Deer Mouse

Actual Size: 5” to 8” long including the tail

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

Habitat: Build nests in trees or beneath logs outdoors; inside, often found in basements or attics.


  • Prefer to nest in dark outdoor areas or in fields.
  • Sometimes referred to as field mice or white-footed mice.
  • Can transmit the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.

Deer Mice in Vermont

The deer mouse may look cute, but they are one of the more dangerous rodents due to their ability to transmit disease (specifically, hantavirus) Deer mice are often referred to as field mice or white-footed mice due to their unique coloring. Deer mice prefer woodlands, but they are also established in desert areas. Most often found outdoors in rural areas, deer mice rarely invade residential properties. These rodents are a common problem in agricultural areas, and will sometimes look for shelter in homes over winter. They feed at dusk and dawn and tend to prefer insects, seeds, nuts, and berries.

Deer Mouse Habitat

For the most part, deer mice are nocturnal. They spend their days in cup-shaped nests made of stems, leaves, and fibrous materials. Nests are lined with feathers or shredded cloth and can be found in tree hollows, fence posts, abandoned squirrel and bird nests, and the underside of logs and rocks. In homes, deer mice construct nests in low activity areas such as basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces. They do not hibernate and may invade homes during winter months seeking shelter in storage boxes, wall voids, and upholstered furniture.

Deer Mouse Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Deer mice are mostly found outdoors. However, that can change in the wintertime. When the weather gets colder during winter, deer mice tend to invade homes, garages, sheds, and sometimes even vehicles. When they get indoors, they are often found in basements or attics. The biggest threat of deer mice is that they are able to transmit the dangerous—and potentially fatal—hantavirus. This disease is often transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in air-borne urine droplets from infected deer mice.

If you have a deer mouse infestation in your Vermont property, always contact a licensed rodent control company.