Deer Mice In A House Mouses Territory

Deer mice have got to be one of the all time cutest creatures. Deer mice are also referred to as field mice but that is an all encompassing term and could include other rodents such as voles. With their soft looking two toned fur and their rounded bodies and large ears this very cautious rodent is larger than your average mouse but smaller than a rat. Deer mice are highly intelligent and studies show that they will think through situations before acting. The deer mouse gets its name because of it’s ability to run very fast and jump but for climbing and trapeze type moves, the house mouse is still superior in my opinion but perhaps this is because of their careful nature. The deer mouse is also very faithful and usually stays with one mate for life. The female can have 4 litters per year with 3 to 6 babies per litter. In as little as 25 days the baby mice are full grown but can spend considerable time with the parents and they can live up to 5 years. Populations sometimes get out of control but the poor deer mouse is on the bottom of the food chain and literally sought out by every predatory animal you can think of from snakes to owls and everything in between. For this reason the average life span is only about 2 years.

With their oversized eyes they look at you with that sort of pitiful stare as if to say “please love me, I’m just a harmless cuddly mouse” and your first instinct is to scoop him up and take him home. Unfortunately this soft and cuddly rodent is also known for carrying deadly diseases. Hantavirus is a virus that is spread through the fecal matter and urine and ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and bubonic plague are also carried by the deer mouse. This nocturnal rodent is very happy living in fields, tree stumps and away from humans but from time to time they have been known to enter homes where they prefer to stay in a safe undisturbed place such as your attic. Deer mice are not territorial and will readily share space with others so on rare occasions a home can house many deer mice.

There are about 60 variations of the deer mouse and they live in a wide variety of places. From the mountains of Mexico to Alaska and almost everywhere in between. Colors can vary but the deer mouse is almost always two toned in color as opposed to a house mouse who is usually solid gray or brown. For the most part there is no control measures necessary for the deer mice living in the wild since so many animals eat them for food. There is however a great concern for disease once they establish inside a home. Should trapping be needed the deer mouse is very smart and may not approach your trap right away much like a rat. They are however scavengers who will eat just about anything and eventually should at least investigate your rodent placement. Remember, there will be at least a pair of deer mice together and possibly more with the young who haven’t left out on their own. Make sure you keep your traps in place for a week or more even after you have caught one or two to make sure you’ve got them all. Since this rodent is not commensal like the house mouse you should try to limit touching the trap without gloves and do your best to disguise your placements and move them around especially after you’ve got one. For this cute little varmit or any rodent control really, my advice is to just let the experts handle it , I think you’ll be glad yo did.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • Deer mice do not carry bubonic plague as claimed in that video! Don’t lie to scare up sales and fear of animals. 

  • Thank you for your comments Joe,
    I don’t know if you consider the CDC, that is The Center For Disease Control to be a scare tactic sales association or not but they say the same thing about this critter and even have documented DEATH due to the bubonic plague and the cute little deer mouse. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00026077.htm

    Now I don’t trust the Government much either so my feeling won’t be hurt if you call them liars too. Also, check your local or state laws… relocating deer mice may be illegal since they are vectors of disease.  

  • Hello, yes they’re liars too 😉

    In that link which dates back almost 20 years ago, I only see one case, and the patient recovered. The link between the sickness and the deer mouse was circumstantial. On the main CDC page for bubonic plague, it says “Deer mice and voles are thought to maintain the disease in animal populations but are less important as sources of human infection”. The word “thought” isn’t scientific evidence, it’s conjecture.

  • So I’m wrong even though I substantiated my research and you’re right because you just say so and offer nothing but accusations, name calling and a complete lack of scientific approach. Ok,
    Thank you.

  • Megan

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been going crazy trying to figure out what type of mouse I caught under my sink (my husband vacuumed up the feces – d’oh!). Most everything I found said white belly, but many types of mice have a white belly. Yours is a much more thorough description and after seeing this I am convinced due to the size, type of fur, and fact that the white belly did not go up the sides that we had a regular house mouse. You have put me at ease. Thank you!!!!’

  • Glad to hear–still, don’t handle it as my article warns….they do carry some nasty pathogens.