Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bamboo creates habitat and food source for deer mice, hantavirus

Bamboo is popular in landscaping, especially as a living fence and privacy screen.  However, not only is bamboo invasive, they have also been found as a preferred habitat for deer mice. Bamboo has an intermittent flowering pattern, but they tend to produce heavily when they do reproduce.  They can produce seed for up to 18 months, during which, deer mice can have several reproductive cycles.  After the bamboo seeds have been consumed, the mice may seek out food near the human dwelling.  As over 10% of deer mice may carry hantavirus, this can be a risk to humans living near dense bamboo stands.  By reducing the habitat and food source that the bamboo provides, this reduces the risk of mouse-borne disease.

deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

Source article: Ecologist warns of bamboo fueling spread of hantavirus
To report observations of bamboo, visit EDDMapS