The Difference Between White Footed Mice & Deer Mice

Image of a White Footed Mouse

Comparing the White Footed Mouse vs. Deer Mouse

Woods and fields are the natural habitats of white footed mice and deer mice. However, either species may infest homes during cold weather. Because they share many habits and traits, people sometimes wonder about to identify a white footed mouse vs. a deer mouse.


Both species get their name from their coloring. Deer mice have deer-like brown and white fur, while white footed mice take their name from the hue of their paws. Unfortunately, these names don't help with identification: Deer mice have white feet as well, and white footed mice are also brown and white.

A closer look reveals subtle differences in white footed mouse vs. deer mouse appearance. A deer mouse has small legs and a sharp color contrast between the top and bottom of its tail. A white footed mouse has larger hind legs and a bicolored tail with less definition between the two hues. Still, it may take an expert to tell these mice apart.

Problems Caused

Both species enter homes in search of a place to nest. In the process, they often damage furniture, insulation, and stored goods. Deer mice are carriers of hantavirus, a dangerous disease that spreads through rodent waste. White footed mice may also transmit the illness, but are more likely to pass Lyme disease to people.

Getting Rid of White Footed Mice & Deer Mice

The exclusion process is the same for white footed mouse vs. deer mouse infestations. Sanitation and proper food storage go a long way towards deterring rodents. To reduce entry points, residents can seal holes in the home exterior, especially where utility pipes meet the walls.

Because of the diseases these pests can carry, the safest way to remove an infestation is to seek professional help. The trained specialists at Critter Control can determine whether the problem is white footed mice or deer mice and create a custom control plan.

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