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November 2013 - The Deer Mouse

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Adult Deer MouseDeer Mouse Trivia Question:
How many droppings do adult Deer Mice produce per day:

   a) 0-25
   b) 25-50
   c) 50-75
   d) 75-100

Correct Trivia Answer:  a) "C" - An adult deer mouse typically produces 50 to 75 droppings per day.




The Deer Mouse

The Deer Mouse (Peromyscus Maniculatus) is also commonly referred to as the “Field Mouse” or “White-footed Mouse” and can be found in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., in rural and semirural areas only. They are typically not found in urban environments.

Feasting on seeds, grains and fruits, these mice often aggravate farmers when they infiltrate grain silos and storage bins. Since these rodents are highly nocturnal, most feeding occurs 30- minutes after sunset and before sunrise.

Common nesting locations are: ledges beneath decks, garages, barns, inside of cars and burrows around tree roots; All usually less than 30-ft from their food source, as their home range is no more than 30-feet.

These rodents are well-known carriers of the deadly Hantavirus, which has caused numerous deaths in the United States. As prolific breeders, they pose serious health risks for humans and pets.

Droppings, gnaw marks, and urine odors are just a few signs of mice activity. Droppings are the most commonly encountered evidence of rodent activity. Even a small mouse infestation can produce literally thousands of droppings in a short period of time. An adult deer mouse typically produces 50 to 75 droppings per day. These fecal pellets are usually dark-colored, 1/4 inch in length, and pointed at both ends.

Evidence of recent gnawing is an excellent sign for determining the presence of mice. Besides chewing wires, mice gnaw on plastic items, wood, bags, and corners of cereal boxes. Additionally, they will shred paper from books and paper towels for their nests.

Mouse holes are typically small, clean-cut holes about 1/2 inch in diameter.

Another indication that mice are present is a strong musty odor. Cats and dogs may excitedly sniff and probe an area where rats or mice are present, and often indicate this by scratching or making unusual sounds.
Traps, rodenticides, repellents and prevention are all options for controlling deer mice.

Sanitation & Exclusion—Rodent populations will continue to increase in conditions that allow easy access to food and shelter. Sanitation efforts in conjunction with rodent proofing provide the best solution to reducing or completely eliminating these conditions.

To adequately keep deer mice out of your home, all openings need to be sealed off – remember mice only need an opening of 1/4" or the size of a dime to gain entry to your home.

In addition to exclusion, careful storage of foods and elimination of clutter are valuable steps in the fight to control deer mice infestations.

Rodents must have adequate food and shelter in order to live and thrive. Removal of these 2 factors is the best way to prevent and control rodent problems. It is important to include both the outside and inside of your home in your sanitation efforts.

• Clean areas under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers.
• Keep counter tops clear of food.
• Do not leave glasses of water out overnight.
• Store dry food, pet food and birdseed in sealed containers.
• Clean pet bowls at night.

• Keep storage areas free of clutter
• Rodent-Proof hard-to-access areas that tend to be neglected
• Store supplies or materials off the floor

• Properly maintain landscaping – trim any overgrown vegetation and shrubbery until ground underneath is visible.
• Remove any debris – rock piles, old equipment and such.
• Elevate lumber and firewood at least 18 inches.
• Store firewood away from the house.

Rodent-Proofing the home whenever possible is a critical step in controlling rodents. Ideally, you can control rodents by making it impossible for them to gain entry to the home. However, it may be difficult to exclude mice completely since they can pass through ¼ inch openings, approximately the size of a dime. Any of these possible rodent access points must be inspected.

Rodent Access Points
• Repair all holes and cracks in foundation, walls, basements and such.
• Equip doors and windows with fine-mesh, well-maintained screens.
• Chimneys should be capped.
• Seals around all exterior lines leading through walls must be tight.
• Cover vents with metal grill-work and rust-resistant screening.

Rodent Proofing Materials
• Concrete
• Caulking
• Copper, Aluminum or Stainless Steel Mesh (Xcluder)
• Coarse Steel Wool
• Hardware Cloth - 19 gauge
• Sheet Metal – 26 gauge thickness

If a deer mouse or any other critter gets too close for comfort, call the professionals at Critter Control for assistance by dialing 1-800-CRITTER.

For animal removal, animal exclusion and animal damage repair services, call the professionals at CRITTER CONTROL anywhere in the U.S., by dialing 1-800-CRITTER (274-8837).

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