Deer Mouse

Peromyscus maniculatus
Peromyscus maniculatus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deer mice are one of the most common rodent invaders in the United States. The Deer mouse get’s its name from its appearance. Its color resembles that of a deer with a dark tan back, and white legs and underbelly.

Deer mice are only distantly related to the common house mouse. Although closely resembling other species of mice, the Deer mouse has larger eyes and often has two-tone coloring, which is typically a darker color over the back; with a white abdomen.

This rodent pest is very agile, and an excellent jumper and runner. Deer mice live in burrows that they make themselves, or occupy the abandoned burrows of other animals. They are active year round and don’t hibernate during the winter months. They do however prepare for winter by putting on body fat and storing seeds. They will eat fungi, fruit and seeds, as well as insects like the grasshopper, the beetle, the leafhopper, and a wide variety of caterpillars.

The Deer mouse is a known carrier of the Hantavirus, Lyme disease and bubonic plague. As such, this rodent pest has become the target of exterminators and homeowners; in the Western United States.

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