Deer mice are similar in appearance to the house mouse with the exception of the color of their underside and feet. The underside is generally white but deer mice are always white. House mice never have white feet. Deer mice are distributed throughout North America (except the southeast) and are generally found in rural settings. Deer mice are of importance because they carry the Hantaviruses in their feces, urine, and saliva. Hantavirus infections occur in humans when the contaminated airborne particles are breathed in. This happens when cleaning cabins, storage sheds, garages, and campers etc. that have become infested with deer mice.
Fifty (50%) of all Hantavirus cases result in death. Deer mice have been found in rural King and Snohomish counties and are common east of the Cascades. Suspected deer mouse infestations should be treated with caution.