation, wonder if mice will bite you or crawl on you while you’re sleeping.

And, if the horrible happens and you do get bit, what should you do for mouse bites?

Seek medical help for any mouse or rat bites immediately.

This complete guide explains the answer to the question, will mice bite you in your sleep, and explores the nocturnal habits of rodents and what you should do if the unthinkable happens and you’re bitten by a mouse or a rat.

Will Mice Bite You in Your Sleep? Will Mice Bother You While Sleeping?

Will mice crawl on you while sleeping or will mice bite you in your sleep?

You can rest assured, and put your mind at ease, that your bed (for the most part) will be a safe zone as far as mice are concerned.

However, on very rare occasions, they have been known to seek the warmth of a person’s bed if the temperature in the rest of your house is below freezing and there are titbits of food on your mattress.

To get at those traces of food and to stay warm, the answer to would mice crawl on a sleeping person is that they may well crawl over you, but they will have to be extremely hungry and cold to do so, literally to the point of desperation. Mice bites while sleeping are very rare, but they can happen.

Imagine, for example, if you are startled out of your sleep and instinctively reach out in the middle of the night to grab whatever has woken you up. Under those circumstances, a mouse may well snap out in fear if grabbed suddenly.

Fear, feeling cornered, or if actually attacked, are the only reasons why a mouse might bite the hand that’s reaching for it. Otherwise, it would be reluctant to take a nibble out of you while you’re sleeping.

Will Sleeping With Lights On Keep Mice Away? Will Mice Mess With You While Sleeping or Crawl on You?

The rumor circulating will sleeping with lights on keep rats away is partially true in that mice prefer to conduct their clandestine activities under the cover of darkness. But they are not actually afraid of the light or even bright, open spaces.

Nocturnal by nature, they are prone to scavenge for food when humans are not around, which is generally in the dead of night, and associate brightly lit areas as danger zones where they can be more easily spotted.

Within the confines of your home, they will avoid those well-lit areas and stick to the shadows and crevices as much as possible.

Graphics with images and texts showing what happens if a mouse bites you.

So, in a sense, they are less likely to enter a well-lit room, but if food is scarce in the rest of your house, they will investigate any other areas if they become hungry enough and will throw their natural caution to the wind, lights or no lights.

The presence of lights may well be a barrier to entry for them when they are placed outside regularly at night.

The mice, who are quite intelligent and have very good memories, will presume that the occupants are continually awake and active. They will be reluctant to take the risk of any unexpected encounters so will more than likely select a more darkened home to invade for the sake of their safety and their nocturnal instincts.2

Will Mice Come Near Me While I Sleep? (Mouse Sleeping in Bed)

Mice tend to colonize regions where they will feel safe and secure and are unlikely to be disturbed by humans or other animals, preferring to cohabit with their own kind.

Unfortunately for you, the bedroom is often one such place that they occasionally consider safe, along with the kitchen, the living room, or any other area where access to food, even the smallest morsel, can be found scattered around or forgotten about.

Photo of a mouse climbing on the edge of a wall.

(Image: Denitsa Kireva5)

If the distance between your kitchen and bedroom is too great and there are no traces of food in the form of crumbs in your bedroom, the mouse will find somewhere to scavenge for food as they are basically opportunists. However, if you choose to surround yourself at night with food boxes with half-eaten pizzas with extra-thick cheese toppings or sugary donuts, then the urge to pay you a midnight visit may surpass the natural fear mice have to stay away from humans.

Instinctively, mice are aware that they will have a better chance of continued survival if they spend as little time as possible foraging close to humans, who they no doubt consider to be very unpredictable, dangerous, and always a potential threat. But, you may ask, if the bed is several feet off the ground, how are tiny house mice supposed to get onto the mattress to bother you in the first place?1

Can Mice Climb Beds?

Yes. Absolutely, without a doubt.

Give them a surface with the slightest traction and enough of an incentive to get to the top, and they’re good to get to climbing. Not only can they leap the first foot in one spring, which is surprising for many homeowners to discover, but once they get their claws into your bedspread, the rest is easygoing for them.

The temptation to get that close to you when you’re sleeping may just be for a few forgotten crumbs of food, but for them sneaking up to your comatose form may well be worth the risk if they are hungry enough – even if your bed were on stilts.

Do Mice Bite and What Does a Mouse Bite Look Like? (Mouse Bite Mark)

If you’re unlucky enough to have startled a mouse or tried to catch one with your hands, you’ll experience a sharp pain from the initial bite and swelling around the area. For us humans, mice bite while sleeping are rare but if you wake up with puncture wounds within a red, swollen area on your body, it’s quite possible that you may have a rat problem and may well have to call in an exterminator.

Prices will vary on the level of infestation you have. The best time to call an exterminator for mice is when you even suspect that they are in your home.

Stop worrying about do rats bite humans in their sleep and instead concentrate on how to get rid of rats or how to get rid of field mice so you can have a worry-free night’s sleep.

Reactions to Mice Bites on Humans and Rat Bite Fever

One of the risks to us humans, mice bites while sleeping is the risk of infection. Symptoms of rat bite fever, known as RBF, can appear as soon as 2 days in the form of:3

  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • A sore throat
  • A fever
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Rashes

If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and cause complications within the nervous system, lungs, kidneys, and even the brain. It is advisable, therefore, that if you suspect you have been bitten and the wound does not improve after a couple of days, seek medical advice.

What To Do if a Mouse Bites You: What Happens if a Mouse Bites You?

What happens if a mouse bites you? Approximately 1 in 10 people exposed to streptobacillary RBF actually die if the infection persists for a significant amount of time, which can be up to 21 days or so.

Treatment is generally in the form of antibiotics, given orally, intravenously, or a combination of both, over a period of days.

Graphics with images and texts that shows the antibiotics for rat bite fever.

Medical professionals will administer one or more of the following antibiotics, as not all of them will prove effective in curing your particular infection, and some people are allergic to certain ones and they will have to be eliminated from the list.

  • Bacitracin
  • Penicillins
  • Doxycycline
  • Cephalosporins
  • Erythromycin
  • Carbapenems
  • Streptomycin

It has not been conclusively proven that antibiotics are the perfect cure for RBF, but in the absence of any other forms of effective treatments, they are the most widely used methods to combat streptobacillary RBF.

What To Do for Mouse Bites at Home: Will Mice Bite You in Your Sleep?

If the answer to do mice bite you in your sleep is conclusively answered by the telltale signs on your hand or arm the following morning, it’s best if you treat the area quickly to prevent any infections.

The first step is to wash the area with soap and water to clean the area from any contaminants or even the saliva of the mouse around the wound.

Any signs of bleeding need to be stopped by applying pressure with a clean cloth after the water has been dabbed off. Once that has stopped, a topical antibiotic cream should be applied to kill off any surviving germs and to provide a protective barrier against possible further infections.

Combined with a sterile bandage to keep the area clean, this will also accelerate the healing of the wound and reduce the risk of a trip to the emergency room.

As always, however, reach out to a qualified professional healthcare giver who can provide reliable information about the bite.

The most important thing is to seek medical help to ensure that the danger is minimal.

Finding traces of mice in your bedroom can be a shocking discovery.

The question of whether will mice bite you in your sleep is a legitimate concern, and symptoms and signs of bites should be taken seriously.

Frequently Asked Questions About Will Mice Bite You in Your Sleep

Will Mice Bite Humans While Sleeping or Are Mice Scared of Sleeping Humans?

Mice tend to stay away from humans out of self-preservation and only bite when they feel threatened.

Can You Get Creams for Mice Bites?

Yes, OTC creams are available from pharmacies. So if you’re concerned about if and will mice bite you in your sleep, keep one of them in your home just in case.

How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Mice?

There is no average price for an exterminator to rid your home of mice or secure it against rats.4 The price can range from as low as $200 for a minor infestation to more than $1,000 for a major pest control problem.

Read More About Will Mice Bite You In Your Sleep


1Vantassel, S. M., Hygnstrom, S. E., & Ferraro, D. M. (2012, March). Controlling House Mice. Neb Guide. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from <https://wildlife.unl.edu/pdfs/controlling-house-mice.pdf>

2Shin, E. (2018, October 23). Why Are Animals Becoming More Nocturnal? Cal Alumni. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from <https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/fall-2018-culture-shift/flight-into-night-why-animals-go-nocturnal/>

3The Center for Food Security and Public Health. (2013). Rat Bite Fever. The Center for Food Security and Public Health. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from <https://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/FastFacts/pdfs/rat_bite_fever_F.pdf>

4New York State. (2014, July). Controlling the Rat – A Community Effort. New York State. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from <https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/pests/rats.htm>

5Mice Climbing Countertop Photo by Denitsa Kireva. Resized and Changed Format. Pexels. Retrieved January 16, 2024 from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-mouse-14399485/>