About six inches long to the tip of its tail. It is yellowish brown to grayish white on top, has a white belly and feet, large ears, and a furry tail that is white on the underside.
Why be concerned?
Deer mice are native North American rodents and infest primarily rural structures. Outbuildings, work sheds, vacation homes, crawl spaces, and even vehicles are susceptible, especially in late fall and winter. Deer mice present problems common to other rodent infestations (see Norway rat). More importantly, deer mice are the primary carrier of the Hanta virus. To date, over 50 percent of diagnosed cases have been fatal. There have been only 110 cases of the Hanta virus reported in the U.S., and a very small percentage of deer mice are carriers, but it's best to take precautions.
What You Can Do
Be careful cleaning up mouse droppings or removing nests, or when cleaning long-vacated dwellings, sheds, or other enclosed areas. Always wear rubber gloves. Wet down the area thoroughly with disinfectant (bleach or Lysol solutions work well). Handle the material only when it is wet, and avoid disturbing dry, dusty areas. Place all materials in sealed plastic bags and dispose of outside. Be careful disposing of dead rodents: spray the rodent with disinfectant, place your hand in a plastic bag, grasp the rodent, turn the bag inside out, seal, and dispose of outside.
What We Would Do
Elimination of deer mice requires an integrated, customized plan. While each plan is unique to each structure, there are common elements: remove rodents through material application and/or traps; address biohazard created by their feces and urine; and modify the structure to prevent future access. Following an inspection, your technician can provide you with a strategy and written bid for abatement.