There are many similarities between the house mouse and the deer mouse… and identifying the deer mouse and the house mouse can be difficult. So, what are the distinctions? To begin with, they do not belong to the same mouse family, so rodent control specialists must be familiar with the specific protocol for controlling and/or eliminating these two distinct rodent species. Is a deer mouse a house mouse?
The House Mouse
The house mouse has a pointed nose and eyes that are black or pink in color. They are available in a variety of colors, including grey (the most common), black, tan (also common), brown, and even white.
The Deer Mouse
The deer mouse is tawny brown or grey in colour and slightly larger than a house mouse. The name field mouse is most commonly associated with the deer mouse. Importantly, deer mice have a white underbelly that extends to the underside of their tail and, in some cases, their legs. A deer mouse’s tail is short and covered in fine hairs.
Food Of House Mice, and Deer Mice
Mice are frequently thought to be plant eaters, consuming garden produce or grazing in crop fields. Deer mice, on the other hand, eat a wide variety of foods because they are omnivores. This includes beetles, caterpillars, and carrion, as well as seeds, nuts, fruits, and flowers. Rodents bury food in cold climates to store it for the winter.
Deer mice feed differently than their domestic cousins. House mice primarily steal food from indoor sources, whereas deer mice forage for food both inside and outside. These pests eat from pantries as well as nuts and seeds stored in homes.
Diseases of the House Mouse and the Deer Mouse
While the house mouse can transmit some diseases, the deer mouse can transmit the hantavirus, which is fatal to humans. All mice “dribble” their urine and hantavirus can be found in the dust left by the urine and faeces of deer mice when present. It is critical to exercise caution when cleaning up deer mouse nests and droppings. It is recommended that you wear a respirator.
Deer Mice and House Mice Physical Capabilities
Both types of mice can fit through small gaps. They can also jump and climb extremely well. The deer mouse, on the other hand, has the greatest ability to climb and is thus extremely invasive and pervasive. For deer mouse, exterminators AND Exterminators are the best ones!
Mice Rodent Exclusion
Rodent exclusion, also known as mouse proofing, is the sealing of holes and gaps to prevent rats, mice, squirrels, and other pests from entering. In many cases, rodents or mice can still nibble and gnaw their way through; however, blocking them usually directs them to other places to nest. Deer mice and house mice both have flexible skeletons that allow them to squeeze through small gaps and holes. Finding possible crevices or tiny openings in a home—from the ground to the roof—is extremely difficult for the DIYer. Rodent control experts are trained and experienced in mouse-proofing your home or business.
While both the house mouse and the deer mouse can be found in and around the Greater Seattle/Puget Sound Region, house mice are far more common in urban areas. The deer mouse is indigenous to the area and is abundant. Suburban homes, particularly those near forested areas, ravines, and marshlands, are more vulnerable to deer mouse infestation. Deer mice are extremely common in rural and wilderness areas of the Greater Seattle/Puget Sound Region. They can even be a nuisance to campers at times.
Do you require rodent control or exclusion? AND Exterminators are highly trained, knowledgeable, and skilled in mouse identification and removal.
How To Get Rid of Deer Mice
Deer mice found in or around buildings can be removed using snap traps and electrocution traps. Peanut butter or peanut butter mixed with cereal or rolled oats is usually an effective attractant. To effectively control a large population in a timely manner, a dozen or more traps may be required. The deer mouse (Peromyscus spp.) is a dangerous creature, despite its cute appearance. This seemingly harmless little rodent is the primary carrier of the hantavirus, which causes severe disease.
This mouse is called a deer mouse because its upper body is grey to reddish-brown, its underbelly and legs are white, and its tail has two colors: dark on top and white on the sides and bottom. The deer mouse is a deceptively cute creature with big eyes and prominent, leaf-like ears.
Getting rid of a deer mouse infestation and preventing them from entering your home is a serious matter given the consequences. Here’s what you should do to keep the rodent under control.
3 Methods for Getting Rid of Deer Mice
Many of the same control measures that work for common house mice will also work for deer mice, but physical contact with the mice must be avoided. Because deer mice are typically outdoor dwellers who seek indoor shelter only when the weather turns cold, prevention and control measures frequently concentrate on outdoor areas as well as blocking entry points into the home.
1- Promote Natural Predators
A variety of wild predators can aid in the control of deer mice populations near your home. Deer mice prefer to live outside, making them especially vulnerable to predators. Owls and other raptor bird species, as well as a variety of snakes and hunting mammals such as foxes and coyotes, are excellent hunters of mice and other small rodents. If you live in an area where such hunting creatures exist, you should encourage them rather than fear them.
2- Make Traps
Deer mice can be caught using traps similar to those used to catch house mice. When using kill traps, avoid touching the mice with your bare hands; instead, use a protective breathing mask and gloves when disposing of mice and cleaning up nests or droppings.
Outdoor trapping is possible, and live traps are an option for those who live in areas where other wild animals, such as chipmunks and squirrels, may be caught inadvertently. It is critical to understand that live trapping raises the risk of disease exposure and transmission. If this method is used, extreme caution must be exercised when handling the live mouse and the trap.
3-Use rodent baits and poisons
The same rodenticides that are used to kill house mice and rats will also kill deer mice in your home. However, make certain that these chemicals are used in a way that protects humans and pets from accidental ingestion. And never use rodenticides where dogs or desirable wildlife can get to them. When using rodenticides, make sure to follow the label directions.
Deer Mice: What Causes Them?
Deer mice, like many other rodents, seek out areas with food, water, and shelter from the elements. Unlike house mice, which prefer to live indoors all year, deer mice are typically outdoor feeders who feed on plant seeds and fruits and seek indoor shelter only when the weather gets cold.
How to Keep Deer Mice Away
There are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of deer mice in your home:
- Fill any gaps and holes in your home or garage. When the weather turns cold, deer mice frequently seek indoor shelter, so inspecting and sealing gaps should be part of each year’s winterizing routine.
- Clean up and/or store exposed food to make it less appealing and accessible to rodents (and other pests). Deer mice are particularly fond of seeds, fruits, and other dried foods, so keep birdseed and pet foods in tightly sealed, impenetrable containers.
- Maintain mouse traps in and around your home to keep track of rodent activity. This will assist you in determining whether or not you have a deer mouse problem.
- Remove litter and piles in areas where rodents like to live and breed.
- Keep brush piles, tall grass, and other dense foliage away from your home, as these are common habitats for deer mice.
Other Potentially Harmful Rodents vs. Deer Mice
The deer mouse is not the only carrier of hantavirus, despite being the primary carrier. Other noteworthy carries include:
- White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus): The white-footed mouse is found throughout the United States, including the eastern coast from the South up through southern New England, the Midwest, and the West, as well as Mexico. These rodents look almost identical to deer mice, but they have distinct white feet.
- Cotton rat: This rodent is much larger than the deer mouse, measuring 8 to 14 inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. This rat can be found in the United States as far north as Nebraska in the west and as far east as coastal and central Virginia. It prefers to live in overgrown areas with weeds, shrubs, or tall grass.
- Rice rat: The rice rat is larger than the deer mouse despite being smaller than the cotton rat. As the name implies, this semi-aquatic rat prefers wet and marshy environments such as rice paddies. It is primarily found in the Southeast of the United States.