What do mice eat?
The answer to the question, “What do mice eat?”, is an easy one. Anything and everything. And, you know that is the truth if you ever have had the unfortunate experience of having your house overrun by mice. Mice multiply very quickly so if you have a couple of mice, you are going to have dozens in no time at all. A female has, on average, ten litters a year of 7-10 mice per litter. You don’t have to start out with very many mice to have a large population in no time.
In the wild, mice eat fruits and seeds that have fallen onto the ground. Some mice eat meat, such as insects or grasshoppers. Mice that live around farms will eat grain and whatever crops they can find. Mice move inside when it starts to get cold outside and winter is on its way. A mouse can get though an opening no more than 3/8-inches wide. This is when they start eating people food and anything thing else they can get their teeth into or around, after they gnaw through the packaging.
Another answer to the question, “What do mice eat?”, is any kind of human food. Lots of people try to catch mice by putting cheese in a trap. Mice will go for the cheese but you could put many other foods in the trap as well. One of the most popular is peanut butter. In fact, it is better than cheese at catching mice because they can’t pull it out without the trap going off like some smart mice can do with cheese.
But, if you think mice only want the kinds of food you might put in a trap, you don’t know much about these little creatures. Mice will eat any kind of fat, from cleaning the surface a frying pan left on the stove, to eating the stick of butter you unintentionally left on the table. What do mice eat? They eat just about any sweet they can find, cakes, cookies, pies, pudding, nut bread, frosting, candy (they particularly love chocolate bars and boxes of chocolates), jams and jellies, apple crisp, donuts, and energy bars.
Mice will eat human food if it is in plain sight or even if you think you have it hidden. They will devour pancake mix, bread mixes, flour, sugar, Sweet and Low ™ (yes, even substitute sugars), powdered milk, cereals, packets of hot chocolate, popcorn (popped, of course), potato chips, cheese doodles, nuts, mac and cheese, spaghetti, any kind of bread (white, wheat, pumpernickel, rye, multi-grain), biscuits, and rolls. Unlike people, they don’t care if the bread is fresh or if it is covered with green mold.
Mice love pizza! If hungry enough, mice will even eat meat so don’t leave any out if you have mice living in your house. Yesterday’s meatloaf will look awful good to a hungry mouse. As you are starting to see, the question, “what do mice eat?” has a lot of answers. But, if you think it is limited to people food, guess again. Mice eat a lot of things that will surprise you.
Mice will crawl into your books to eat the glue in the bindings. So, don’t leave any first editions in the bookcase. They will devour soap. They will eat cardboard, paper towels, newspaper, even computer paper, and they will cart away huge amounts of paper products to use in making their nests (where they will produce more mice). They will even tear the labels off food cans. Mice will eat wax. They will nibble away at a candle until there is nothing left of it. Mice will gnaw at cloth and leather–no one knows how much of it they eat.
Plus, mice are not fastidious about eating, Even if it is a food they love, like grain, they will only eat the inside and discard the outside. Mice leave a trail of discarded food and feces wherever they go.
If you have ever thought that a pet mouse would be fun, at least you could keep a pet mouse in a cage and feed it little food pellets you buy at a feed or pet store. Let the mouse out to run free in the house and your cupboards will be filled with new mice eating your boxes of people food in no time.