In this article youll read about hantavirus and answer the common question Are deer mice dangerous? The most prevalent and extensively dispersed animal in North America is the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, also called a white-footed mouse. Deer mice, which belong to a sizable group of species and subspecies in the genus Peromyscus, are expert jumps and runners who got their name from their agility.
Given that they propagate the hantavirus, which can be fatal to humans, deer mice are a particular cause for concern. Deer mice are not typically found in urban and residential settings until fields, forests, or other suitable ecosystems surround those locations because they prefer forests, grasslands, and agricultural crops.
Identification and Biology
Since almost all of these species share the same distinctive white undersides, legs, and feet, as well as a dark to light brown back, it can be challenging to tell these species apart. Their tail has two colors—white on the bottom and a darker shade on top—and is bicolored. The easiest trait to employ on white-footed mice is their bicolored tail, despite the fact that they often have larger eyes, ears, and total body size. They are distinguished from house mice, Mus musculus, by having practically hairless tails and a gray-brown coat all over. Identification can be difficult for a homeowner its important to request the help of a franklin deer mice removal specialist in Hobart Indiana, call them here (219) 600-4910.
Deer mice Environment
The deer mouse can be found in a variety of habitats, including woods, grasslands, scrublands, and agricultural lands. Other Peromyscus species are more confined and can only be found in chaparral, pinyon-juniper, stony canyons, and other ecosystems that are comparable.
Deer mice spend the day in shelters or in deer mouse nests and are nocturnal creatures. Nests can be lined with fur, feathers, or shredded cloth and are made of grass stems, twigs, leaves, and roots, among other fiber materials. Tree hollows, stumps, and roots, as well as the underside of rocks and logs, are also potential nesting locations. Deer mice are known to use abandoned bird and squirrel nests, as well as nesting cavities inside of structures, to create their above-ground nests. Although deer mice don’t hibernate, particularly harsh conditions can cause them to become inactive or torpid. They spend the entire winter nesting in family groupings.
What is havantavirus?
Hantavirus is a virus that is found in the urine, saliva, or droppings of infected deer mice and some other wild rodents (cotton rats, rice rats in the southeastern Unites States and the white-footed mouse and the red-backed vole). It causes a rare but serious lung disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The virus does not remain active for long once outside of its host — less than 1 week outdoors and a few hours when exposed to direct sunlight.
People can contract the hantavirus infection through inhalation of respirable droplets of saliva or urine, or through the dust of feces from infected wild rodents, especially the deer mouse. Transmission can also occur when contaminated material gets into broken skin, or possibly, ingested in contaminated food or water. Person-to-person transmission in North America has not been reported. A few situations of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in South America suggests person-to-person transmission is possible. However, the viruses isolated in South America are genetically distinct from those described in North America.
The two main types of disease caused by a hantavirus are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (found in North America) and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (found mainly in Europe and Asia).
Symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome appear within 1 to 5 weeks after exposure. The average is 2 to 4 weeks. This disease is extremely serious since about 40% of the people who get the disease die. The disease begins as a flu-like illness. In the early stage, a worker may experience fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and gastrointestinal problems. However, the disease progresses rapidly, and infected people experience an abnormal fall in blood pressure and their lungs will fill with fluid. Severe respiratory failure, resulting in death, can occur within a few days of the early stage symptoms.
Symptoms of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome appear within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure. Symptoms include intense headaches, back and stomach pain, fever, chills, nausea, blurred vision and may include additional symptoms such as flushed face, inflamed or red eyes, rash, and low blood pressure. What does deer mouse eat? Keep reading to find out.