Deer Mouse / White-Footed Mouse

The Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is the most common mouse found throughout North America, Canada, and Mexico. Sometimes called the “White-footed mouse,” the Deer mouse prefers its natural habitat of forests and grasslands but will invade residential areas where fields are nearby. California suburbs may become infested with Deer mice if they are next to canyons, fields, or parks. Deer mice are relatives of the California mouse with similar size ears but Deer mice have a white tail and underbelly as well as white feet. Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Nesting and Food Storage

Nests are made of leaves, stems, and twigs built under logs or rocks but the Deer mouse will utilize a bird´s nest or squirrel´s burrow if available. Food consists of seeds, nuts, and some fruits. Deer mice are known to store food in the autumn when seeds and nuts are most abundant for future use. Females can reproduce as early as six weeks of age with a litter size of 3-6 babies and adults in the wild can live up to 2 years.

Infestation and Disease

Once inside the home, Deer mice may be found nesting in attics, basements or crawl spaces. They can damage furniture, mattresses, clothing, or other materials used for building their nests. A virus called Sin Nombre that causes HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) in humans is carried by the Deer mouse. This virus can be transmitted by breathing in dust from areas where there are Deer mice dropping and/or urine. Sealing up holes will help keep mice out Mice can squeeze through ¼ inch gap.

Prevention and Exclusion

Seal all holes and gaps to keep mice away. Boxes in the garage or attic are ideal nesting sites and should be examined for any infestation. Keep brush, weeds, and grass mowed and if possible, plant away from the home. If an inside infestation has occurred, its best to have a pest control specialist with the right materials and safety precautions to perform the clean-out.
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References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333 Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California – ipm.ucdavis.edu

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