What Do Mice Eat?
Mice have an incredibly varied diet and will consume just about any food they can find! While they’re not very picky eaters, they do prefer certain foods over others. When asking the question, “What do mice eat?” it would help if you first understood their habits.
Mice are very curious and inquisitive creatures. They are quick to investigate new items or food placed near their nesting area. They also love to nibble, and instead of consuming large amounts of food, they may damage or contaminate many more items than they could ever eat.
Did you know that mice have a sweet tooth? Chocolate makes the top of the list when looking at what mice eat. A close second favorite is peanut butter. Candy that contains both peanut butter and chocolate is irresistible to a mouse.
Other mouse food favorites include bird food, pet food, and cereal. A common myth is that mice love cheese. While they won’t turn down a free meal, they might take a pass on cheese if other food sources are nearby. Wild mice can also survive on plants and vegetation such as corn, oats, fruit, roots, mushrooms, and even tree bark.
What Do Mice Eat: 7 Foods That Mice Enjoy
- Sweet and Salty Snacks: Mice and rats love some of our human favorites, including sweet and salty treats. Mice enjoy foods that are high in sugar, salt, or protein. Chocolate, candy, and beef jerky are popular snacks for mice.
- Nuts: Mice and other rodents will go nuts for nuts. They enjoy peanuts and peanut butter, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts as a high-protein energy source.
- Pet Food: Rodents are enticed by pet food, whether for dogs, cats, birds, or even fish. Avoid feeding pets in the garage when possible, and completely seal all pet food when storing.
- Fruits & Berries: Mice are attracted to sweet fruits like raspberries and blackberries. Fruit trees or fruits that have fallen off the vine can attract mice and other pests. If you have fruit trees, remember to check your yard for any rotting fruit and discard it quickly to keep rodents away from your property.
- Seeds and Grains: Mice and rats love a wide variety of seeds and grains, especially birdseed. Keep any seeds or grains stored in airtight containers to prevent mice.
- Plants: Mice enjoy a mix of plants. Excess weeds and vegetable gardens can provide a steady food source and hiding spot for mice.
- Meat: Overall, mice prefer items packed with carbohydrates, though they will enjoy meat in their diet.
Mouse Habits: What attracts mice?
Mice, like most other pests, are typically searching for a good place to make their home. Overall, they want food, warmth, somewhere safe to hide, and easy access.
Most of all, mice are attracted to food. A freshly-cooked meal, food debris, or scraps will attract mice. Though technically omnivores, mice prefer to eat anything high in carbohydrates such as grains, fruits, and seeds. While they have a love for food, they can survive on only an ounce of food and water per day. Make sure to store food in tightly sealed containers and dispose of any food waste properly.
Mice seek out warmth, especially in seasons when temperatures begin to drop. They can detect a building’s heat through wall openings, and they consider this an open invitation. A popular nesting spot is near water heaters since they offer a steady heat source and are usually out of sight, which provides a prime hiding spot too!
Since mice love to burrow and nest, they often seek out cluttered areas for their homes. Any space that provides warmth and the right hiding place could become a mouse’s home. Cluttered garages, attics, or storage spaces tend to attract mice to residential homes. Cluttered compactor or trash rooms in commercial buildings may entice mice as well.
Accessibility through small openings
Cracks and other openings in doors, walls, or windows can attract mice. Mice can enter through openings any larger than ¼ inch. If a normal sized pen can fit under a door, so can a mouse! Regular home or business maintenance can help to deter mice. Making sure any cracks are patched or fixed and any gaps in doors, windows, or screens are promptly taken care of will help to keep these creatures on the outside.