Common Mice Species In North America

The mouse is one of the most recognizable and iconic animals in the world. Everyone is familiar with it both as a cute character and as a bothersome pest. Throughout North America, you have several species of mice that you may encounter, each with its own unique traits, appearance, behavior and abilities. Let’s take a look at some of the most common species of mice that you may find on the continent.

The deer mouse

The deer mouse, also known as Peromyscus maniculatus, is one of the most common rodent species in North America. As a relatively larger mouse species, an adult deer mouse can reach 8 inches in length, and it has brown fur with a white underbelly. This species is also known to carry a number of diseases including Lyme and the Hantavirus.

The house mouse

Perhaps the most common mouse species in the US, the house mouse, usually has grey fur with a cream underbelly, and it is much smaller than the deer mouse, although the two do have a similar diet. This mouse species is known to carry a variety of parasites that can be spread to humans and our pets, along with several diseases. Once they infest a home, they are likely to contaminate food sources, gnaw through various materials and have a bad odor.

Western harvest mouse

Commonly found on the western side of the US, this mouse prefers to inhabit open areas such as grasslands, meadows and marshes, along with more inhospitable environments such as shrublands, dunes and deserts. About 6 inches in length, and with a gray to brownish coat, this is much less of a pest in residential areas than the house and deer mouse.

White footed mouse

Found in the eastern side of the US, with the exception of Virginia and certain mountainous areas, the white footed mouse can range from six to eight inches in length, and have brown to reddish black fur with white feet. It feeds on insects, fruit and grain, and it is preyed upon by foxes, snakes and various birds.

The type of mouse in your home

If you end up with a mouse infestation, you will likely have either a house mouse or a deer mouse on your property. These are the two most common species in home infestations. Both can be handled through DYI methods if the infestation is small enough. However, as their population increases you will need the help of a pest control specialist. Contact us today for your pest control needs.