Picture of a deer mouse

Deer Mouse or House Mouse?

Two of the most common rodents in North America, deer mice and house mice have many similarities. However, it is useful to know how to distinguish between these species. In addition to having slightly different looks and habits, each pest comes with its own risks to people's well-being.

Deer Mouse vs. House Mouse Appearance

One major difference between deer mice and house mice is coloration. House mice have uniformly gray fur, while deer mice have white feet and undersides with brown upper bodies. Deer mice also have larger eyes and ears.

Behavioral Differences

Habitat

Unlike house mice, deer mice prefer to live outdoors in forests, grasslands, or farms. They tend to only venture into urban or residential areas surrounded by their preferred habitats. The small size of deer mice allows them easy entry into homes to build nests or store food.

Damage

Both types of mice cause similar damage in a home. This includes chewing up furniture, mattresses, clothes, and other materials to build their nests. They also have nearly identical droppings. However, deer mice are more likely to hide food stores, which can help to identify a deer mouse vs. a house mouse infestation.

Disease

The pests differ in one crucial way in their effect on human health: Hantavirus is a disease carried by deer mice, but not house mice, and can be fatal in some cases. Other mouse diseases, such as salmonellosis and leptospirosis, may come from either species.

Deer Mouse and House Mouse Removal

Homeowners dealing with a deer mouse or house mouse infestation should contact pest control experts. The professionals at Critter Control can develop and implement a plan to handle either species of nuisance rodent.