Whited-Footed Mice Identification Guide

What are white-footed mice?

White-footed mice (also known as wood mice) are a common rodent found in most of Canada and the northeastern United States. These mice are named for their white feet which contrast with their dark gray coat. They are very small, only 3.5-4 inches long not including the length of the tail, which is often as long as the rest of the mouse’s body.

White-footed mice are timid and generally avoid humans. In the wild, they are omnivorous, eating seeds as well as insects they’ve found. However, in your home, they’ll feast on any leftover food they can find.

white-footed mouse up close

Are white-footed mice dangerous?

Like all rodents, mice can be host to a number of harmful diseases, and the presence of biological elements like their droppings, urine, and fur can lead to conditions that spread disease or cause allergic reactions in some people. 

Notably, like its cousin the deer mouse, a white-footed mouse can carry hantaviruses that are very harmful and even fatal to humans, including hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. White-footed mice are also known to transmit Lyme disease. 

Why do I have a mouse problem?

Like most rodents, white-footed mice are nocturnal and avoid other animals, so you probably won’t see one with your naked eye, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have an infestation on your hands.

In the wild, white-footed mice generally live in burrows they created or inside the abandoned burrows of other animals. These burros are typically underground, beneath rocks, in stumps, in soil cracks, or in a number of other secluded locations. However, these rodents get pushed indoors, especially in colder months of the year.  Your home provides a warm place to nest with an ample supply of food and water sources that the mice need to survive.

Like all animals, rodents need food and water to survive. If you have left out food, have open garbage cans, or nave unresolved moisture issues, don’t be surprised if you end up attracting mice in the process.

Where are White-footed mice commonly found?

In the wild, white-footed mice are commonly found in the roots of trees and shrubs, beneath logs and boards, or in tunnels created by other animals. They may also nest in hollow trees, inside equipment or toys left in the yard, inside wood or compost piles, inside fence posts, and inside old bird or squirrel nests.

Indoors, they often find their way into cabinet voids and unused furniture, as well as anywhere with heavy moisture present, such as in attics, cellars, garages, or crawl spaces. 

How can I prevent White-footed mice from getting into my home?

White-footed mice will find their way inside your home in spite of your best efforts. However, here are some tips to keep them at bay. 

  • Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly.
  • Fix any leaking pipes or other humidity problems in the home.
  • Keep garbage stored outdoors in sealed containers.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and refrigerated if possible, including pet food.
  • Keep your yard free of clutter that mice could use to nest.
  • Install metal screens on windows, doors, and on any exterior vents.
  • Inspect your home’s exterior for any holes and seal any you find.
  • Place weatherstripping under doors and windows.
  • Seal holes where wires, cables, or pipes enter the house.
  • Cut back shrubs and trees so that they are well away from the exterior of the home.
  • Trim the bottom of hedges or bushes to expose rodent harborage areas.
  • Remove bird feeders from your property if possible.

How do I get rid of white-footed mice?

Mice are a difficult pest to treat for the average homeowner. Traditional traps may not be completely effective. It's also challenging to clean up after a rodent infestation.  If you sweep or vacuum around their activity areas without first completely eliminating the mice present, you could end up simply relocating them to a different part of the home.

Don’t fight mice in your home alone: trust your problem to the rodent exclusion experts at Connecticut Pest Elimination, Inc. We’ll take care of any mice problems you may be facing, eliminate the problem completely, and bring you back the safety and peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is rodent-free.

 

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