Mice

HOUSE MICE

imagesThe common house mouse weighs between 12 to 22 grams and may grow up 20 cm in length. They are black to light brown or gray in color, with short hair and lighter bellies.

House mice are very common to this area due to the uncut vegetation around homes. Normally, the house mouse makes its home in the grassy and wooded areas, building nests in areas that are dark and protected from the elements and close to a readily available food source.  The nests are usually found in dark corners especially in attics and the nests are easily located with acorns at the nest site.  Mice only need ¼ inch gap to enter the home.  Mice will travel from 10 to 50 feet away from their nest to find food and water. 

It is recommended to cut back any tree limbs at least 3 feet away from the roof.  Put a piece of board inside the water heater closet to prevent them from making nests.  The garage should have a proper weather stripping seal especially at the corners.  Make sure house siding is sealed as they will jump up between the house siding and work themselves up to the attic.  Check all the vent screens in the attic and foundations for holes.  Keep firewood a foot above the ground and away from the house.

DEER MICE

Deer mice are round and slender, ranging from 7 to 10 cm long in body length with a pointed nose and large, black beady eyes. Ears are large with little fur covering them. The tail is short, distinctly bicolored (dark on top and light on bottom).  They have reddish-brown fur and a white underbelly, and are smaller than field mice.

Deer mice can release hantavirus in their urine and droppings. It is estimated that only 12% of deer mice carry the hantavirus.  People can contract the virus when they breath contaminated air. Children rarely contract the virus, probably because it is often transmitted when adults sweep or vacuum droppings or cut and stack wood.  People usually contract the virus in small, confined spaces with poor ventilation. They also can become infected by eating contaminated food, touching tainted surfaces or being bitten by infected rodents.  There is no known cure for hantavirus.

It is recommended to cut back any tree limbs at least 3 feet away from the roof.  Put a piece of board inside the water heater closet to prevent them from making nests.  The garage should have a proper weather stripping seal especially at the corners.  Make sure house siding is sealed as they will jump up between the house siding and work themselves up to the attic.  Check all the vent screens in the attic and foundations for holes.  Keep firewood a foot above the ground and away from the house.

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