Deer Mouse

Deer mice are also quite common in the Southwest. They are generally two-toned in appearance, with a lighter (often white) underbelly. Most will have a bi-colored tail. They may grow to around 7″ in length, and can also access areas roughly the size of a dime because of their smaller frames. Deer mice are accomplished jumpers and skilled runners as opposed to the house mouse. The common name of the “deer” mouse refers to these abilities.

Deer mice use their sharp teeth to eat just about anything they can find — they can chew through hard shells and will eat anything from vegetation to snails. Deer mice will also cache their food, often utilizing attic or crawl spaces to do so. In many areas, the winter cold is a chief cause of mortality; however, due to the Desert’s mild winter climate, they tend to thrive.

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Deer Mouse Habits

Although they rarely infest homes, deer mice are nonetheless dangerous in farming areas, vacation homes, sheds, and more. The biggest threat of deer mice is the fact that they are common carriers of Hantavirus. They most often find shelter in old fence posts, piles of debris, or hollow tree logs, and more. When they do make their way inside homes (often in the winter to escape the cold), they will seek shelter in attics, basements, furniture, and wall voids. They typically feed on insects, seeds, nuts, berries, and other small fruits.

Deer Mouse Damage

Rodents can be vectors for various diseases and bacteria. Rats were historically the carriers for the Bubonic plague, and have been responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. Rats are especially problematic as carriers of disease because they so often attempt to live as close to humans as possible (our food and garbage/waste provide a major source of food and harborage for rodent populations).

Rodents can also cause more basic damage in a variety of ways. They can contaminate our attics and crawl spaces with their droppings and urine; they can chew through the expandable foam, electrical wires, and even the wood inside of our homes; they can destroy our gardens and eat our food; and perhaps most damaging, they can destroy our peace of mind and sense of security when we hear them inside of our homes and places of business.

Deer Mouse Control

Rodents are not a simple pest to eradicate from a structure; they are intelligent creatures with an imperative to survive at any cost. Comprehensive rodent control should consist of four steps:

  1. Inspection. A thorough inspection is absolutely imperative to effective rodent control. The most important consideration in a rodent inspection is to identify all access points that rodents are using to gain access to the structure(s). Without a thorough understanding of how the rodents are entering and/or exiting the structure, effective control is nearly impossible.
  2. Exclusion. Once the access points have been identified, structural improvements must be made to correct the gaps or holes. These repairs can range from the simple to the complex and should be checked regularly as they will often break down with time and/or increased rodent pressure. Exclusion should be performed by a trained professional with the most appropriate material(s) for the situation. Our service technicians bring their expertise and their knowledge of rodent behaviors, which is the ideal combination for effective rodent exclusion.
  3. Trapping. Once access areas have been excluded, rodents will become increasingly desperate and trapping will become much more effective. While trapping can be employed before exclusion work has been performed, the results are often spotty and inconclusive (adults and more experienced rodents can have a tendency to become “trap-shy” and avoid new items placed into their environment). Once exclusion work has been performed, previous access to food and water has now been taken away and traps become much more appealing to the rodents.
  4. Exterior baiting. Once rodents have been excluded from the structure and all rodents on the inside have been trapped and disposed of, your best tool is population control. An effective baiting program will reduce rodent populations on the outside of the structure(s), thereby reducing the risk of re-infestation. Rodents will always be prevalent in the Southwest; with an effective baiting program (with frequent re-inspection), you can ensure that your home will be protected from rodent entry.