Knowing the Enemy: The Deer Mouse
Peromyscus Maniculatus, more commonly referred to as the deer mouse, is a native rodent to Northern America. Their common name is derived from their amazing agility enabling them the ability to make great leaps and dart around surprisingly quickly.
The Danger Deer Mice Pose
Deer Mice might as well be walking cesspools of disease. Deer Mice have more recently been linked to carry incredibly dangerous viruses such as:
Hantavirus – Found in their droppings, urine and saliva. It is a bit rare to contract the virus if transmitted through inhalation or an open wound. Symptoms can start anywhere from 3 days early to about 2 weeks after exposure. Symptoms include chills, fever, headache, muscle pain and if untreated can cause shortness of breath. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice these signs.
- Lyme disease – Spread through tick bites
- Ehrlichiosis – Spread through tick bites
- Babesiosis – Spread through tick bites
The Deer Mouse is usually seen with a small spectrum of dark colours ranging from brown to grey along the head and back while their under belly and feet are completely covered white. Compared to other mice in its family the Deer Mouse has large beady eyes and large ears. Reaching adulthood, these creatures grow to about a max of 6 inches in length. One distinct feature that separates them from their close cousin, the White Footed-Mouse, is their long multicoloured tale.
The Deer Mouse is predominately found across North America in rural or semi-rural areas where they make their nests high up in the hollows of trees or an attic. It is rare, however, to find them urban populaces where they lack the necessary protection to thrive.
Reproduction & Life Span
Deer mice can reproduce all throughout the year, primarily between March and October, although it’s believed their habits rely on the abundance of resources rather than season. They can have up to about 4 litters a year with a gestation period of about 25 days. The maximum life span of a deer mouse in the wild is about 96 months although the mean is about 45 months.