Facts on Deer Mice
The deer mouse is well suited to its name. It shares a similar bi-color scheme and speckled pattern as that of a deer. It has a tanned back with a partial white front and feet. They can leap and bound with grace and are said to look like a deer when in motion. They are very small mice, comparatively smaller to other mice and are rarely more a few inches in length. They have beady, black eyes and furry miniature ears.
Complete with a short, thin tail, the deer mouse looks like an even smaller field mouse and is often misidentified as many other similar mice who all look much alike and share many of the same characteristics. This species, however, have a very distinct bi-colored tail, in which the upper section is a dark gray, the underneath pale pink, and is noted for its smaller size and ability to jump.
Deer mice are nesting creatures. They are also country dwellers and as such, may build mouse nests in hollowed-out trees, under rocks, in piles of wood or any other area which offers protection and a small amount of space to maneuver. In the home, they tend to avoid humans, being a shy creature, but these mice can be found in basements, attics, garages or other quieter areas of the home or garden. In this setting, they may use household items to build their nests or bring in materials from outside.
They are one of the highest populated species in North Dakota and one of the most abundant mammals in the American Midwest. They tend to live anywhere except wetlands and are commonly found in rural areas throughout Canada and America. Deer mice may also burrow like rabbits and build intricate systems underground. They do not hibernate, unlike many other rodents, and as such, can burrow and nest extensively throughout the year to seek protection from the elements.
Elimination or Control
Because deer mice are nocturnal, you should look for them after dark to try and find where the nests and burrows are located. Once you locate the tunnel, you can assess the level of damage and plan your next course of action. Always wear protective gloves when working in a contaminated area and wash your hands after.
Mouse traps: These work by luring the Deer mouse in with bait and then snapping shut to kill it quickly. You can bait mice with household food items, though they prefer a vegetarian diet, or nuts, berries, other fruits, and cheeses.
Preventive methods for the Deer mouse include simplifying landscape designs, by keeping the grass low, piles of wood cleared away and removed anything that could become grounds for nesting or easy burrowing. The screen on doors and windows may also reduce the risk of deer mice from coming inside. They can jump very high, and as such, even second-story windows should be sealed, especially if there are tree branches nearby.