If you spend any amount of time in Puyallup, then you may find a mouse in or near your home. Most folks tend to struggle to identify the different kinds of rodents in Washington. This is especially true when trying to tell if you are dealing with deer mice or house mice. Read on to learn how to tell the difference between these two common rodents.
How are these two rodents different?
While the deer mouse and the house mouse may superficially look alike, they are not even part of the same family of animals. The deer mouse is scientifically known to be in the family Cricetidae and genus Peromyscus. The house mouse belongs to the family Muridae, genus Mus.
Deer mice are more agile than house mice in terms of running and jumping, so the common name of “deer mouse” refers to that agility. The common name of “house mouse” should give you a hint as to where this name came from: they love to live in homes with us. House mice are considered to be “commensal” rodents. This means that they are used to being around humans, prefer to live where humans live and will live off the food and trash that humans leave lying around. Deer mice are not considered commensal rodents. They prefer to live outdoors and will usually be found in fields or near barns and sheds. They only tend to come indoors if there are predators or weather conditions that force them to do so.
Deer mice and house mice share similar body sizes, but they do have several physical differences. The house mouse has smaller eyes (which are normally beady black), a pointier nose, and smaller, rounded ears. Deer mice have larger eyes and pointier ears. Their tails are also very different. The deer mouse has a shorter tail covered with fine hairs. The house mouse has a long, hairless tail.
The house mouse can come in a variety of different colors such as tan, brown, black, grey, and white. The color stays fairly uniform across the entire body. The deer mouse has a two-tone demarcated color scheme, with brown on top and white underneath–both on the belly and the tail.
What to do if you have a problem with mice
Having a mouse infestation can be potentially dangerous to you and your family. Not only can mice bring diseases into your home, they can do tremendous damage to your food, belongings, and the structure itself. Whether you are dealing with a house mouse or deer mouse, you need to seek professional pest control help.
Contact Whitworth Pest Solutions today and let our team of experts take care of your mouse infestation problem.
Feature image: Sergey Zaykov/Shutterstock