Natural hantavirus hosts
Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
Last Modified: 10/01/1998
- Adult Size: 4-9 inches long; tail is slightly less than half of total
- Appearance: Grey to dark brown, with white underside and white feet.
Large eyes. Tail is short-haired and sharply "two-toned": darker on top,
lighter on bottom. Insidiously cute.
- Habitat: In the field, the deer mouse is usually found in deserts,
scrublands, and woodlands. Thrives in dry land. Especially places where brush
and vegitation are plentiful; weeds and grasses provide food and cover. Can be
found in forest areas and grasslands. The deer mouse can also
be found in urban areas, as it has few problems with adaptation. The deer mouse
is a poor climber and is usually found on or close to the ground.
- Miscellaneous: The deer mouse is almost strictly nocturnal.
Two general forms exist: woodland and prairie.
Woodland forms are usually larger, with bigger body and longer tail.
This mouse's food consists of seeds, nuts, acorns and insects; it will store
If you need another reason to hate this rodent, it is also a reservoir for
Lyme borreliosis, the bacteria that
causes Lyme disease. (However, Lyme disease is usually transmitted to humans
The deer mouse is almost completely widespread throughout North America. It can
be found from Mexico to Northern Canada. Within its range, it is frequently
the most abundant mouse species.
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