Deer mice, similar to white-footed mice, are a common rodent found in the northeastern United States. Deer mice have deer-like brown and white fur, while white footed mice take their name from the hue of their paws. Unfortunately, these names don’t help with identification since deer mice have white feet as well, and white footed mice can also be brown and white.
Deer mice can be easily identified by their tails, which are always bicolored – usually half brown and half white. Baby deer mice are pink and hairless at birth. Once they’ve made their way inside, deer mice will live in storage boxes, drawers, wall voids, and tight areas in basements and attics. They tend to feed at dusk and dawn, preferring insects, seeds, nuts, berries, and small fruits. They can multiply quickly so calling in a deer mouse exterminator when you see one is recommended because where there’s one, there’s definitely more.
where are deer mice found
Deer mice live in rural, outdoor areas and are less common in urban settings. Common areas where deer mice live include:
Suburban homes near wooded areas.
Deer mice often prepare their nests in old fence posts, tree hollows, log piles, and beneath decks. During the winter months, they seek shelter in homes, garages, sheds, or rarely used vehicles. Once they’ve made their way indoors, deer mice live in storage boxes, drawers, wall voids, and tight areas in basements and attics. They tend to feed at dusk and dawn, preferring insects, seeds, nuts, berries, and small fruits.
how did i get deer mice
Deer mice rarely infest residential homes, but they can be a problem in basements, vacation homes, outbuildings, sheds, and rarely used vehicles. They are just looking for a safe place to settle down and have a family and to wait out the colder months. Mice only need a hole the size of a dime to squeeze through to get into any building and your home is no different. If you have cracks and crevices in your foundation, drains that are not properly sealed, screens with tears in them, etc., then deer mice can get in. Having professional exclusion work can help with that.
If you have open bags of pet food or bird seed, they will seek it out. Mice are also attracted to garbage and rotting food so if you store your garbage in the basement until garbage day, you may want to invest in outdoor garbage cans that can be tightly sealed. You’ll probably see raccoon prints on them, but as long as they can seal and lock, they shouldn’t be able to get in them and make a mess. And the garbage will be outside your home instead of inside attracting mice, rats, cockroaches, and flies.
Deer mice prefer warm environments where they can nest which could mean attics where their waste can ruin insulation and ultimately cost money on energy bills. Deer mice are also a serious medical concern because they can transmit the potentially fatal virus that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This virus is mainly transmitted by the inhalation of dust particles contaminated with the urine, feces, or saliva of infected deer mice. However, Hantavirus can also be transmitted through contact with deer and baby deer mice carcasses and, rarely, when a person is bitten. Deer mice are social creatures, sometimes sharing their dens with up to a dozen family members, so you will want mouse treatments for ultimate deer mice control before they get out of hand.Not the mouse you have?
how can i prevent deer mice
Deer mice often prepare their nests in old fence posts, tree hollows, log piles, and beneath decks. During the winter months, they seek shelter in homes, garages, sheds, or rarely used vehicles. All mice can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime. Seal any cracks larger than ¼ inch wide around your home to prevent deer mice from entering. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Have loose mortar and weather stripping replaced around the basement foundation and windows where deer mice could sneak inside.
Be sure to keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers to ensure you’re not attracting intruders. This will help with more than just mice. Also make sure your home and storage areas are clean and dry and dispose of all garbage cans frequently. These types of sanitation changes will help keep away mice, rats, cockroaches, and flies, too.
Since deer mice hide in clutter, keep areas clear, and store boxes off the floor. Keep shrubs and tree branches cut back and away from the house, which will also help keep squirrels off your roof. Avoid storing pet food or bird seed in garages or storage sheds and if you do, be sure it’s kept in a sealed container instead of just rolling down the top of the bag. Have basements, attics, outbuildings, and rarely used cars/RVs professionally inspected for signs of deer mice.