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What Do Mice Eat?

Last Updated: 16.04.24



Mice, except for the domesticated ones, are not something that one wants to see around the house. If you need help selecting the best mouse trap available, an informative guide that we have prepared for you should be of great help.

In this short article, we have gathered numerous bits of info regarding the diet of mice. So, if you find this topic interesting, we suggest that you take the time to read it!


Where do mice live?

The best place to start when discussing the diet of mice is by examining the areas in which they naturally live. Commonly, these rodents can be found in all parts of the world, regardless of the type of terrain. They are known for living in forests, in areas that are covered in grass, as well as in and around manmade structures.

When they live in the wild, mice like to dig burrows underground so that they can protect themselves from the elements and from predators. These rodents are nocturnal and rather social when compared to other pests.

What do they eat?

Differently from what watching cartoons as children has taught us, mice do not have a diet based on cheese. As specialists point out, these animals enjoy eating seeds, grains, and plants. However, they are classified as omnivores and, thus, it should come as no surprise that they also eat meat.

Domesticated mice eat store-bought foods that include grains such as millet and barley. Pet rodents also enjoy nibbling on vegetables and fruits that have a crunchy structure similar to that of apples. Some pet owners also feed their fluffy companions cooked foods like boiled eggs.


Food in times of trouble

As some studies have shown, when food is scarce, these pests also eat each other in order to survive. In these cases, female mice are known to eat their offspring. Also, these rodents are known to consume their own tails. Mice also eat centipedes, insects, worms and even snails.

Because they have big appetites, mice eat up to 15 to 20 times a day. As a result, they tend to build their nests in places that are near food sources that are accessible.

The reason why these pests are so despised by people is that they tend to destroy things. Given that mice are rodents, they have teeth that keep on growing. So, they feel the impulsive need to gnaw on basically everything that is around, at all times.

Mice are not picky eaters. If they have infested an urban area, they do not fear the idea of scouring the trash cans in search for high energy carbohydrates.

Although at first, it might seem like mice like to eat a lot, this is not entirely true. Per meal, a mouse eats only a small quantity of food. However, they cause a lot of destruction because they are hoarders and like to save food for later.

Another factor that should be considered is that a doe, or a female mouse, can give birth every three weeks. A doe is able to reproduce at four to seven weeks of age. Each doe can carry up to a dozen baby mice at once. Therefore, it has to gather plenty of food to satisfy the cravings of the entire family.

Given their fast reproduction systems, mice are not a species that risks becoming extinct. In fact, there are just a few such species that are endangered, including the Alabama beach mouse and the jumping mouse from New Mexico.

Another reason why these pests are so well adapted is that mice can be trained to fear specific smells. This information apparently passes from one generation to another through changes in their DNA.


What can one use as bait?

If they do not like cheese, what can people use as bait for mice? Numerous specialists have analyzed the topic and they have concluded that one should entice these pests with foods that are not easily accessible to them.

As surprisingly as it might seem, there are specialists that advise using hazelnut spread and peanut butter. They have an interest in eating these foods because they are rich in calories.

When using these special foods as baits, it is vital that you only place a small load in the trap. This way, the animals will not be able to steal part of the food and walk away unharmed.


Because mice are, by nature, afraid of unknown objects, most exterminators recommend that you first get the pests used to the trap before you actually utilize it. By this, we mean that you should let unset mouse traps in the areas that you know the pests like to frequent for a couple of days. This is true with electronic, snap and live traps alike.

After the animals stop fearing the trap, you can set it up. You will surely be able to capture more rodents this way.

What is more, because mice are innately afraid of open spaces, it is also a good idea to place the traps near the walls and in covered areas that the intruders like to go to. So, the back of the cabinets, or behind the stove are the ideal spots that you should consider.

As we have said previously, mice can reproduce at an extremely fast rate. Even if you only see a mouse from time to time, you can be sure that in a month you will have to deal with up to a dozen new intruders. Consequently, you have to use a lot of traps at once. By doing so, you will be able to exterminate the problem efficiently.

Another valuable piece of advice that you should know is that studies have indicated that your chances of catching many pests are the highest on the first night of your extermination attack. Because of this, it is advisable that you place a multitude of traps on the first night by setting them up all over the area that the mice frequent.


Specialized help

If this is the first time that you are dealing with mice and you need help exterminating the problem efficiently, it is best that you contact a specialized company. Expert exterminators will definitely get the job done faster and better.




1) Mice facts – eating habits

2)  The Diet of a mouse

3) Evolutionary and behavioral consequences

4) Cannibal mice – is it real?



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