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Mice are common in all parts of Canada. They can range in color from dusky grey to tan or brown, and measure overall from 2.5 to 4” long with large ears and long tails. Deer mice are 4 to 9” long, reddish-brown in colour with a white chest, white feet and a bi-coloured tail (brown on top/white on the bottom).
The average life span of a mouse is 18 months. A single female may have as many as eight litters per year, averaging five to six young each. Mice can survive outdoors during the winter under certain conditions, but generally invade buildings when the weather turns cold, to seek both food and shelter. Mice are year round pests. Activity and indoor migration increases as weather get cooler. Deer mice naturally inhabit rural & semi-rural locations, in areas such as fields, pastures & various types of vegetation found around homes & outbuildings. Generally, mice commonly invade garages, attics, sheds, wood piles, crawl spaces, as well as general living quarters of homes. Their ground nests are established in hollow trees, building voids and spaces, unused equipment, cabinet voids, along the sill plate in basements and crawl spaces, log piles, unused furniture, fence posts, and old bird and squirrel nests.
Damage Caused by Mice
Mice can do extensive damage to houses, granaries, restaurants, bakeries – any place food is handled or stored. They will gnaw through wood to gain entrance into buildings. In constructing their nests, mice will destroy fabrics and leather goods, and can cause fires by chewing through the insulation on electrical wires. Mice can also contaminate food with their droppings and urine. Deer mice also present the possibility of introducing Hantavirus through their droppings. They spread such disease as salmonella bacteria (food poisoning) leptospirea (jaundice) and typhus. As well, they carry parasites such as fleas, roundworms and mites. A bite inflicted a mouse should receive prompt medical attention. The droppings from deer mice, also pose a risk for Hantavirus.