Facts About Mice

Mice Food: What To Look Out For

pellets
Written by Stephen M
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Contents

You might be wondering why this type of article exists. Why is it important for homeowners to know what types of food mice are interested in? Are there any specific types of mice food you should know about? For starters, let’s talk about mice infestations.

“What’s so dangerous about a couple of mice coming into your home?” is a common question. The danger doesn’t lie in their greedy nature, just stealing your food will only set you back a couple of dollars. No, the real danger lies in the damage they can cause.  That damage won’t be limited to physical damage to your home.

Mice carry a plethora of deadly diseases, many of which you won’t be able to avoid if an infestation does happen. See, most of these diseases are transmitted through mice feces or urine, and in the case of urine, it’s tough noticing when your food is infected. Diseases such as Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, the Plague, and many others can be deadly if left untreated for longer periods of time.

It’s in your best interest to keep them away, or in the case of an infestation, get rid of the mice as soon as possible. None of these diseases are pleasant. To make matters worse, these mice-borne diseases usually have very similar symptoms including, but not limited to, rash, fever, headaches, etc. You might think you’re just suffering from a cold, but in reality, you could be infected with a much more fierce and deadly disease.

So knowing what these rodents eat is quite important if you want to prevent an infestation and expedite the extermination process if it has already occurred. Let’s say that you have a lot of food that is interesting and appealing to them. Do you think they wouldn’t risk their lives to visit your home just for that? Of course they would! Their natural survival instinct will kick in and they’ll start appearing in large numbers. Not to mention their need for fresh water and shelter. If they figure out that all of this is available in your home, then there’s a chance that they’ll ignore your prevention methods and move right in.

Additionally, figuring out their diet is important when it comes to laying traps. Bait is a necessity in the successful removal of the mice from your home. Choosing the wrong bait may make removal more difficult and tedious than it has to be.

The best baits are food items that mice usually eat. Seeds are what most of their diet consists of, but if you want a much more effective and powerful bait, choose peanut butter. Peanut butter has a powerful scent and is tasty. Plus, it’s sticky, which might motivate the mice to use more force in an effort to get all of it. If they do use more force, there’s a much higher chance of your trap actually working and capturing them.

You see, as a hunter, you have to know as much as possible about your prey. The more information you have about rodents and their way of life, the easier it will be for you to prepare a trap and exterminate them once and for all. More on this topic later. For now, let’s learn more about their diets!

Mice Diet

mouse on rock

Have you ever wondered why farmers absolutely hate rodents and are prepared to do anything to get rid of them, including shooting them with rifles? Just take a look at some of the fields that rodents have attacked. The mice leave them absolutely desolate. Farmers live off of the land and tend it year after year. Can you imagine the feeling of having your entire year’s work destroyed by these pests?

You have probably figured it out by now, but mice do, in fact, eat seeds, grains, and fruits (though fruit is less common). If they arrive in the thousands, they can completely deplete the grain supply in a matter of days, sometimes even hours! They’re greedy eaters and they don’t really care what they’re eating, as long as they are.

Feeding their young is another issue. Mice litters are huge. They reach sexual maturity in around 6 weeks and a female mouse can produce a litter of 8 mice on average. Then, she can produce a litter every 2 months (on average). This means that they can have between 5 and 10 litters each year.

And that’s just one female mouse! Let’s say that one such female mouse gives birth to 50 babies on a yearly basis. Imagine 10 of them. That’s 500 mice in just a year! You can now see how their numbers increase so rapidly, and why even a single mouse can be a major problem for you. Now that you know, it should be easier to react accordingly.

The amount (and choice) of food comes into perspective here. If mice were picky eaters, they’d starve. There are just too many of them to be selective. t. Honestly, they don’t really care what they’re eating, though plant-based calorically dense foods do take priority. If they were too picky, such a large population wouldn’t be sustainable and they would slowly die out.

So even though their preferred foods of choice are grains, fruits, and seeds, they eat everything. Cheese isn’t such a good food for them and is even worse when you use it as bait, but if they’re forced into eating it due to lack of other food, they will not hesitate. They usually love foods which are high in carbs, such as chocolate. Chocolate is actually quite an effective bait.

Another negative side of these rodents is that they run into trash cans and trash containers in search of food. This means that if your trash containers aren’t sealed properly, you might wake up one day to find your trash container overturned with trash everywhere on the floor. You can be absolutely positive that this is their doing. Always clean your trash properly and dispose of it whenever you can. Also, keep trash cans sealed shut so the mice can’t get in.

Mice Behavior During Starvation

mouse on pellets

Mice (and other rodents) have been observed exhibiting cannibalistic behavior. In the case of starvation, mice are known to eat the weaker members of their population, and even their young. Female mice have been known to devour newborns in an effort to keep themselves (and the rest of the population) fed.

They become much more aggressive during this time and have been known to fight humans and pets whilst trying to keep their shelters (or food that they have found). If such an event occurs, you must be extra careful because even a single bite of a mouse could spell disaster. Rat-Bite Fever is a very real threat; one that isn’t limited to rats, despite its name. If you do get infected, there’s a pretty strong possibility that you’ll be experiencing fevers for a couple of months.

This is basically torture. Imagine being sick for so long you forget what it’s like to be healthy. Do not expose yourself to potential danger. If you’re already experiencing a mice infestation, don’t just block access to food and water. You must act fast if this is your plan; if you don’t do enough in the short amount of time before they go crazy, getting rid of them is going to keep getting more difficult.

Mice, as well as other rodents, when forced to live under extreme stress, can be very dangerous; even more so than before. But you can use this to your advantage. When they start depleting their food stores, and when you cut access to the rest of the food you have in your home, they’ll be more inclined to take risks and venture further than before.

This is the time to strike. Prepare a couple of traps in advance with very appetizing bait (peanut butter, chocolate, but really anything will do; the better the bait, the faster they’ll come) and place them in areas where you’ve seen evidence of mice before. Target dark corners, the area behind appliances, doors, windows, the attic or basement (if you have them), and similar zones.

The mice will try to take the bait out of desperation, even if they somehow know that what they’re doing is pretty dangerous and will most likely result in their death. But, when you’re hungry and out of food, you’re prepared to do anything. Naturally, the traps will get them and you’ll slowly start getting rid of your rodent infestation completely.

General Mouse Behavior

standing mouse

Now you might be wondering what to do if they have access to food and water. Well, mice are nocturnal animals. You could place some traps around your home and wait until morning to check them. There are a couple of things you should know which will prove to be of importance.

Mice love chewing and gnawing on things. In nature, they’re avid shelter builders and will use any viable materials in the surrounding area to create shelters. They also need to chew on harder materials in order to keep their teeth the correct length and sharpness.

What this means is that they’ll most likely start chewing through wood, insulation, wires, metal, and anything else that they find. Wires are the main hazard here. Once a wire loses the rubber insulation on the outside, it becomes a fire hazard. What if there’s a small spark of electricity that lands on something combustible nearby? A fire will start and you most likely won’t notice it coming.

When you think about it, most of the dangers that mice pose are instant There’s a pretty low chance of you noticing it before it happens. Diseases? It’s tough noticing which food items are infected and which aren’t. You can even get sick by breathing in dust particles that contain small traces of rat feces or urine. Wires/Wood? You’ll notice when it’s too late (and in rare instances, you might walk around your home to find damaged wiring or walls).

In any case, the smart thing to do is evaluate the situation and think of a strategy. Don’t wait too long to react because it’s only going to get tougher as time passes. Prepare yourself properly: Get a couple of traps (make sure that you get different ones) and be ready to use them. Alternatively, you could use mice repellents as a prevention method.

These repellents are easy to use and you can find them almost anywhere. One of the most popular ones is peppermint oil. All you have to do is leave a couple of drops near your doors, windows, and other access points. It will keep the mice away due to its powerful scent.

If you don’t manage to get rid of the mice yourself, make it a priority to call the exterminators. Sure, you will pay more money and you won’t be inside your home whilst they’re doing the extermination, but once they’re done, you’ll be able to sleep soundly, knowing that the mice are no longer there. Plus, you might learn a thing or two from them!

Conclusion

Now you know what foods attract mice and how you can get rid of an infestation, if and when it occurs. Be sure to research as much as possible so you have the upper hand in the fight against these pests. Also, one last tip: Do not underestimate them under any circumstances! Rodents are smart. They will surprise you when you least expect them to. Never underestimate how resourceful and intelligent they are because you will be caught off guard!

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Stephen M

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