American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2004 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Critter Critiques

Bio-Serv Mouse Igloo® & Crawl Ball Review

By Karen Robbins

A red Bio-Serv Mouse Igloo®.
A red Bio-Serv Mouse Igloo®. Photo by Karen Robbins

I was excited to try these two mouse housing products that Newco Distributors carries. They are transparent, color-tinted polycarbonate houses made in red or amber tint that gives the animals a sense of being in a totally enclosed area but allowing you to see the animals inside the house. Again, these are made for the small lab mice so when I got one of each to try out, I had to find some of my smaller mice to test this on. The Igloo is 4″ in diameter with 3 openings. The Crawl Ball is a 4″ round ball with three 2″ openings. The Igloo doesn’t have a bottom so you don’t have to worry about dirty bedding getting stuck inside. I find my mice don’t like bottoms in their houses. Whenever I give a cardboard box, the first thing they do is chew out the bottom.

I tried both houses on several mice over many months and was disappointed that no one liked them. The igloo seemed not tall enough once you pushed it down into the bedding, and I never could find anyone that liked it and would use it. The only thing they used it for was chewing on it.

An amber Bio-Serv Crawl Ball.
An amber Bio-Serv Crawl Ball. Photo by Karen Robbins.

I finally had one cage of mice (a male and female) where the male actually used the Crawl Ball and that was only because the female had babies and kicked him out of the nest! The only bad thing is the mice would get the ball over on its side so a solid area was on the bottom that then got packed in with dirty bedding and needed washed at each cage cleaning. This is advertised as a rat entertainment device, although I can’t image one of my adults being able to fit in the openings! The mice do chew a little, but being a hard plastic, it makes it difficult to chew very much.

These products may be purchased on Bio-Serv’s website or from your distributor. The Igloo is $3.25 each, the Crawl Ball is $5.50 each.

NOTE: Bio-Serv’s Mouse Igloo® & Crawl Ball is made by Bio-Serv, One 8th Street, Suite One, Frenchtown, NJ 08825, 1-800-996-9908 (U.S. & Canada), e-mail for sales assistance: Their web site is *

Updated May 4, 2015