One of the most common pests that people have to deal with in the home is the mouse. Mice can be a real nuisance, causing damage to your home and property, contaminating food sources, and even causing a health risk to you and your family.
If you have mice in your home, then it’s important to know what is attracting them there so you can work to make your home less appealing to them. And this is where knowing the answer to what do mice eat is so important.
Join us today as we talk about what do mice eat and learn the best tips, tricks, and products you can use to get rid of mice once and for all.
What You Should Know About Mice
Mice are small rodents and some of the most common pests in American households.
Before we talk about what do mice eat, let’s talk about mice.
Mice are small, rodent-like mammals with pointed snouts, tiny ears and large eyes. Mice are found throughout the world and are extremely adaptable to a variety of habitats. They can live in virtually any environment, from forests to deserts to farms and urban areas.
These animals belong to the order Rodentia, which includes rats, squirrels and beavers. There are more than 3,000 species of mice in the world today. They vary greatly in size and coloration depending on their habitat and diet.
Mice are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. They prefer seeds, grains and other plant foods but will also eat insects or even small birds if given the opportunity.
However, you should know that a mouse’s diet is what makes it so adaptable to living alongside humans. This is also what can make mice so tricky to get rid of once they choose to call your home their home.
And while there are thousands of types of mice throughout the world, there are four specific types of mice in the United States you are most likely to encounter when asking what do mice eat.
The most common types of mice include:
The Common House Mouse
The common house mouse (Mus musculus) is a small rodent that lives in close association with humans. It is believed that the house mouse originated in Asia, but it has spread to every continent except Antarctica. The house mouse lives almost anywhere humans live, even in the most remote wilderness areas.
The house mouse is a small rodent with pointed ears and large eyes. It has soft fur and a slender body that tapers at both ends. Its tail is slightly shorter than its body length and usually tapers to a point. Common house mice weigh about 12 grams (0.42 ounces) and are roughly 5 centimeters (2 inches) long when fully grown.
The common house mouse has several color variations, including gray, brown and black coats with white bellies or white coats with black bellies.
The White Footed Mouse
The white footed mouse is a small rodent that lives in North America. It is also known as the deer mouse or the house mouse, although it does not live in houses. The white footed mouse is a member of the genus Peromyscus, which includes more than 40 species of mice that are found throughout North America.
White footed mice are found throughout most of North America, except for parts of Canada and Alaska. They are also found in Europe and Asia. They prefer to live near human homes where they can find food. Outdoors, mice prefer areas with lots of cover such as forests, fields, and grasslands.
The white footed mouse has a body length of 8 to 10 inches and weighs around 16 ounces. Their bodies are brown or grayish brown on top with white undersides and feet. They have long tails that are about half as long as their bodies. Their tails have dark bands on them at the base, but these bands fade as they get closer to the tip of the tail. The ears are small and round with a notch in them at the top corner where they meet the head region.
And The Field Mouse
The field mouse is a small rodent native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It has a long brown tail, which it uses for balance when running across open spaces. The ears are small and black, and the eyes are large and round. The tail is covered with scales instead of hair, which helps it to move quickly through rough terrain without tangling or snagging on anything.
Its fur can range from gray to brown depending on where it lives and what time of year it is born. Though it can venture indoors, the field mouse prefers to live in grasslands where it feeds primarily on seeds, grains, insects, and carrion.
And speaking of what the field mouse eats, let’s talk more in depth about what do mice eat and why mice may be attracted to your home.
What Do Mice Eat – What Is Attracting Mice
Mice are omnivores. They are also scavengers.
As we mentioned above, mice are omnivores. This means they eat a variety of both plant materials and meat. In fact, mice can eat everything from grains to insects. They tend to like to gnaw on the bark of trees as it gives them a source of calcium for their bones and teeth. They may also eat roots which help them digest their food better.
Mice are known as scavengers, which means they eat just about anything they can get their paws on. While mice can be picky eaters, they generally don’t pass up the opportunity to sample new foods. In fact, mice have been known to even eat dead animals including other mice!
What Do Mice Eat Outdoors:
- And Carrion (Dead Animals)
What Do Mice Eat Indoors:
- Leftover Foods From The Sink
- Food In The Garbage
- Candy and Sodas
- Peanut Butter
- And Most Other Pantry Foods
Along with knowing the answer to what do mice eat, it’s also important to know what else they are attracted to in your home so you can better prepare to make your home less appealing to these pests.
Remember, mice can pose a health risk to people and pets, as they can carry a number of diseases. In fact, mice are known to carry salmonella, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), leptospirosis and Lyme disease.
When mice invade our homes, they often infiltrate kitchens and pantries, where they can infest foods. A buildup of their feces can lead to people or pets contracting these illnesses, as can eating contaminated foods that mice have gotten into.
But what else are mice attracted to? Let’s take a closer look at what else might be attracting them.
You should know they can find food both indoors and out. You should also keep in mind that mice are small, and they can get into your home through openings no larger than that of a dime. Once inside, they will look for foods like those on our list above.
Food sources indoors can include food scraps left out overnight, improperly stored garbage, dirty dishes left in the sink overnight, crumbs on the counter and floor, and improperly stored pantry foods.
Along with knowing what do mice eat, remember that mice also seek out hydration. Like all animals, mice need water in order to survive. Mice get water from general water sources in your home like leaky faucets, sinks, bathtubs, drains, and other areas in your home rich in moisture. If you have a leak in your home somewhere, it’s important to get it fixed to prevent pests like mice from becoming attracted to your home.
Knowing the answer to what do mice eat is important, but just like food and water, mice also need a good shelter to live in order to nest and stay protected from predators. Mice like small, dark spaces and will nest behind walls, beneath sinks, under furniture and appliances, in crawl spaces, and more.
So, now that you know not only what do mice eat but also what is attracting mice to your home, let’s talk about how to deter mice. Keep reading.
How To Deter Mice From Your Home
One of the best ways to deter rodents is to keep food stored properly and seal up cracks and crevices.
Mice are a common pest in many homes. Knowing the answer to what do mice eat is important to helping deter these pests from your home, but it also helps to know what else attracts them and where they like to live once they get inside.
Keep in mind that mice can be found in attics, basements, garages, and sheds, and they can cause structural damage, contaminate food sources, and even lead to health risks for your family and pets. The good news is that there are many ways to keep mice out of your home.
Cleanliness is the best way to prevent mice from coming into your home. When it comes to what do mice eat, remember that mice will eat almost anything including pet food, garbage, and even paper products. If you have an area where mice can enter your home, they will explore every inch until they find something they like to eat or drink, and until they feel they have found a secure place to nest.
Keeping your home clean and free of clutter is a great way to deter mice from your home. It’s also a good idea to store valuables in plastic totes as opposed to cardboard boxes, which mice enjoy chewing through.
And since we are here talking about what do mice eat, it’s important to keep all food stored properly in cabinets and pantries so that it is not accessible to them. This should include any pet food and bird seed, as well as human food products such as cereal boxes or bags of chips that might usually be left out on counters or tables overnight.
Another great way to deter mice and keep them from entering your home is to seal off all holes that they could use as entry points into your attic or garage. You can use caulk or steel wool around windows and doors, as well as use it around any vulnerabilities around your roof or landscape to achieve this.
So, now that you know the answer to what do mice eat, let’s talk about what you should do if you spot a rodent like a mouse in your home.
Best Products For Repelling Mice From Your Home
Mice are small but they can cause very large problems for home owners.
Because mice are small and nocturnal, it can be difficult to identify them in your home at first. And while knowing the answer to what do mice eat is important to keeping mice out, it’s also important to know what to look for so you can identify the early signs of mice in your home.
Below are some common signs of mice in the home:
Droppings: Mice leave behind small brownish-black pellets about 1/4-inch long. The size and shape of these droppings can vary depending on what type of food the mouse has been eating. Their droppings also have a musky odor that’s easy to notice when you’re inspecting for them.
Gnawed surfaces: Mice have sharp teeth that allow them to easily chew through wood, cardboard and other materials used to build houses. When mice gnaw on surfaces in your home, it creates holes about 3/8-inch wide with rough edges where the material has been nibbled away. It’s also common for mice to chew on electrical wires, which can cause a fire hazard.
Urine stains: Mice urinate frequently when they’re nesting, so you may notice urine stains on floors and walls. The smell of a foul odor is another sign of mouse infestation.
Strange scratching sounds: If mice have been living in your walls or attic, they might make scratching sounds as they move around during the night. You may also hear scratching noises coming from inside your walls during the day.
Droppings: Once you know the answer to what do mice eat, you’ll have a better idea of where to look for signs of mice around your home. Seeing droppings around your home is one of the most common signs of a mouse infestation because mice often leave droppings behind when they’re foraging for food or nesting materials. You may find these droppings in areas rodents frequent like beneath appliances, in the back of cabinets, and in pantires.
If you do spot a mouse in your home, the best thing to do is try to get rid of it using a combination of home remedies, good housekeeping habits, and quality products like those listed below.
Rodent Sheriff Pest Control Spray
Rodent Sheriff is the only rodent repellent that works with the power of natural essential oils. It’s also a humane way to get rid of mice, rats, and other pests. Rodent sheriff can help deter mice and cover up smells from foods on our list of what do mice eat.
Rodent Sheriff contains peppermint oil, rosemary oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil and lemongrass oil. Each of these essential oils has its own unique properties. The most important thing about Rodent Sheriff is that it doesn’t harm children or pets!
The product uses the aroma of natural essential oils to repel mice and other pests from your home or business. When you spray Rodent Sheriff in your home or business it will create a scent barrier that keeps mice and other rodents out of your home or business.
Kavnlon Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
The Kavnlon Ultrasonic Pest Repeller is an electronic device that emits ultrasonic waves to effectively repel pests like rats and mice. The device is a safe, effective, and humane way to get rid of mice, rats, squirrels and other rodents in your home without using any harmful chemicals or traps. While an ultrasonic pest repellent won’t cover smells from foods on our list of what do mice eat, it can irritate mice enough to keep them at bay.
The product works using ultrasonic sound waves that are inaudible to humans but very irritating for mice and other pests. The repeller has a built-in speaker that produces these high frequency sounds at the same time as an LED light flashes on and off every few seconds. This flashing light will keep the rodent from returning to its nesting area even after you turn off the audio signal.
Feeke Mouse Snap Traps
If you’re struggling with mice after learning what do mice eat, a mouse trap may be best for you. The Feeke Mouse Snap Trap is a simple and effective way to control mice. The trap is made of durable plastic and works by snapping shut when the mouse steps on it, killing the mouse instantly.
The trap contains no poisons or chemicals and will not harm other animals or children when used as directed. It can be reused over and over again, making it an economical choice for anyone who wants to get rid of mice or who is dealing with multiple rodents in the home.
Tomcat Rodent Repellent
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Tomcat Rodent Repellent is a non-poisonous rodent repellent that uses a natural blend of ingredients to help deter mice from entering your home. This repellent works well to cover smells on our list above of what do mice eat.
The repellent works by emitting a scent that mice and rats find offensive. The odors will not only keep these pests away but also help keep other rodents from returning.
Tomcat Rodent Repellent is effective in controlling mice, rats, chipmunks and squirrels from entering homes outside and inside the walls of your home or business. It’s easy to use and safe for humans and pets when used as directed on the label.
Grandpa Gus’s Extra-Strength Mouse Repellent
Grandpa Gus’s Extra-Strength Mouse Repellent is an all-natural product that has been formulated to repel mice, rats and insects. It uses a combination of essential oils to create a scent that mice find unpleasant and will not approach.
The repellent is made in the USA and comes in spray or gel form. It uses 100% natural ingredients including peppermint oil, citronella oil and lemongrass oil. There are no chemicals or pesticides used in its production, making it safe for you and your family.
It only needs to be applied once per week for maximum effectiveness at keeping rodents away from your home.
Home Remedies For Deterring Mice
Home remedies like using cayenne pepper can help deter mice.
Once you understand the answer to what do mice eat, you’ll have a good idea of home remedies to repel them.
Remember, mice are one of the most common household pests, and they can cause a lot of damage to your home, as we now know. If you have mice in your house, you need to take action as soon as possible. Along with knowing the answer to what do mice eat and taking steps to get rid of them using products and deterrents, you can also use home remedies to get rid of mice.
Let’s take a look at some of the best home remedies you can use to repel mice and keep them from becoming a serious problem in your home.
Use Essential Oils To Repel Mice
Essential oils can be used as a natural and safe method to repel mice, rats and other rodents. Certain essential oils will also work to cover up scents that may attract mice like those on the above list of what do mice eat.
Some of the best essential oils that work to repel mice include peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, lemon oil, citronella oil, and lemon oil.
These essential oils are made of highly concentrated liquids from plants and flowers that can cover smells from our list above of what do mice eat. Their strong aroma can leave your home smelling pleasant while also repelling not only mice, but also pests like spiders, roaches, ants, bed bugs, flies, and more.
To make your own essential oil repellent for rodents, first choose the oil of your choice. Combine 10 to 15 drops of the oil of your choice with two cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around your home and in areas you suspect rodent activity or want to deter rodents.
Make A Cayenne Pepper Spray
Cayenne pepper spray is an effective way to repel and deter mice. Mice are naturally repelled by the spice of cayenne pepper because it irritates their nose, mouth, and eyes. A homemade cayenne pepper spray can be made in just a few minutes and it works better than some store-bought products.
To make your own cayenne pepper spray to repel mice now that you know what do mice eat, you will need:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola or olive oil)
- ¼ teaspoon dish soap (optional)
Once you have the above ingredients, combine them in a small spray bottle and shake well before each use. Spray directly on surfaces where mice have been seen or where droppings have been found. You can also spray around corners and behind appliances where mice may hide.
Try Using Used Kitty Litter
Kitty litter is another home remedy you can use to repel mice. Mice don’t like the smell of cat urine as cats are natural predators of mice, so these rodents will leave the area where cat urine is present.
To use kitty litter to deter mice, place a few handfuls of used kitty litter in areas where you have seen or heard evidence of mice like in your garage, crawl space, basement, or attic.
Avoid using this method in your home, however, and especially in your kitchen or in bedrooms as this can be unsanitary and the smell will certainly be unpleasant for people as well as for rodents.
What Do Mice Eat – Wrapping Up Rodents And Keeping Them Gone For Good
Getting rid of mice means using a combination of methods and tactics.
Mice are a problem in many homes, but they can be kept out with a combination of common sense and good housekeeping.
The first step is to make sure that your home is as mouse-proof as possible. This includes keeping food in sealed containers and keeping trash cans away from the house. Any holes around the house should be covered up, especially if you have pets or small children who may leave doors open or put things in places where mice can get them.
Mice can get into houses through very small spaces, so sealing all holes larger than 1/4 inch will help keep them out. If you have cracks in your walls or floors, you may need to hire a professional who can seal those areas properly so that they aren’t an easy entry point for mice.
Once you’ve made sure that your house is fortified against mice, remember to follow our tips above about how to deter mice from your home and make your home less attractive to them. This includes following steps like:
- Storing food and garbage properly
- Keeping up with routine house cleaning
- Vacuuming and dusting regularly
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight
- Clean up after pets
- And avoid leaving pet food out overnight
If you do feel you have a rodent problem you can’t control even after learning what mice eat and how to deter them, it may be a good idea to contact a professional for help.
So, now we want to hear from you. Were you surprised by anything on our above list of what do mice eat? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.