Ever since you were young you’ve been told that mice like cheese. Whether it was from watching cartoons such as Tom and Jerry or your parents laying down mouse traps using a slice of cheddar as bait.
However did you know that mice don’t actually like cheese that much, and sometimes dislike it entirely?
What do mice to eat?
Mice aren’t fussy eaters, they will gorge themselves on almost anything. However they do have some favourite snacks they like to feast upon:
- Grains and Seeds
It may come as a shock, but mice actually have quite a sweet tooth. Mice like to eat foods which are quite sweet such as fruit.
What fruit do mice eat?
Mice also like to eat vegetables from time to time, especially crunchy ones. Just like other rodents, mice like to gnaw on things, and do so quite often. This can be quite annoying when you’ve discovered they’ve chewed through some wires in your home or office.
Unlike us and other mamals, mice teeth don’t stop growing. Because of this mice need to constantly gnaw on objects to wear their teeth down, which some vegetables are great for!
What vegetables to mice eat?
- Brussel sprouts
Particularly in agricultural settings, mice like to feed on grains and seeds. This can become quite a nuisance for farmers both out on the field and in storage units such as barns and silos.
What grains and seeds do mice eat?
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Mice are omnivores, although they do prefer sweeter foods, there are occasions where they will eat protein which usually comes from introducing insects into their diet (they’d probably love pestaurant right?). This is mainly down to the sweetness of the proteins found in insects.
What insects do mice eat?
- Other flying and crawling insects
It is primarily urban mice who like to feast on items such as meat and poultry. Mice are scavengers by nature and feed on anything they can get their paws on. In an urban environment where high quantities of meat are regularly available, this becomes the main source of food for mice.
What types of meat do mice eat?
Pretty much anything such as sausages, chicken burgers, and maybe even a beef wellington. If a mischief of mice is living near a fast food establishment than a burger will definitely be on the menu.
In times of starvation, when food is scarce, mice have been known to turn to cannibalistic to fulfill their hunger. There have been some instances where mothers have consumed their offspring, whilst others have even started to eat their tails. However, this is only a last resort, and only happens in captivity. Mice will often use items such as cardboard and sometimes glue as a source of food before resorting to cannibalism.
Other types of food mice eat
As previously stated mice have a bit of a sweet tooth, as well as being quite laid back when it comes to the type of food they eat. Research shows, however, that mice are actually quite fond of peanut butter, using this tasty treat as bait works far better than cheese. Owners of pet mice have also suggested that breakfast cereals also go down a treat with mice as well as other sweet treats such as chocolate and biscuits.
Why don’t mice like cheese?
So if mice are not fussy eaters when it comes to picking a food then why do they not like cheese?
Well, it’s not that they don’t like cheese, it’s more of a fact they there are other foods which tickle their fancy more. Like us, mice are acceptable to different tastes such as sweet, salty and even sourness. The taste of a food will affecting a mouse’s decision to consume it or not.
Did you know mice can’t actually vomit so they will often lick a food before eating it to check if it is ok to eat?
It is suggested that the reason behind mice not accepting cheese from a mouse trap is due to the smell. Mice have very sensitive noses and rely on their sense of smell to help determine if a piece of food is safe or not to eat. As I am sure you’ll know some types of cheese can produce quite a pungent smell sometimes, especially if it is going past its sell by date. This can be enough for any mouse to be put off.
You might be thinking to yourself, if mice like to eat proteins such as insects and meat, then why don’t they like cheese? Well the protein found in cheese doesn’t contain the sweetness which really gets mouses mouths watering, lacking the specific thing that attracts mice.
However, if a mouse is starving (which is hard to believe considering they eat between 15 and 20 times a day!) it will take a nibble on some cheese if it’s the only food they can find, but the smell isn’t tempting enough to seduce them to a mouse trap.
Worried about mice? Get in contact with Rentokil today!