The white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is a rodent native to North America from Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, and the Maritime Provinces (excluding the island of Newfoundland) to the southwest United States and Mexico. In the Maritimes, its only location is a disjunct population in southern Nova Scotia. It is also known as the woodmouse, particularly in Texas.
Adults are 90-100 mm (3.5-3.9 in) in length, not counting the tail, which can add another 63-97 mm (2.5-3.8 in). A young adult weighs 20-30 g (0.7-1.1 oz). While their maximum lifespan is 96 months, the mean life expectancy for the species is 45.5 months for females and 47.5 for males. In northern climates, the average life expectancy is 12-24 months.
Behavior and diet
White-footed mice are omnivorous, and eat seeds and insects. It is timid and generally avoids humans, but they occasionally take up residence in ground-floor walls of homes and apartments, where they build nests and store food.
This species is similar to Peromyscus maniculatus. Like the deer mouse, it may carry hantaviruses, which cause severe illness in humans.
Connection to Lyme Disease
It has also been found to be a competent reservoir for the Lyme disease-causing spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.
A captive White-Footed Mouse. She is at least 3 years and 8 months old.
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