Deer Mice prefer to live in areas with tall plants and brush, and are particularly fond of wooded and brushy landscapes. As the weather gets cold, deer mice will seek shelter in warmer areas with a suitable food supply. Deer mice commonly enter barns, sheds, garages, and basements, and will likely build nests in these sites as well. These nests are made up of paper scraps, weeds, and fur. If in your home, they usually build nests in storage boxes, furniture, and wall voids. Deer mice nests are typically inhabited by a family of mice and they may utilize several nests. They will also build nests to store food for when resources become scarce.
Deer mice can pose serious problems if they inhabit your home or outbuilding. Deer mice are carriers of hantavirus which can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in humans. Hantavirus is transmitted through the waste of deer mice and affects people who try to clean up mouse carcasses, droppings, or live or work in an infested building and inhale the airborne virus.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome advances in two stages. The first stage is very difficult to distinguish from the flu, pneumonia, or other common viruses. Conditions will worsen after four to ten days and symptoms typically include:
A cough with secretions
Shortness of breath
Fluid in lungs
Low blood pressure
If you have been around mice or mice droppings, and suspect you may have contracted hantavirus, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Deer mice are attracted to yards with plenty of plant growth and safe places to hide. When temperatures begin to drop, deer mice often seek shelter in rural and suburban homes and buildings in order to keep warm. Because deer mice are small in size, they are able to get inside through small openings near the ground. They can also use tree branches to get into attics.
If you see deer mice in or around your home, call an Aptive professional to exterminate right away. Deer mouse remains, droppings and urine pose a serious health threat so you should hire a professional that has the correct protective gear to remove any deer mice.