In western North America, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are the primary carriers of the particular strain of hantavirus that causes respiratory illness in people.
Deer mice are found throughout Saskatchewan in a variety of indoor and outdoor habitats. They are more common in rural and semi-rural areas than in urban areas. Deer mice construct nests in stumps, hollow tree cavities, under logs, abandoned bird nests, wood piles, old cars or buildings such as sheds, granaries, garages and cottages. They may enter buildings when the weather turns colder.
Compared to house mice or field mice, deer mice have relatively large eyes and ears, long tails and are bicoloured. The belly and underside of their body is white, and the back and upper part of their tail is dark brown or gray.
Deer mouse photo, courtesy of Public Health Agency of Canada