Body is up to two inches in length.
This species has several closely related cousins that are colored similarly. All species are bicolored — the top is light brown to red-brown and the feet and underbelly are pure white.
Unlike the house mouse, the white-footed mouse is not found in cities but is associated more with rural areas and buildings located in or near wooded areas. It does not commonly invade homes, but on occasion, one or more white-footed mice may invade a particular building. The white-footed mouse is a medically important species because it is a key host for blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus), which carry and transmit Lyme disease. In at least one case in New York, this species was also documented with hantavirus. A closely related cousin to this species, the deer mouse, is the primary carrier of hantavirus.
White-footed mice prefer the outdoors where they nest in tree holes, hollow logs, under logs, and in piles of stones, branches or logs. If inside, they are most often found in areas where the least human activity occurs, such as attics, garages, basements and crawl spaces.
If you live in an area where white-footed mice have been seen or could be present, it may be prudent and desirable to hire an experienced professional to control the mice. Remember, the risk of actually encountering hantavirus-infected white-footed mice is very remote, but taking the following steps can minimize any potential health risk: