Deer Mice

Facts, Identification, & Control

Latin Name:

Peromyscus maniculatus

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?

deer mouse image
  • Size: They are round and slender, ranging from 7 to 10 cm long in body length.
  • Head: Deer mice have a pointed nose and large, black beady eyes. Their ears are large with little fur covering them.
  • Color: Their bodies are bicolored with a light brownish-reddish top and white underbelly and feet.
  • Tail: These pests have short tails, distinctly bicolored (dark on top and light on bottom), and covered with short, fine hairs and can be 5 to 13 cm in length.

How Did I Get Deer Mice?

Deer mice are attracted to homes with plenty of vegetation and protective sites with piles of rocks or firewood in the yard. These pests may sneak into cabins and barns as well as homes in residential suburban and rural areas when cold weather hits.

These mice are small and move indoors through tiny openings near the ground. They may also climb to upper floors using vines and tree branches to sneak into attics.

How Serious Are Deer Mice?

Deer mice have several problematic habits inside homes. They build messy nests inside stored furniture or mattresses and cache food indoors. These stored nuts and fruits may attract insects and other pests into the home.

Diseases
Deer mice may appear harmless, but they are known carriers of dangerous diseases that may spread through mouse parasites or contaminated food. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) should not be confused with one of the important reservoirs of Lyme disease, the white-footed deer mouse (Peromyscus leucopus).

Hantavirus
These rodents are one of the main carriers of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, an illness transmitted through their waste. People who try to clean up their droppings or who simply live in an infested building may inhale this airborne virus.

Signs of Infestation

Signs of a deer mice infestation includes:

How Do I Get Rid of Deer Mice?

What Orkin Does
Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage deer mice and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep deer mice in their place and out of your home or business.


Behavior, Diet, & Habits

What Do They Eat?
Deer mice are primarily herbivorous, but will also consume other things. These rodents prefer to eat:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Small fruits and berries
  • Insects

Where Do They Live?
Deer mice are most commonly associated with prairies or other bushy, wooded areas. These pests prefer areas with tall grass or brush for cover, particularly in woodlands and grasslands.

In winter, deer mice enter domestic spaces in search of food and warmth. Although they become sluggish during cold months, deer mice do not hibernate. These pests can be found living in:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Garages
  • Hollow logs
  • Sheds
  • Tree holes

Nests
Deer mice hoard food supplies and actively forage for food near their nesting sites. Their nests are constructed of:

  • Fur
  • Paper
  • Seeds
  • Weeds

Reproduction
Deer mice live an average of two to 24 months, but can live as long as eight years in captivity. They reach sexual maturity in about 7 to 8 weeks. They produce two to four litters a year, usually during warm months. Typical litters contain three to five individuals, but may have as many as eight.

How to Get Rid of Deer Mice

Deer Mouse Droppings

What Do Deer Mice Look Like?