Pest Identification

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Deer Mouse/White-Footed Mouse Exterminator

Deer Mouse/White-Footed Mouse

Deer Mouse/White-Footed Mouse


Although the genus of the deer mouse is rather large, each species has its own common name.  Members of the genus are referred to as either deer mice or white-footed mice.  The most common and widely-distributed species is P. maniculatus, the true deer mouse.

The deer mouse is bi-colored – the upper portion of the body and tail is medium- to dark-brown, and the underside of the tail, feet and stomach areas are white.  The body is 2 ¾- to 4-inches long and the tail two to five inches long.  The eyes, ears and body of a deer mouse are slightly larger than those of the house mouse.
Deer mice produce from three to four litters, each of which contains three to five young.  Thus, populations build up rapidly.  They typically produce their largest litters in the spring, depending on climatic conditions and begin to breed at five to six weeks of age.  The life span is from two to 24 months.

Deer mice are found throughout the United States.  This species gained national notoriety last summer when public health officials determined that the deer mouse is the principle rodent species associated with the transmission of the hantavirus.  Hantavirus is transmitted through the inhalation of particulate matter, which is contaminated, by the droppings and urine of infected mice.  Disease mortality in humans is approximately 60%.

Deer mice are active year round.  Their range of activity is one-half to three acres.   They offer construct nests in hollow logs and tree stumps, under logs and stones, and occasionally in bird nests and shallow burrows.  Deer mice rarely are a major problem in residential areas; however, housing in rural and agricultural areas may have more of a problem.

In the fall and winter, deer mice enter houses, garages and outbuildings, and occasionally campers and other infrequently used vehicles.  Once inside these areas, they can cause significant damage to furnishings and stored materials as they search for food and construct their nests.  Their typical diet consists of nuts, seeds, berries and insects.  They often store food in their nests for the winter months.  They are nocturnal and are rarely seen in their outdoor habitat.