Definitely field mice, not house mice.
Not many, but sometimes there is one looking at me when I lift the cover. From what I read, they'll be there because it's a great nest site, plus some food (vegetable peelings).
Websites talk about them as disease carriers... but I think they're so cute. Am I being naiive? Should we turn the heap over to shoo them away? Should we compost the vegetable peelings in a different way? Or can I just leave them until we forget about them & happen to turn the heap over, anyway.
why destroy it? It is nature afterall. If they are field mice they won't come in your home as they won't have any need to - there is nothing of use to them in there. As for carrying disease, most rodents do if wild as do other wild animals.
If you really are not happy then move the compost to an area further away - they will follow it then.
Wonderful opportunity for wildlife watching, my dd1 saw one in Granny's and raved for days, unfortuantely didn;t know to keep quiet about it to the heap's owner, so I'm sure the mouse got evicted if not the death sentence within about 2 seconds of us going home!
How about leaving it open to the rain, if you must get rid of them, maybe if it is too wet they will leave home with no addititional work or stress for either of you. think thats waht keeps the rats from moving into mine.
Zebra, we had field mice in our compost bin too. (Ended up with quite a few - about 10 tiny babies too)
They stayed in the winter, but when I turned the compost over in spring, they disappeared. I think they tend to move on when food is plentiful further afield and the weather is warmer.