Deer Mouse


Actual Size: 5 to 8” long including the tail

Characteristics: Grey to reddish-brown with white underbelly and feet.

Habitat: Typically outdoors in rural areas, building nests in trees or beneath logs. May move indoors during cold weather, often in basements or attics.


  • Drawn to dark and quiet areas, typically outdoors.
  • Also called field mice or white-footed mice.
  • May carry the potentially deadly Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.

Deer Mice in the Pacific Northwest

Deer mice – also called field mice or white-footed mice – are common throughout North America. Though these pests prefer woodlands, they can also survive in desert areas and other habitats. Deer mice are common in rural areas and pose a constant issue for many agricultural spaces. Though these rodents rarely invade residential properties, they may seek warmth and shelter indoors during fall and winter. Since deer mice commonly carry hantavirus, they can pose a serious risk to health if near a home.

Deer Mouse Habitat

Deer mice are nocturnal creatures that usually feed on insects, seeds, and berries. They spend most of the day hiding in small, cup-shaped nests made from stems or leaves and lined with feathers or shredded cloth. Most nests are located in tree hollows, underneath logs, or around fence posts. Since deer mice do not hibernate, they may try to sneak indoors for warmth. Indoors, these pests usually build their nest in low-traffic areas such as basements, attics, crawlspaces, or garages.

Deer Mouse Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Deer mice are common carriers of the potentially life-threatening hantavirus. Though these pests are not aggressive, the disease can be spread without a bite. Instead, this virus is frequently transmitted by handling an infected mouse carcass or by breathing in air-borne urine droplets. Deer mice typically remain outdoors in quiet and secluded areas throughout most of the year, but they can invade homes during cold winter months. If you find signs of deer mice on or near your property, it is important to contact an experienced rodent control company to safely remove these pests.