Deer Mouse

Category:

Actual Size: 5” to 8” long including the tail

Characteristics: Gray to reddish-brown with white feet and underbelly.

Habitat: Build nests in trees or beneath logs outdoors; inside, often found in basements or attics.

Habits: 

  • Prefer to nest in dark outdoor areas.
  • Known to spread several infectious diseases including hantavirus and Lyme disease
  • Can reproduce throughout the year.

Deer Mice in El Paso TX and Anthony NM

Deer mice may look small and harmless, but they are actually one of the more dangerous rodents. They prefer woodlands but can be established in desert areas as well, including right here in El Paso. They also prefer more rural areas or agricultural areas outside, but can invade residential properties occasionally. When they do invade homes, it’s often to look for shelter to escape the colder winters. Their true danger lies in the fact that they are common carriers of hantavirus. They feed at dusk and dawn and tend to prefer insects, seeds, nuts, and berries.

Deer Mouse Environment

Like most rodents, deer mice are nocturnal. These mice spend their days in cup-shaped nests made of stems, leaves, and fibrous materials. Nests are lined with feathers or shredded cloth and can be found in tree hollows, fence posts, abandoned squirrel and bird nests, and the underside of logs and rocks. In homes, deer mice construct nests in low activity areas such as basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces. Deer mice do not hibernate and may invade homes during winter months seeking shelter in storage boxes, wall voids, and upholstered furniture.

Deer Mouse Habits and Dangers

For the most part, deer mice nest in outdoor areas that are quiet, dark, and undisturbed. When the weather gets colder during winter, deer mice tend to invade homes, garages, sheds, and sometimes even vehicles. When they get indoors, they are often found in basements or attics. The biggest threat of deer mice is that they are able to transmit the dangerous—and potentially fatal—hantavirus. This disease is often transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in air-borne urine droplets from infected deer mice.

If you notice deer mice in or near your El Paso property, contact your rodent control experts.