What Do Mice Eat That I Have In My Pantry?


January 18, 2021

What Do Mice Eat That I Have In My Pantry?

Mice are omnivorous creatures, meaning they can eat practically anything - from plants and bugs to cardboard boxes and exposed foods. That's why they have no qualms with entering your cabinets to consume anything and everything they have access to. If you've ever had mice in your house, you may have seen chew marks on wooden surfaces, including your kitchen cabinets. So, what do mice eat that you might have available in your home? 

Mouse Outside A Home In Washington DC

To Eat, or Not to Eat? - A Mouse’s Question

At the core, mice are inquisitive creatures. They prefer to taste small pieces of different food items instead of consuming large quantities of one thing. They will broaden their taste palette, even if they find a favorite of theirs. However, of all the foods that are likely to be in your home's pantry, mice are more attracted to chocolate and peanut butter (make sure you hide your Reese's Cups!). They also like every type of candy and anything that has sugar. Cakes, biscuits, and jams are also excellent food choices for mice. They’ll usually go for these types of items before others.

These tiny rodents also like to consume fruits, seeds, and grains. It should come as no surprise to hear that mice commonly infest and take over grain silos and wheat fields when given the opportunity. 

Their favorite fruits and vegetables include broccoli, strawberries, grapes, and kale. You’ll see a trend, here - mice prefer foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates because of the energy that carbs provide. This makes them the epitome junk food lover, and they’re chronic midnight snackers to boot.

No Thanks To The Dairy - Most Mice Don't Like Cheese

A common misconception has to do with mice loving cheese. There is some truth to this - domesticated pet mice do fancy cheese because of its strong smell. However, mice in the wild don’t naturally have access to or even prefer cheese and other dairy items like milk, yogurt, or cream. 

Meat is another source of food mice typically like more than dairy. They don't have a preference for cooked versus uncooked.  Fried chicken, burgers, uncooked beef, or even that deer you are in the middle of processing are all excellent choices of food for a mouse. The general rule of thumb? If you’ll eat it, mice will eat it - and if you like to binge it, a mouse will probably do the same.

If you happen to keep some type of pet food, including cat or dog treats in your pantry, then you should be aware of the fact that mice have no rules about whose food they consume. When it comes to food, mice are not very picky. They can actually live with only an ounce of food and water per day, so even the crumbs from a toddler’s day of snacks can keep a single pantry mouse alive.

The Pantry Is More Than A Food Source To A Mouse

The pantry attracts mice more than other places, not just because of the plethora of food choices. It is also a warm and quiet hiding place. There isn’t a lot of foot traffic in a pantry, and we often hide our food behind a closed door. There is also no shortage of nest-building materials in the standard pantry, from flour bags to boxes of pasta to forgotten cereal containers. Lucky mice even have potatoes to keep them hydrated. 

So what does this all mean? Just like your favorite foods are a mouse’s favorite foods, the place you live is an ideal home for a mouse. This means that sometimes they can make their way into a residence and be impossible to eliminate.

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