Mice are small mammals with a very (very) diverse diet. In fact, mice eat almost anything depending on where they live, and there is not much these greedy little pests would refuse to put on their plate.
Our mouse exterminators explain what food mice eat. We will look at what mice eat in a house, as well as what wild mice, street mice and pet mice eat.
What do mice eat in a house?
Mice are usually omnivorous eaters. This means that mice eat food from both plant and animal sources. Choosing the best bait to attract a mouse is therefore easy because any food with an intense taste and smell can be used to catch a mouse in the house .
In a house, mice eat everything in their path, without exception. Mice typically eat 3 to 5 grams of food per day, with a total of 15 to 20 times a day at a rate of 0.15g each time. This means that mice are always eating.
House mice like to eat sweet foods. They love fruits (grapes, strawberries, melon, apple, figs, peaches, cranberries, etc.) and crunchy vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, radishes, etc.). Eating firm fruits and vegetables helps house mice wear out their teeth, which are constantly growing.
House mice also like seeds and grains. They will gladly eat your pet dog or cat’s and bird feeder grains or seeds stored inside the house.
Contrary to popular belief, house mice do not eat threads, cords and fabrics; they gnaw them and use them to build their nests. These are therefore nesting material for house mice.
We have some advice if you are dealing with mice in the house and looking for how to keep mice away from your house: keep your food in a safe place away from rodents and store your food waste in airtight, well-sealed garbage bins.
What do street mice (city mice and urban mice) eat?
Street mice are perfectly at home in urban and suburban life. Street mice mainly eat the food they find in household garbage, on the edges of streets and alleys. In fact, street mice will eat all the food and scraps they get their paws on.
Dumpsters and garbage cans are a real feast for city mice. When they find them, street mice will eat fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and grains.
In addition to these foods, city mice will eat cooked meat, such as ham, poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.), fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) and eggs. Although city mice are not fond of protein, because they need very little, they often have to make do with the food they find. City mice will therefore rarely eat raw meat. They only cooked meat, except in case of famine.
In case of famine, street mice will even eat other mice. Yes, the street mouse can have a cannibal diet in extreme situations. Some street mice deprived of food will even eat their own tails. This speaks volumes about the resilience and determination of mice.
What do wild mice (field mice) eat?
So, what do wild mice eat? Wild mice typically eat grains, seeds and plants. Field mice also eat insects: crickets, beetles, butterflies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, millipedes, small snails, larvae and worms.
Like city mice, wild mice have no choice but to make do with the food they find in or around fields. Most of the time, this food consists of the surrounding vegetation: stems, shoots, leaves, grass, cereals (corn, oats, barley, wheat, rye, etc.), seeds (sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.), tree bark, roots, mushrooms and flower buds.
What do pet mice eat?
House mice, street mice, wild mice—it’s not just them, there are also pet mice. Yes, some people adopt mice as pets.
Pet mice mainly eat two types of food:
- Store-bought pet mouse food, which consists of different seeds such as corn, buckwheat, wheat, soy, millet, barley and sunflower.
- A varied diet, given as desired, which includes vegetables, seeds, dried fruit and even pieces of cheese.
Usually, to maintain the health of the rodent, it is preferable for pet mice to eat pet mouse pellets. Pet mice’s diets should also be complemented with vegetables and dried fruits.
Most importantly, mice do not eat chocolate, garlic and onion. These foods should therefore be avoided.
What do baby mice eat?
When they are young, baby mice feed on their mother’s milk. As they grow older, the mice slowly start to eat grains, fruits and corn. This food is often brought to them by their mother.
Interestingly, the mice will continue to drink breast milk until they leave the family nest.
The mouse: a small greedy mammal that eats almost anything
Mice have an omnivorous diet, which differs depending on where they live. Whether it is a city mouse, a street mouse or a wild mouse, the mouse will eat anything it can find.
To learn more about mice, we suggest you read the article: Everything you need to know about mice. You will learn a lot of interesting facts about this Quebec mammal.