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Rodents » Deer Mouse

Deer Mouse
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Appearance

Bicolored, usually light- to red-brown on top with white feet and underbelly. Up to 2 inches.

Habitat

The deer mouse rarely invades homes, and is found most in rural areas. It nests outdoors in sheltered areas such as hollow tree logs or piles of debris. On the rare occasions the deer mouse comes indoors, it prefers undisturbed areas such as attics.

The deer mouse is an important focus of rodent control, however, because it can spread the potentially fatal hantavirus (link to Rodents and Hantavirus section of Family Health Watch). This virus can be transmitted through contact with deer mouse carcasses, or by breathing in aerosolized urine droplets or feces droppings from infected deer mice. Cases of hantavirus are rare, and the chance of encountering a hantavirus-infected mouse is remote. However, if you live in an area where deer mice have been seen or could be present, it may be wise to hire an experienced rodent control professional.

Diet

Insects, seeds, nuts, berries and small fruits. Food is stored in winter in hollow logs and other protected places.

Rodent control: deer mice

Should you suspect deer mice, it’s best to call a rodent control professional due to the possibility of hantavirus. Respirators equipped with HEPA filters and unvented protective goggles are just some of the specialized rodent control equipment needed to avoid contamination. Never sweep or vacuum deer mouse droppings, and avoid dust and debris in mouse activity areas. To prevent deer mice from entering or returning to your home, make sure all holes and cracks larger than a pencil are sealed. Proper drainage at the foundation of your home is key to rodent control; always install diverts or gutters that channel water away from your home.

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