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What Do Wild Mice Eat

Summary: When asking, “What do wild mice eat?” the answer is simple. They eat everything that humans and their domestic pets eat and more. Just look in your pantry after an invasion of mice and you will discover their menu is wide and varied.

There are so many misconceptions pest management professionals hear about rodents. One of the biggest mysteries to non-professionals is what do wild mice eat. We see mice running from trash dumpsters and think, “Yuk! Dirty mice.”

If we could actually see inside that dumpster we would discover something we would think would be entirely out of character for a rat or mouse. We would discover that rodent being very discerning about the food it is dining upon. It's true! No self-respecting rodent would consider eating a morsel of food that


has gone bad. The lowly rodent turns out to be a connoisseur of fresh, clean foods. Funny how that works! We see a mouse or rat and think “filth”, while that same rodent is rejecting anything that fails its freshness test.

When you think about garbage you think of waste or something that has been rejected. In reality, and we all know this, humans are wasteful. We discard containers of food that still have edible residue on the sides. We throw away half-eaten sandwiches because we are full. We toss out a banana because it is too ripe. We don't eat apple cores. We peel potatoes, carrots, apples and so many other foods, throwing perfectly edible items in our garbage. I could easily fill this page with foods that we toss out that is fresh, clean and nutritious.

I think you may be starting to get the picture about what wild mice eat. The answer is right in front of you. They eat everything and anything. Sure, they have their favorites, but mice will nibble on a wide variety of foods, tasting a little here and there. Rats, on the other hand are a lot more picky and suspicious. They will take a small taste of something, and then leave it alone. They do this to see if a new food will make them sick. Once they have digested the sample successfully they will return and gorge on that particular food.

Understanding the differences in what and how mice and rats eat is partially how professionals determine what type animal is infesting a location. Understanding a rodent's eating habits can answer the customer's question, “Is it a rat or a mouse?” People are way more fearful of rats than they are of mice.

When a mouse gains entry into a house, its sensitive nose leads it to the kitchen pantry where a large selection of easily attainable foods is available. The pantry is a supply of nuts, grains, dried fruits and lots of paper for nesting. If the home has pets the bagged pet food becomes a target. Pet food is often kept in the garage where entry under a garage door is fairly easy for a mouse. They can gain entry through a hole the size of a dime which means most


garages are accessible. The protein in dog food is a wonderful food source for mice. It's so good, in fact, that is it not uncommon for mice to build their nests right inside a fifty pound bag of dog chow. Nesting materials supplied by the paper bag and the mouse is surrounded by a food supply. What a life!

Mice are more likely to live inside a house and get along nicely on the foods in the kitchen. Their water requirement is way less than a rat's, with much of their water needs being fulfilled by the moisture contained in the food they eat. A rat needs a more plentiful supply of water, so it needs to nest in an area where water pools on the flood or near other water sources.

So, what do wild mice eat? Anything they can get their little choppers on.


15 Nov 2012, 16:37
I have 4 pet mice and I was wondering if they can digest lard.?
Ask the Exterminator
16 Nov 2012, 15:04
Lard is on their diet plan.
11 Jul 2013, 09:22
I had a mouse issue and I called a company to eradicate them...well two months later my bananas were chewed on pretty bad.. im thinking they are back.. I put up glue traps and wood traps.. but the store brand of glue traps suck! any suggestions on getting rid of these pests besides moving.
14 Jul 2013, 12:03
I've trapped three rats/mice recently in my home. Two captures were inadvertent as they climbed into a large open plastic bin I used to store wild bird seed and they couldn't get out once inside. I used to same bin to capture a third rat/mouse by putting a few nuts at the bottom, filling it up with six inches of water, and greasing the sides with vegetable oil. Failing to get takers, I smeared a little peanut butter on the inside and found a dead rate inside the next morning (I thought they were swimmers). I seem to have another in the basement subsisting on insects based on the trace of feces found there.
Mister Smith
23 Sep 2014, 20:22
Mice do not like all that you say. They have a sweet tooth. Peanut Butter, and Chocolate are their favorites. But what gets them every time is string, and dry fuzz. They love to build a good nest and cannot resist building materials.

SNAP every time.

75 years mouse eliminator Age 93
Debbie Bird
19 Jan 2015, 20:34
Hi there mouse around in bedroom somewhere holes how I kill mouse tiny I don't have trap for mouse or glue poison glue and I have no money till end of month.
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