Compared to other rodents the Deer Mouse has been around for a long time in the Pacific NW. Even with the Roof Rat growing in population and taking over the Seattle area, the Deer Mouse has held its ground. They are often cute, yet when they get into your home it is another story. They can get into an entry point hole as small as the thickness of your baby finger.
In 2017, Deer Mice gave the Seattle market a scare when it was determined that a few deaths in the Cougar Mountain area were due to Deer Mice carrying the Hanta Virus. That was the first time in 10+ years we had a death. The virus is a weak virus and it is common in situations where there are fresh and heavy droppings.
The Deer Mouse, as with mice in general, urinate non-stop laying down a pheromone trail of urine to mark their area. Rats often defecate and urinate in one area near their nesting. So, when the mice urine crystalizes it becomes airborne and can get into the lungs.
Please note if you have Deer Mice in your home it is best to sterilize the area, they are traveling in. Using precautions like spraying down with Lysol before sweeping. Wearing a paper facemask when cleaning areas like garages help prevent the virus from getting into people’s lungs.
So, where do these cute pests live? Pretty much everywhere in the Greater Seattle Region. They love our vegetation, weather and environment. Places that have a lot of seeds, berries or fruit are popular during the spring and summer months. They will also live on insects during the fall. As with the Roof Rat, bird feeders are a great source of food.
The Deer Mice are small in their size about 3 to 4 inches in length, excluding the tail. They have large beady eyes and large ears that give them good sight and hearing. The fur is soft and can vary in color from orangish brown to grey. They have a more distinguishable whitish underside. The tail is the give away! The tail is two toned fur with the underside being white.
Deer Mice are nocturnal and nest in burrows dug in the ground or construct nests in raised areas such as brush piles, logs, rocks, stumps, under bark, and in hollows in trees. They also love our attics or crawlspaces, nesting in the insulation. They can also enter a crawlspace through a mole tunnel if available. They then can access the walls and move about the house.
In the fall they will try to come into the home where it is warmer, around the pipes under your sink. Once inside they love dog and cat food and will get into your pantry and cabinets. Pet doors or damaged door sweeps also are great entry points.
Most female Deer Mice live for a year or more and can have an average of 4 liters per year. If you see one – you know you most likely have a family in your home.
At this point it is best to call in the professionals. A regular monthly program can help reduce mouse populations in your home. We will help with reviewing entry points and assisting you with getting these closed off. We will also manage moles and their tunneling while utilizing a variety of traps inside and outside the home.
Learning to keep Rodent Populations at a maintained level outside the home is the most environmental way.
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