Signs of Deer Mouse Activity
Smaller than the familiar house mouse, deer mice can work their way into even tinier cracks in homes. While this species normally prefers open meadows, the promise of shelter and a safe place to stash acorns and nuts may draw them to houses near parks and fields, especially when agricultural fields undergo harvest activities in the fall.
In fact, reports of deer mice indoors during the fall are on the rise in the Mid-Atlantic states. Signs of their presence include:
- Gnaw marks on wires, plastic items, wood, and food packaging
- Shredded nesting materials like insulation, upholstery, and paper towels
- Caches of stored food such as acorns, seeds, and nuts
- Small, deer mice droppings
What Do Deer Mice Droppings Look Like?
Deer mouse poop is probably the most common indicator of an infestation, as a single pest can produce up to 75 fecal pellets every day.
Droppings are typically about one-fourth inch long with pointed ends. They are most often found scattered rather than piled along walls or foundations.
Are Deer Mice Droppings Cause For Concern?
While most rodents can transmit several Hantaviruses, there are only a few species that carry the specific strains that cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in humans. The deer mouse is one of these carriers.
In fact, the pests are the primary reservoir for a strain called the Sin Nombre virus, which causes a fatal respiratory illness in 50% percent of those infected. (According to the CDC)
Transmission of Hantavirus through Mouse Poop
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is passed through deer mouse droppings, saliva, and urine. Many people are infected by inhaling particles of dried feces released into the air.
Knowing what deer mice droppings look like is helpful in staying safe while moving around or cleaning up infested areas. Those who spot mouse feces shouldn’t proceed without proper safety gear.
Damage Caused by Deer Mice Droppings
In addition to carrying disease, deer mouse waste can be destructive to homes. When large colonies of the pests get into subfloors, their feces and urine can leak through ceilings, creating ugly stains and foul smells.
They also gnaw regularly, destroying property. Deer mice also tend to leave droppings in kitchens, tainting stored goods and disgusting homeowners.
Controlling Deer Mice
To avoid the unpleasantness of finding deer mice droppings, there are several exclusion tactics to try:
- Seal cracks in building foundations and around pipes or vents to prevent entry.
- Trim grasses or shrubs away from the house foundation/walls to discourage the pests from coming into yards and near houses.
Still, with a home territory of up to four acres, a deer mouse may not be entirely turned away by one tidy lawn. Rely on Western Pest Services for the knowledge and experience needed keep these rodents away.
Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.
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