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There are over 20 species of rodents native to B.C., most of which are not pests. The problem rodents are three introduced species that came with the Europeans settling in North America. These are the House Mouse, Norway Rat and Black Rat. These rodents have spread wherever humans provide them a good living, but most people do not come into conflict with them until the animals take up residence in a house or outbuilding. Removing an occasional invading rat or house mouse is relatively easy if the problem is tackled immediately. Established populations, however, can be difficult to eliminate, especially if they are in barns or in older houses that offer many entry points and hiding places. Because these pest species breed prolifically, ignoring a problem soon results in a much larger and more damaging infestation.
The Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is a deceptively cute animal, with big eyes and ears. Its head
and body measure approximately 2-3 inches (5cm – 7.5cm) in length, and the tail adds another 2 – 3 inches. In color, the deer mouse ranges from grey to reddish brown, depending on age. The underbelly is always white and the tail has clearly defined white sides. The Hantavirus strain present in deer mice is Sin Nombre (SNV). The deer mouse is found throughout North America, preferring woodlands.