What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!

We will diver deeper into what mice eat, including different species of mice and their eating preferences.
By
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: December 18, 2022
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We know that mice can be just about anywhere. They can be trick creatures that can find ways into even the smallest of openings. Have you ever wondered what do mice eat? We see them in movies eating things like cheese but is that really what they survive on?

Cheese isn’t a food that is just always available, especially if mice are living in the wild or hiding out in someone’s home until they can come out for crumbs to feed on. It’s safe to say that even though it is a common depiction, it’s probably not the most common food that many mice eat.

It is important to clean up food in your home and be sure not to leave any laying out to tempt mice. These are things that commonly invite mice into our homes.

What Do Mice Eat in the Wild?

Mice in the wild are left to fend for themselves and scavenge for whatever food they can find. Different wild mice to hunt differently and even eat differently in most cases. You will find that mice will really eat just about anything and often adjust to whatever they can find for sustenance.

Mice in the wild do have go-to foods that they are more likely to eat. They will have an easier time locating food that seems appealing. This includes things like fruit, seeds, corn, oats, grains, insects, and more.

Did you know that mice even eat meat? Mice are omnivorous creatures, which means they eat a variety of foods from all of the various food groups. And here’s one surprise factor. Mice very rarely eat cheese. This isn’t going to attract them, despite the portrayal from TV, movies, and media that it does.

Let’s talk about some of the wild mice specifically. What do mice eat in the wild? Here are some examples.

What Do Field Mice Eat?

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
Field mice have an omnivorous diet, which means that they feed on both plants and animals.

Field mice live in the wild. As such, they will eat just about anything that they can find or catch to sustain themselves. Field mice do eat meat when they can find it but the type of meat they usually eat comes from insects. It could include things like worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects they can catch.

That being said, if the field mice have access to carrion, they will feed on this as food too. Most field mice take advantage of things they can find in the field. This is more likely to be insects like what we mentioned above or things like grains, corn, and seeds. If you have field mice in your fields or gardens, they might help you keep nasty pests away that harm your crops.

Field mice are also known to gather food and seeds and store them away for the winter or times that they struggle to find food. In answer to what do field mice eat, the answer is whatever they can find.

What Do Deer Mice Eat?

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
As omnivores, the deer mice consume a wide variety of food, including plants such as seeds, fruits, flowers, and nuts as well as invertebrates such as insects.

Deer mice are pretty common in North America and primarily live in the woods or wild areas. They are incredibly talented at finding ways to hide and camouflage, particularly in woody areas. They are most active at nighttime. They are called deer mice because of their ability to hide in the wild but also because their coloring is similar to a deer.

These mice like to burrow. They will forage wherever they need to in order to find food but typically stay in bushes, woody areas, and prairies. If you’re wondering what do deer mice eat, the answer is similar to a field mouse.

These mice are certainly fans of things like seeds, fruit, nuts, or even flowers. They like plants too. They will feed on small animals or insects. As far as animals, they stick to invertebrates that are small. When they get desperate, they sometimes eat feces to survive.

What Do Hopper Mice Eat?

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
Hopper mice eat almost everything – starting from seeds to small insects, for example, flies.

Hopper mice are commonly used for feeding mice for pets that eat mice. Of course, they do live and grow in the wild too. Hopper mice are small white mice that are slightly fuzzy. They almost always are young mice that are raised for snakes or other animals.

These mice have to be fed to be kept alive so they may eat feeding blocks that contain a variety of grains and seeds. They can also eat insects, fruits, and plants. Something like these mice food pellets can be used for hopper mice.

What Do Mice Eat in a House?

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
House mice are omnivorous but prefer to consume grains, fruits and seeds.

If you have mice in your home, some of them will feed primarily on what they can find in the part of the home they live in. Many mice in the home eventually find their way to the kitchen, where they have a full buffet of food options. However, there are mice that will hang out in the attic, or other hidden places and make that their home.

If you want to keep mice out of unwanted places, you might consider investing in one of the best electronic mouse traps to capture and eradicate mice that come where they are not welcome. There are other means to get rid of them as well, which we will talk about later.

What Do Mice Eat in Attic?

If you have a mouse or several mice living in your attic, they will find plenty of sustenance there to satisfy them in most cases. However, many mice from the attic will also make their way into the kitchen at some point. When they do this, they will eat anything they find. They aren’t all that picky.

When in the attic, most mice will feast on insects that might be there. Flies, wasps, centipedes, ants, cockroaches, and other nasty pests might actually be kept at bay thanks to a mouse eating them in the attic.

What Do Baby Mice Eat?

Mice are mammals. Most mice will feed off of their mother’s milk as babies because of this. They only utilize their mother’s milk for feedings for a couple of weeks until they are able to move around and make a way for themselves. Mice only remain in the nest for about 2-3 weeks before fending for themselves.

From that time, they will eat anything they can find to feed on, just as any other mouse would do.

What Do Pet Mice Eat?

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
Mice should be fed a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables and good quality mouse/rat pellets or cubes.

If you have a pet mouse, you can feed them almost anything you want to. If you want to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition, you can try something like these rodent blocks that provide a balanced diet.

Even with those in use, you can add them to your mouse’s diet if you like. Mice love things like oats, fruits, roots, mushrooms, corn, and similar items. You can feed these types of things to your mouse anytime and they will love it.

Mice Diet

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
A mouse in the wild will eat almost anything it can get its paws on. But they love few foods as much as berries and fruit.

The mice’s diet can consist of a lot of different foods. There is no set food that they eat and will typically feast on whatever they are able to catch or find. They are fond of certain foods but they won’t turn down other foods either.

Mice are omnivores so any type of food from meat to dairy to fruits and anything in between will appeal to them. Mice do tend to prefer a lot of carbs as they need speed and energy to survive in most cases. Let’s look at some more elements of a mice diet.

What Plants Do Mice Eat?

If you’re wondering what plants mice eat, the answer is broad. They will eat both plants and flowers, as long as they are not harmful or poisonous. This includes things like leaves, grass, plants, flowers, and even tree bark at times.

They also like to eat roots. They tend to look for plants that grow in the ground or close to the ground as these are the things they can safely and easily accessible.

What Insects Do Mice Eat?

Mice will eat a variety of insects, depending on the type of mouse and the size. Field mice and other wild mice actually prefer grains and seeds to insects but aren’t above eating insects. Mice are most likely to eat insects that are easier to catch and soft to chew through. Here are a few examples.

  • Grasshoppers
  • Caterpillars
  • Cockroaches
  • Flies
  • Beetles
  • Spiders

What Fruit Do Mice Eat?

Most mice can adapt to any type of food. They love berries and this will be their preference for fruit. However, they can eat anything soft and will be attracted to any type of sweet fruit too. Some of their favorite fruits include things like peaches, plums, bananas, melons, oranges, and berries.

What Else Do They Eat?

While most mice certainly have preferences for certain types of foods, they will eat almost anything when given the chance. Mice adapt to their environments and are able to sustain on whatever food is made available to them.

How to Get Rid of Mice at Home

What Do Mice Eat? Everything You Need to Know!
Mice traps are effective and the most humane way to remove mice from your house.

If you fear you have a major infestation, you may need to bring in professional extermination. However, in most cases, you can get rid of mice by using repellents, rat poison, or some sort of trap. These best mouse poisons can be used to help get rid of mice that are becoming problems. If you prefer something more humane, consider trying these best mouse repellents or using a trap that allows you to release them instead.

Final Thoughts

Mice typically like to live in places where they can hide and have shelter. Most mice only come out at night. For the most part, mice will eat anything they can find that will sustain them. This includes meat, plants, and more. They certainly enjoy things like seeds and oats when those are available.

You don’t want to allow mice to hang out in your home unless they are your pets. Mice can do a lot of damage if they are left to do so. They can easily chew through wires or parts of your home and leave behind messes wherever they go.

What do mice eat? Well, the truth is they eat almost anything they can find, although they typically prefer oats, grains, seeds, plants, roots, and insects over other choices.

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