Deer mice are found all over North America and are considered very dangerous because they can spread Hantavirus and Lyme disease. These are deadly diseases that can infect humans through contact with the rodent’s urine, feces or saliva. While deer mice prefer to live in forests, grasslands and in agricultural crops, they are found in urban areas if they are supplied with what they need; food, water and shelter.
Deer Mouse Identification
Deer mice are only three to four inches long, with a tail of comparable length. They look different than house mice in than that they have relatively larger eyes and a two-tone coloring. They are darker on the top, with a much lighter coloring on their abdominal area. Deer mice often get confused with the white-footed mouse because both have a similar lower body and white feet. You can differentiate between the two looking at their fur, tail and coloring. Deer mice have soft fur on the upper parts of their body that is gray in color. Their tails are dark on top and white below with white hair on the top. Their backs are uniformly colored and sometimes have a darker stripe down the middle.
Deer Mouse Behavior
Deer mice are nocturnal and spend most of the day nesting. They will nest in the ground and in stumps or rotting logs. When they enter our homes, they will nest in basements, attics and other dark places. Deer mice will use paper, seeds, weeds and fur to build their nests. Their diet consists of fruits, seeds. and fungi, but they also eat insects, worms and snails. Female deer mice are sexually mature at 35-60 days of age and breeding season is from March to October. They will produce two to four litters every year with litters of five to six pups on average. These litters are usually born during the warmer months.
Signs of a Deer Mouse Infestation
Deer mice will damage clothing, paper, furniture and other materials to build their nests. If you see damage to these items, you may have a nest in your home. If an infestation gets out of control, they can cause a lot of damage. Deer mice droppings are 3 to 6 mm long with pointed ends and need to be dealt with very carefully to avoid any health risks. You need to wear a face mask and gloves to clean up after mice to avoid infection. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up droppings or you can release Hantavirus into the air. Prevention methods need to be used in your home to keep deer mice out. Seal any holes larger than the size of a dime. Keep your landscaping neat and avoid having clutter in your yard. If you have a current problem, you need to call professional pest control because deer mice can be dangerous.
Mouse Inspections, Control & Removal in San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego Counties, California
Successful mouse control comes with learning about the specific species of mouse you’re dealing with. The professionals at Animal Pest Management Services, Inc. can develop a mouse control program that is best for you home. Give us a call today!