- Common Name(s): Deer Mouse
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Cricetidae
- Common Species: Peromyscus maniculatus
- Commonly Confused With: Other Rodents
How to Identify?
The deer mouse is common in western areas. They have short brown to blackish hair and their belly is white in color. They have large eyes and ears and max out around 0.75 oz. in size.
Where do they live?
The deer mouse lives outdoors but can find its way into structures, such as homes, storage sheds, outbuildings, stores, granaries, etc.
What do they eat?
These rodents are particularly fond of insects and seeds but will eat a number of food sources: fungi, flowers, nuts, fruit, etc.
What do they do?
These rodents are responsible for helping spread two diseases in humans: Lyme Disease and hantavirus. Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick, for which the deer mouse is a common host. Hantavirus is transmitted by the infected urine, feces, or saliva of these rodents.
While the deer mouse sometimes causes issues indoors, they do not do nearly as much damage as some of the other commensal rodents. They can have up to 4 litters a year, usually giving birth to 4-10 young per litter!
- Wiester, A. (2003). The Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington Species Page: Deer Mouse. Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/deermouse.htm
- ESF Office of Communications, & Saunders, D. A. (n.d.). Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus LeConte). Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/deer_mouse.htm
Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist
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