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Round and slender in shape, measures 7-10 cm long, has black beady eyes and a pointed nose. It has large ears which are covered with fur. It’s got two colors; white beneath the belly and on the feet, light brownish-reddish color on the top of the body. Deer mouse has a short tail, dark at the top and light on the bottom. The tails is as well covered with short hairs which range from 5-13 cm in length.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Mostly found in tree holes, under piles of stones or logs or within hollow logs. Lives in bushy or wooded areas and is associated with prairies. It keeps away from humans when indoor but would be found in crawl spaces or basements.
During winter season, deer mouse goes in search of food and warmth in domestic environment. They build their nest using paper, seed, fur and weeds. Deer mice do not hibernate in cold season however their movement becomes very slow. These animals hide their food and searches for more in areas close to their nest.
They are basically herbivorous but can as well feed on other things. They feed majorly on nuts, seeds, insects, small fruits and berries.
It takes 7 to 8 weeks for it to become mature. It reproduces mostly in warm months and about two to four litters is produced in a year. An average litter contains about three to five offspring but it could be up to eight in an unusual case. They have a lifespan of two year but can stay alive for up to eight years if captive.
Signs of a Deer Mouse Infestation
The sight of a gnawed object and a deer mice nest indicates its presence.
Although this creature is harmless in nature but it is a carrier of diseases like Hantavirus. When an individual inhales the virus from the urine or feces of deer mice it can result to Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Hence one must be very careful when getting rid of deer mice feces. In such situation the individual should put on an OSHA-approved respirator which has functioning cartridge. Before sweeping out the dropping and urine of the mouse, it should be disinfected.