What is a Deer Mouse?
The deer mouse is found in rural, outdoor areas. These rodents rarely invade residential homes, but they can be a problem in farming areas, vacation homes, outbuildings and sheds. Deer mice are of medical concern because they are common carriers of Hantavirus.
- Color: Brown, with white feet and underbelly
- Legs: 4
- Shape: Round
- Size: 5 to 8 inches long
- Antennae: No
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Deer mice often nest in sheltered outdoor areas such as old fence posts, hollow tree logs or piles of debris. During the winter months, deer mice may invade homes, garages, sheds or rarely used vehicles to seek shelter. Inside, attics and basements make the ideal deer mouse habitat. The deer mouse also builds its nest in storage boxes, stuffed furniture, drawers, and wall voids.
The deer mouse transmits the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. The disease is usually transmitted to humans when aerosolized particles of fresh urine, feces, and/or nesting material are inhaled.
Deer Mice Prevention
To keep deer mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes larger diameter than a pencil (1/4″) are sealed. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime. Seal any cracks and voids. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building. Use heavy gloves and protective breathing gear when working in an area populated by deer mice.