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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Deer Mice (Peromyscus spp.) Biology, Damage, and Management: A Review


The deer mouse is the most widely distributed and abundant small mammal in North America. They use a wide array of habitats, are very adaptable, and have a high reproductive potential. They play a number of roles in ecosystems, but can cause damage to orchards, forests, agriculture crops, and rangelands primarily through seed and newly-emerged seedling consumption. They also cause damage similar to house mice when they occupy buildings or other structures. Deer mice are important components in disease transmission especially of hantaviruses and Lyme disease. Damage reduction methods generally involve lethal control to reduce numbers using rodenticides and traps. Improvements in control methods are needed, especially in some agricultural crop types.

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