Identification and Control of Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)
Deer mice are so-called because of their fur color's striking resemblance to deer fur. Their grayish-brown body slowly turns to white at the belly and legs, becoming more similar to the color of deer fur as they mature. They have small, rounded, slender bodies that are typically 2 ¾ to 4 inches long. They have big, black, round eyes and a distinctly pointed nose. Ears are big and covered with fur. Tail length ranges from 2 to 5 inches, covered with short, fine hairs and noticeably colored dark at the top and light at the bottom.
Habitat and Diet
The deer mice are also called "field mice" because of their preference for the outdoors. They are often found nesting in hollows in logs, holes in trees or in spaces under stones and rocks. Associated mostly with rural areas and prairies; they sometimes find their way into homes and buildings. When they do, they prefer undisturbed areas like attics, basements or covered outdoor spaces such as sheds and barns. This habitat preference is influenced by their diet. Deer mice usually feed on nuts, seeds, tiny fruits and berries, as well as insects, centipedes and certain species of fungus found under the soil.
Reproduction and Lifespan
Deer mice become sexually mature in about five weeks. Just like other rodents they produce lots of offspring: two to four litters per year and the litter size can vary from three to eight. They typically breed in the warm summer months. Typical lifespan is from 2 to 24 months with some reaching as long as eight years in a captive environment.
The deer mice are known carriers of the Hantavirus Pulmonary Disease, a potentially deadly disease. Other diseases known to be carried by the deer mice include Lyme disease and the bubonic plague. These diseases are usually transmitted from contact with infected dead mice, mice droppings or from breathing aerosolized urine droplets of infected mice.
Prevention and Control
To prevent homes and buildings from becoming host to deer mice population, qualified pest control services can help in rodent-proofing entries and sealing holes with rodent-proof material. They can also recommend how to keep a house, yard or building less attractive to deer mice and other rodents. Attics, basements and other less-frequented spaces must be free from clutter as much as possible to prevent deer mice from nesting in them.
Once deer mice infestation has occurred, pest control measures used to get rid of them may include using a rat trap, rat gel and toxic baits. Handling of live, captured deer mouse should only be done by a qualified pest control service to avoid rat bite and other health threats.
Pest Control in Dubai
The gulfnews.com cited that in Dubai, pest-related complaints tripled from 1,664 in April 1992 to 4,676 complaints in April 2009, even as Dubai's population roughly doubled to about 1.4 million. Infestation of rats in Dubai accounts for a substantial number of these complaints. This prompted the Public Health Pest Control Section of Dubai Municipality to enforce shutdown or utility cuts on buildings found violating hygiene rules or pest-control regulations. This is after rats in Dubai were found infesting even posh areas. By law, buildings and premises in Dubai related to public health must have a contract with a licensed pest control service.
There are about a dozen of these pest control service companies including Akkad Pest Control Service. Akkad's pest control services include keeping rodents, including deer mice, under control. They also provide treatments for infestation from ants, bed bugs and flying insects.