What Do Mice Eat?
By Chris Williams on August 24, 2015.
We get this question from time to time and it always surprises me because if you’ve ever lived with mice, you know that they eat pretty much anything they can get. If house mice could choose their food off of a menu though, it would be seeds, grains, or foods made from grains such as bread. But they’re not terribly picky, they like other foods including cheese, peanut butter, potatoes, and pet food (see Pet Food Invites Mice), to name a few. House mice will eat chocolate, bacon, and similar foods that are high in sugar, protein, or fat. In fact, they will even feed on what we would consider non-food items like bars of soap and pet poop!
You’re Feeding Mice Without Realizing It
There’s a reason why mouse nests are found most often in or near the kitchen. In general, a mouse’s nest will be found within 30 feet of its food source, more often 10 feet. A kitchen is one big smorgasbord for a mouse, with crumbs left on a counter, pet food spilled on the floor, or potatoes stored under the sink. It doesn’t take much, the food spills found under a stove can easily feed a mouse.
Deer mice or white-footed mice also get into homes (see Deer Mice – The Other Indoor Mice), and while they have a strong preference for seeds and nuts, they will also eat what they can find. These mice are known for hoarding food in or near their nest sites in wall voids or other hidden places. They mostly bring in seeds from trees such as acorns, pine cone scales, and beech nuts, but you might also find a hidden stash of birdseed, grass seed, or dry pet food.
Use Their Food Preferences When You’re Trapping
If you’re trying to trap mice with baited snap traps, there are a number of foods that will work (see What’s the Best Bait for Mouse Traps?). Sticky peanut butter is a top choice since mice have to work to get it off of the pedal and are more likely to spring the trap. You can also use bacon, dried fruit, nut meats, gumdrops, or chocolate candy. Try different foods to see which works best. If mice keep stealing the bait, you can tie it to the trap with dental floss.
Make sure that you have removed the foods that the mice were feeding on before so these foods don’t compete with your trap bait. Or, if you’ve found that the mice were feeding on one particular food, maybe Oreo cookies, use that to your advantage. Remove their access to that food in the kitchen, but then use the cookies to bait your traps. Obviously the mice like Oreos.
The good thing is that professional exterminators use mouse baits that combine a mouse’s favorite foods with a toxin. Our pros know which type of bait to use and where to place mouse baits or snap traps for maximum success. Give Colonial Pest a call today.