Mice | Posted: May 17, 2021

What Do Mice Eat?

Mice, particularly house mice, are the most commonly encountered rodent pest that people find in their homes. They tend to make nests out of whatever unused materials they can find, and often begin to infest homes by crawling or digging through tight holes in walls. Typically, mice invade homes during colder months as they search for a food source. Here’s what you should know about what food mice gravitate toward and how to prevent them from making a mess in your home.

Mouse Food Sources

House mice are omnivores, but their favorite foods include grains, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not a mouse’s favorite food, though they will eat it and practically anything that smells good. The most important thing to a hungry mouse is the ease of access – they aren’t that picky at the end of the day.

When scavenging, mice will eat pet food, insects, and food scraps, depending on what’s available.

Mouse Eating Habits

Mice are attracted to warm environments where they can access different types of foods. House mice usually feed at dusk and dawn, and occasionally in between. Most wild mice are afraid of humans and will try to avoid being spotted. They also have good hearing and will spook easily if they sense you approaching so it’s unlikely you’ll see a mouse eat.

As mice look for food and nesting sites, they can quickly cause a lot of damage. They are known to gnaw on electrical wiring and will use it both as a food source and for nesting material. Along with wiring, they may burrow into insulation, trash cans, cardboard boxes, papers, and other materials to build nests and raise young.

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

Some of the most common signs of a mouse infestation include:

  • Damaged food containers with gnaw marks on them
  • Finding food scraps with nibble marks
  • Finding small, rod-shaped feces
  • Electrical damage from chewing
  • Oily rub marks on walls and/or four- or five-toed footprints on the floor

This can prove dangerous not only to your pantry and electrical system but also to allergies and asthma, as particles of mouse droppings and urine can get into the air and trigger these conditions.

Learn More about Identifying Mice

How to Keep Mice Out of Your Food

Mice are known for contaminating the food sources they raid. They can carry many microbes and pathogens that are harmful to humans, such as hantavirus. Hantavirus is one of the more dangerous diseases mice can spread because the virus is airborne. Other types of bacteria are spread through contact with mouse fur, paws, or droppings. As mice search for food, anything that comes in contact with the mouse itself or droppings could potentially be contaminated.

To keep mice out of your food, make sure you properly store all food in airtight containers. While this won’t necessarily prevent rodents from getting into your food altogether, it’s much less likely for rodents to chew through sturdy containers as opposed to plastic bags. Cleaning regularly and taking out the trash can also help deter mice.

Ways to Get Rid of Mice

If you think you might have a mouse problem, you can set out bait traps. Many homeowners bait their mouse traps with peanut butter and other sweet-smelling or sticky substances.

However, these treatment techniques aren’t always thorough, so the safest and most effective way to get rid of mice is by utilizing professional pest control services. A single female mouse can give birth to up to six babies every three weeks, and it only takes a couple of litters of mice to start a full-blown infestation.

At Dodson Pest Control, we know how to get rid of a mouse infestation. We use a mixture of rodent control tactics based on your unique situation, and following treatment, we can work with you to develop a preventative maintenance plan.

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