THE WHITE-FOOTED MOUSE THAT RAN UP MY DRESS -By Kim Smith

Well hello there little mouse! My husband Tom was releasing a mouse that was caught in his have-a-heart trap. He first opened opened the front door of the trap, with no sign of movement within, and then the back door. After a few minutes passed, out ran the little mouse, but then he froze in his tracks, only several feet from where I was standing. As I was motionless taking his photo, I think he must have thought I was a tree. He suddenly ran up my leg, up under my dress, and poked his head out from beneath my coat. It’s too bad I was holding the camera and not my husband!

Thinking about hantavirus, and just to be on the safe side, I changed my clothes and washed immediately.

Off towards the woods he ran.

Studies show how the increasing Eastern Coyote population has impacted White-footed Mice, Red Fox, and the explosion of Lyme disease. In areas where the Eastern Coyote has outcompeted the Red Fox for habitat, Lyme disease has increased. Coyotes not only kill Red Fox, they simply aren’t as interested in eating mice as are the fox.

 

 

Answer: Both the White-footed and Deer Mouse carry hantavirus, not the House Mouse. To be on the  safe side, if you find rodent droppings in your home or office, do not vacuum because that will disperse the virus throughout the air. Instead, wipe up with a dampened paper towel and discard.

 

Read more about the White-footed Mouse and Lyme disease here: The Mighty White-footed Mouse

12 thoughts on “THE WHITE-FOOTED MOUSE THAT RAN UP MY DRESS -By Kim Smith

    1. All of the Peromyscus species have white feet, usually white undersides, and brownish upper surfaces. Their tails are relatively long, sometimes as long as the head and body. The Deer Mouse and some other species have a distinct separation between the brownish back and white belly. Their tails are also sharply bicolored. It is difficult even for an expert to tell all of the species apart.

      We trap mice in our house at any time of year–not at all a good idea to live with mice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While it’s always good to be cautious, 96% of hantavirus cases occur west of the Mississippi. It’s exceedingly rare in the Northeast, gratefully! Handling rodents should always be done cautiously and with gloves, of course, because rodents do transmit other diseases too.

        I think what’s important to stress here and perhaps what Jodi’s concern is, is to not villainize rodents without offering appropriate information about controlling them. It’s really easy for people to read a post like this and get so skeeved out that they rush to buy rodenticides – which compound the problem, not alleviate it, as you know.

        We definitely have a rodent problem in Gloucester, but as of yet I’ve not actually seen any house mice. All the mice I’ve seen have been deer/white-footed mice which naturally do prefer to be outside of our homes. They come in when it’s easy and when there’s plentiful food, but they don’t typically infest our homes the way house mice do. Our job is to make our home spaces less desirable than their natural outdoor world – and to protect their natural predators so that they can do their jobs!

        Rats, on the other hand… Now there’s a bigger issue, and yet another reason we MUST protect our predators. Rats are not native, infest our entire island, get into our homes and yards, compete with native rodents like squirrels, and carry disease. And regardless of the predator we’re talking about, they’ll eat rats. Everything from coyotes to raptors to foxes to weasels.

        Protect our predators, appreciate our diverse wildlife, and yes – humanely trap and release mice instead of putting out kill traps and poisons!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Culturally and ecologically significant species including Red Fox decline dramatically in response to increasing coyote populations. Eastern Coyote and Red Fox share many common habitat requirements and occupy overlapping niches. Through time, the larger and more resilient coyote is able to out-compete and displace resident fox populations.” (Department of Natural Resources, Maryland.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just do it in the spring and summer (at old place) because I didn’t want to dump them out in the winter with no cache of food. I sometimes would pop them in a tank set up and wait till spring.

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    1. Studies of stomach contents and scat show that the base of their diet is rodents along with other foods depending on the time of year and available foods.
      I know my deer mice, raised many over the years, had a pet one for 8 yrs.
      they are the most common ones found in homes and brought home by pets.
      I’m glad your have a hearting them rather than using rodenticide.
      Raptors are the best at rodent control and us humans are poisoning them to death when we poison their food.

      Like

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