White footed mice. While they look super cute in pictures they don’t look so cute scurrying across the floors in your home or leaving trails of disease carrying feces. If you live in Massachusetts, having a white footed mouse infestation is a serious possibility.
White Footed Mice Identification
These little mice have different colored fur. Some are a light brown and some are a reddish brown in color while some variation of in between. Their tails are often darker in color on top and lighter underneath. No matter what the color, the fur is on their back, belly and feet, as suggested by their name, are white. Because white footed mice are usually nocturnal, their predators include owls, falcons, snakes, bobcats, weasels and foxes. These animals are also nocturnal. This is how white footed mice avoid being eaten because they are darker colored on top therefore harder to see in the dark. They range in length from 5 and a half to 8 inches from nose to tail with average tail length of between 2 to 4 inches. These little guys weigh no more than an ounce. They are most often found in warm dry climates and like the dead stumps of hardwood trees where they like to build their nests. White-footed mice are omnivores. They eat berries, nuts, seeds, fruits and some fungi. They also eat insects when they are available such as gypsy moths.
Reproduction of White Footed Mice
These little guys are promiscuous. A female white footed mouse can start having babies at around 44 days old and pregnancy can last 21 to 28 days or sometimes longer as these mice sometimes practice what is known as delayed implantation. Delayed implantation allows them to give birth whenever conditions are most suitable. One litter of pups can have multiple fathers. One litter can have 2-9 pups. The pups are born blind and nurse for approximately three weeks then with full sight they leave their nests to fend for themselves. White footed mice live for one year or up to one and a half years in the wild but can live up to 3 years in captivity.
White Footed Mice, Lyme Disease, Hantavirus & Damage
White footed mice are carriers of Lyme disease. They pass the bacteria that causes this disease to the larval deer tick that feed on the blood of these rodents. Deer ticks are known to bite humans and that is how the white footed mouse contributes in the spread of Lyme disease. They also carry Hantavirus a deadly disease to humans spread through their feces. Hantavirus can be airborne if stirred up making it that much more dangerous for your family. White footed mice can infest your home and cause illness as well as damage. They chew up insulation, wood and food packaging. They seek out places and things in your home to build their nests. Sometimes they chew on electrical wiring which can lead to fires. Outside they may destroy crops and gardens by digging up the seeds to eat.
If your home is infested with these unwelcome guests give Dave’s Pest Control a call today. White footed mice make their presence known by leaving droppings in your kitchen. And you may also hear squeaking in hidden areas where they may have nests such as walls or basements. Dave’s Pest Control provides the best service to help you remove these rodents from your home.