Revealed – The Definitive Answer to ‘What Do Mice and Rodents Eat’
Is your home infested with mice and rodents? Do you always wonder what motivates them for such an invasion? Well, its food and shelter. A mouse will enter your house to satisfy these two basic needs on which its existence depends.
What do Mice and Rodents Eat?
So, what do rats eat? Chocolates? Grapes? Gourmet meals? Lucky for you, rats aren’t fussy eaters. Like all omnivorous creatures, even mice prefer grains, fruits, and meat alike. However, that doesn’t mean the more scrumptious options like chocolates and cheese pieces don’t catch their fancy. Chocolates especially are a particular favorite among the pests. We recommend you use chocolate or pieces of sweet smelling, flavourful fruits as baits for effective results. A mouse is a mammal and is a voracious eater. It eats practically anything that comes easily. A mouse’s diet is diverse and it doesn’t really mind nibbling on different kinds of foods. However, a mouse will have its preferences. Some foods are their favorites while some are not. There are different varieties of mice but the preferences are almost identical.
What are the different types of mice and their food choices?
There are four kinds of mice, namely, the wild mice, the house or domestic mice, the city mice and the carnivorous mice. Let’s look at their food habits below:
What do wild mice eat?
Have you ever wondered what do mice eat in the wild? Well, a wild mouse is a voracious eater and feeds on nature’s bounties like fruits, seeds, nuts, roots, bulbs, bark of trees, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, corn, black beans, and oats. Wild mice depend on vegetation to survive. When there’s nothing to eat, wild mice can become omnivorous as well.
What do carnivorous mice eat?
You will be surprised to know that out of some mice species, a few are totally carnivorous, and feed on insects like grasshoppers. The variety of mice that eats grasshoppers is the grasshopper mouse that prefers eating small mammals as well as rodents. It likes to nibble on insects as well.
What do city mice eat?
A city mouse is specie that lives alongside humans, and hence, prefers food items eaten by them. From food scraps found at garbage bins of homes to cereals, meat, veggies, grains, these mice eat everything that humans eat.
What do domestic or pet mice eat?
A pet mouse needs a different type of diet and its food requirements are different from its counterparts. Although genetically, a mouse can survive on any kind of food, but in the case of a pet mouse, it’s better to feed it a quality diet that comprises of pellets and commercially sold supplements. However, a pet mouse needs fresh food along with these commercial products in the right quantity. While adult mice need lower doses of protein supplements, growing baby mice need more. If you have mice as pets, you would need to buy these two kinds of mice food from pet stores, namely- pellet mixes and block diets.
What is the problem with pellet mixes?
Pellet mixes comprise of different kinds of seeds, and mice often tend to feed on the tastier type of seed while ignoring the other kinds. This leads to illnesses and undernourished bodies. Pet mice often ignore healthy pellets, which leads to obesity and related weight problems.
Why give block diets to your pet mouse?
Block diets are better for your pet mice as these are balanced in nutrition. Pet mice get all their dietary requirements met with block diets. The American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association also corroborate this fact. Your pet mouse has no scope for nibbling here and there, and will have to eat the block given to it. This makes it possible for the mouse to get complete nourishment. Block diets provide the fiber that keeps the digestive system in good shape. It also prevents a mouse’s tooth from overgrowing and puts an end to their gnawing.
What are the fresh supplements to be given to your mice?
Choose supplements that are high in fiber; these will keep your pet mouse’s digestive system healthy. Foods like bananas, apples, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are beneficial for your pet mice. Eating these will prevent diarrhea and other digestive diseases. Pet mice can also be given rice. The leaves of dandelion can also be given as these are edible and good for your mice. Fish is another option you can try.
What do baby mice eat?
As babies, mice drink their mother’s milk. Once they start growing, they depend on other foods to fulfill their dietary requirements. These include wheat, corn, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, grass, sprouts, and even insects. A wild baby mouse depends on local and seasonal foods. Wild baby mice are dependent on their mothers to get them food. However, you will invariably need commercially available mice food, both liquid and solid, for a pet baby mouse.
What do deer mice eat?
Deer mice eat everything from insects like caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, berries, seeds to smaller animals. These are omnivorous, much like their other counterparts. Seeds and grains form a major chunk of their diet. Deer mice hoard a variety of seeds in their nest for later use; for instance, during times of starvation.
Note that deer mice are carriers of hantavirus, a dangerous disease, and sometimes eat their own excrement. This habit of mice is called coprophagy. They also consume a variety of underground fungus. It’s a common habit for deer mice to scavenge for food. This specie is the biggest scavenger among all the varieties of mice. From dead animals to rotten food, a deer mouse will eat everything in its path. They also like to eat roadkill!
What is the favorite food of mice?
A mouse or a rat will binge on anything and everything that is easily available for it to survive. However, these creatures have favorites too! Yes, they like certain things foods like nuts and fruits that are high in sugar content. Mice love to feed on nuts, fruits, and berries. Seeds, too, form an integral part of their daily diet. Mice are known to cause rampages in gardens that have fruit trees and berry bushes. They prefer specific fruits over others; among these favorites are cranberries, bananas, peaches, grapes, and coconuts. Even rotten berries entice the mice and other rodents.
Do mice eat veggies?
If given a choice, mice will not necessarily feed on vegetables, as they love to eat fruits and berries. However, to keep their teeth from overgrowing, they need to eat or chew on greens. Unless they chew on veggies, they cannot keep their teeth growth in control. Mice gnaw at crunchy veggies like cabbage, celery, broccoli, and sprouts to keep their teeth growth under control. These also nourish their bodies with nutrients.
Can mice eat cheese?
Cheese, perhaps is the least preferred food for a mouse! Yes, it is a proven fact that mice do not love cheese. Thanks to Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Tom and Jerry cartoons, we have all come to believe that a mouse loves to binge on cheese, but the truth is less cheesy!
A mouse will not prefer to eat cheese because of its strong odor and simply because it’s not sweet. Mice love sugar, and since cheese is not sugary, they are not likely to binge on it unless there is dearth of other food products. However, a mouse will not let peanut butter pass by as it’s sugary and the taste is flavorsome.
Can mice eat peanuts?
A mouse will definitely not like to be shown a peanut and then be refused! Yes, mice love to binge on peanuts. However, the million-dollar question is –“is it good for them?” No. peanuts are high in fat and can make mice fat and lethargic. Peanuts are not good for pet or wild mice. If at all you want your mouse to have a ‘cheat day’, then a nut will not harm.
Do mice love to eat chocolates?
Yes, yes, yes! Chocolates are sugar, and mice love to feed on everything sweet. If a mouse senses a chocolate present in your house, it will try its best to find it and gobble it up. And, in most cases, they are actually successful in their endeavor. But, mice are known to avoid dark and bitter varieties of chocolates as these are bitter in taste and contain a chemical called theobromine. This chemical is known to have ill effects on mice. When it comes to choosing the kind of chocolate, a mouse will always pick milk chocolate as it’s loaded with sugar.
Do mice eat meat?
Mice love to feed on meat but only when it’s easily available. A mouse is least likely to hunt for fresh meat. Most house mice will scavenge for leftover meat pieces in dustbins. City or outdoor mice will scavenge for scrap meats in trashcans. Deer mice, however, are known to hunt down smaller animals. You can give fish to your pet mice as it’s very nutritious. Mice and other rodents would also feast on rotten flesh or roadkill.
Do mice eat pet’s food?
It is a well-known fact that a mouse will eat anything that comes along its way, even if that means your pet dog’s or cat’s food. Mice love to feed on your pet’s food as they find their taste very flavorsome. If you have stored commercial pet food for your dog or cat, the mouse will find its way inside the bag and nibble its way to taste the goodies. Most pet foods contain fats and essential nutrients, all beneficial for mice.
Do mice eat insects?
All kinds of bugs and insects find themselves on a mouse’s radar since these are sweet in taste. Mice love sweet and they will binge on insects, as these are light sugary in flavor, and contain protein and fats. Insects like cockroaches, beetles, snails, worms, and caterpillars are the most sought after. In addition, mice love the taste of grasshoppers!
Which foods to use as baits?
In order to trap a mouse, entice it with something yummy. Which foods can you try? Well, place anything that is sweet or has protein. Chocolate pieces can do the trick as well as fatty food items that attract rodents. Put tiny pieces in the trap as mice take small nibbles only. Place a tiny piece of bacon or sausage inside for grabbing a mouse by its tail!
Some interesting FAQ worth a read!
Are mice big eaters?
Yes, they eat at least 20 times a night! Now you know where all your food went!
Do mice eat wood?
No, they don’t eat wood. They simply chew on it to make their way past obstacles, or only because they feel like gnawing at something.
Do rats eat grass?
Yes, they eat grass.
How long can a mouse live without food?
Only for a few days.
Will a mouse eat another mouse?
Yes, in times of scarcity, a mouse will eat another mouse.
Mice will eat whatever nature and your house has to offer. From sugary treats, to leftovers in your trashcans, a mouse will look for every opportunity to get its quota of food.