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What Do Mice Eat? Learning Their Diet To Keep Them Away

Feb 8, 2022

Mice are small, hardy rodents that are common throughout North America. They live in a wide range of habitats from rural to urban, and from the tropics to Alaska. When mice enter homes, they’re searching for a safe place to sleep, drink, and eat.

These fast, sneaky rodents may eat seeds, insects, nuts, fruits, and vegetables – whatever they can find since they’re not picky eaters. They will even go as far as gnawing on different “inedible” materials in the home.

Simply put, it’s no fun having mice in the house. These tiny creatures spread disease and can contaminate exposed food, kitchen surfaces, and many household items. Using airtight containers will keep them at bay, but it’s best to get rid of them completely, if possible.

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Should Know

Mice are omnivorous with a special love for fruits, grains, and seeds. Foods high in carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, and other processed food with sugar are their favorites. They will eat even meat scraps and pet food, so it’s important to keep mice out of your home.

What Are Mice’s Favorite Foods?

Mice seem to be able to eat almost anything humans eat. They will choose their food based on what is available, but they tend to favor sweets and carbs over everything else. Yes, mice seem to have a sweet tooth!  

Mice Prefer to Test Many Types of Food

Two mice on top of round oat cereal in front of a container of rainbow sprinkles

Since mice try many different types of food, eating often involves investigating and nibbling on various items. Chowing down on a single big meal is not their style. You might find a few bites out of multiple food items in your home, so it’s important to look at everything closely before eating it, yourself. 

Unfortunately for humans, these little rodents contaminate and damage more food than they eat. You should never eat food that mice have already infested.

If you have an infestation, you may see little gnaw markings on cardboard boxes, electrical wirings, leather, and paper products. A nest made of shredded paper, cloth, and soft metals like aluminum foil or plastic can create a nest in tight spaces.

Mice Can Be Cannibalistic

Although it’s not pleasant to think about, the palette of a mouse even extends to its own species. Cannibalism between mice may occur when there is a food shortage, but it can also be due to other factors such as territoriality and illness. 

Mice are most likely to eat their own young. Other mice can become food due to injury, stress, or overcrowded conditions.

What Do House Mice Eat?

House mice will eat whatever is available and accessible. They prefer to be inside the home with humans and learn what they like with repeated exposure. Being smart and resourceful, a hungry mouse will find a way to access what it needs.

What Do Deer Mice Eat?

Close-up of a mouse on dirt with a blackberry in its paws

Wild mice (or deer mice) rely on food they find in their environment. They will eat seeds, fungi, insects, and small vertebrates when it is available. 

They tend to search for food near the ground, but will also eat fruit and insects in trees. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including open fields and forests.

Wild mice mostly feed at dusk and night, since there is less danger around. Mice can eat about 15% of their body weight in food every day. They are known to store around 20 seeds in a single day and may stash food in crevices throughout their environment.

Little Hoarders: Do Mice Store Their Food?

Mice do store their food in different locations for safekeeping. They are known to store up to 200 seeds at one time.

Mice migrate from their nest to the closest food and water source in the same way. They keep their food stored as close to their nest as possible.

Both wild and house mice save food simply because they don’t know when or where their next meal will be. If they find enough food for the day, they will return to their nest and store it for later.

Mouse Diet FAQs

A mouse eating a small piece of cheese isolated on a white background

What Is a Mouse’s Favorite Food?

Despite being heavily associated with cheese and peanut butter, they are crazy for chocolate and carbs.

Do Mice Eat Cheese?

Yes, the stereotype is true – a mouse will eat all types of cheese, but it’s not their favorite food. They won’t choose it over a candy bar

Do Mice Eat Grass?

Mice in nature will eat fresh grass if there is nothing else available to help them take in their necessary nutrients.

Do Mice Eat Roaches?

In a mouse’s natural environment, they will eat roaches. While they will use a roach as a snack, don’t rely on them to get rid of roaches in the home. 

Get Rid of Mice with Phenom Pest Protection

A mouse trapped in a metal cage

Mice can find their way into even the tightest spaces, and get into a home through any opening larger than 1/4 inch. Once inside, mice can spread throughout the house and infest many areas. They soil whatever they touch with urine and feces.

Bacteria and viruses carried by mice can cause a variety of illnesses. They cause further destruction by gnawing on food boxes, upholstery, leather, fabric, and soap using their ever-growing teeth. 

Once signs of an infestation are spotted, don’t wait any longer — contact Phenom Pest Protection right away!


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