What You Should Know About Deer Mice

A deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, nurses her two-day-old young in a nest.There are many different kinds of mice in the world, including quite a few distinct species right here in New Jersey. One of the common types we encounter is deer mice, which mostly live outdoors but can also find their way into homes.


Here is some information about deer mice so you can understand these pests and prevent an infestation in your house.


Why They’re Called Deer Mice

Deer mice got their name because their coloration actually resembles that of white-tailed deer. These mice have brown backs and white underbellies, legs, and tails. They also live in wooded areas, just like deer.


Where Deer Mice Live

You will mostly find deer mice in outdoor habitats and rural areas, and they are typically less likely to inhabit homes than other types of mice. However, it is very possible to find deer mice living in farmhouses, rural vacation homes that are seldom used, barns, and sheds.


In the winter, you can even find deer mice in residential neighborhoods looking for warmth in attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages. Hollow tree stumps, old fence posts, and piles of debris are also favorite places for deer mice to take up residence.


What Makes Deer Mice Unique

The appearance of a deer mouse is very small and about three or four inches in length. They often go unnoticed because of their camouflaging colors and ability to move quickly and hide in the forest. Other characteristics of deer mice are large ears with minimal fur, black beady eyes, a pointed nose, and short tails.


Their favorite things to eat are nuts, seeds, berries, and insects. These are nest-building mice that forage for food and build nests out of fur, weeds, seeds, paper, and other debris they find in their habitats. They live between two and 24 months out in the wild, and have two to four litters (of usually three to five babies each) per year during the warm months.


Risks of Deer Mice

One of the biggest concerns about deer mice is how they carry Hantavirus and can spread this disease to humans. People can get Hantavirus by touching a dead deer mouse body or even just by breathing in air that contains urine droplets of Hantavirus-infected deer mice. The feces, saliva, and contaminated dust in the air can also cause Hantavirus in humans, which can be fatal.


Lyme disease is another concern when you have deer mice on your property. It is caused by a deer tick and transferred between mammals to cause flu-like symptoms, rashes, and joint issues in humans. Beyond transferable diseases, deer mice can cause structural damage in a home and also damage your garden as you prepare to grow vegetables and flowers for spring. Preventative measures are best for avoiding costly repairs due to damage caused by deer mice.


Get Professional Help with Deer Mice

Because of the serious disease risks and the elusiveness of deer mice, it is highly recommended to call a professional exterminator if you suspect these pests living on your property. We offer safe, effective, and humane mouse control solutions to rid your home of deer mice and keep it mice-free.

If you think you have seen deer mice on your property or noticed droppings or damage around your house, contact Precise Termite & Pest Control at 866-971-2847. We offer free inspections and have over 30 years of experience with rodent control in Northern New Jersey.