Deer Mouse Facts in Pequannock Township, NJ; Droppings, Disease, Habitat, Range & Adaptations

Observing deer mice allows you to see they are inquisitive creatures. They are named deer mice because their fur resembles that of a deer’s fur. It’s also a reference to the coloration of the white-tailed and mule deer. They have round slender bodies with a pointed nose and large beady black eyes with large ears. They have long whiskers and shorter forelimbs than hind limbs and can grow to 4 inches in length. They can also be white and black or gray in color. The white footed mouse is its closest relative.

Deer Mouse Behavior

Deer mice are nocturnal, making them active at night. They are good climbers but tend to spend most of their time on the ground. They stay busy around a centered nest and food stockpile. Deer mice will raid stored food and can shred fabrics and furnishings to use for their nests. Deer mice will take the easy way out of building nests sometimes by occupying the nests of abandoned animals. In the winter they may go into a dormant like state to reduce body temperature and to save on energy. They are most abundant in late fall and will cuddle up together to stay warm when it gets cold. They will be active through the winter with the food they have stored.

Where Do Deer Mice Eat & Where Do They Live?

Deer mice are found in a wide variety of habitats. From deserts, prairies and forests but not in wetlands. They will avoid lakes and ponds too. They are quite tolerant of disturbances and numbers will not be affected greatly by minor wildfires or the harvesting of trees where they live. Deer mice nest in burrows that are dug in the ground, in stumps or rotting logs and will build nests inside buildings occasionally. They feed on nuts and seeds and will also enjoy insects when available. Given the right habitat and access to food, they can live for up to eight years in captivity making them a long term problem.

Prevention of Deer Mice

There are steps that can be taken to prevent deer mice. Rodent-proof materials can be used when you find areas they are using to get in. The size of the whole does not matter and will need to be sealed as they can get through holes the size of a dime. Remove clutter from your yard and keep the grass and bushes neatly trimmed to make your property less appealing to deer mice. Keep your food in containers make of thick glass, steel or heavy plastic instead of paper containers or plastic bags. Take care of areas in your attic garage or crawlspace as boxes and clutter to prevent nests being made. Keeping things neat and tidy will help.

Deer Mice Control

People can develop a deadly disease known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) by inhaling the virus particles when the urine or feces of deer mice are disturbed making prevention and control imperative. It’s best to hire professionals because getting rid of deer mice can be hard and dangerous to your health. Contact Merlin’s Pest Control to take care of an existing problem with deer mice.

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