What do mice eat? One very popular characteristic of rodents is their ability to feed on numerous types of food, including human food and the mouse is no exception. Well, lucky for you this article is set to arouse the mind of the reader with basic information on mouse food. What do mice eat? well, let us find out.
Facts About The Mouse
The mouse is a small rodent known to invade homes in search of food and shelter and can easily be identified by its characteristic small features, with small rounded eyes, a long tail the same length with its body, and a pointed snout ( projected nose and mouth). The most popularly known species of mice is the house mouse known for its large rounded ears, long hairy tail, and of course its familiar presence in the house.
Most people find it difficult to differentiate the mouse and the rat as they look almost alike in structure, size and both are rodents. But just to be sure you are aware of these differences, lets clear those doubts. Below is a list of the differences between a mouse and a rat:
- The mouse has long, thin, hairy tails while the rat has a long, hairless, and scaly tail.
- The mouse may be white, brown, or grey in color while the rat may be white, brown, black, or grey in color.
- The mouse has a triangular snout while a rat has a blunt snout (not so pointed)
- A mouse may measure from 20cm to 30cm in length while a rat may grow to a size of 40cm and even weigh more than a mouse.
The feeding habit of the mouse may not be as disturbing as that of a rat, at least not all mice. Although some mouse may not be too pesty, some may and these species of mouse that may cause havoc in the home are:
- The house mouse
- The white-footed mouse
- The deer mouse
These 3 species of mice are very similar in both length and size and are typically 5.5 to 7.5 inches long, including their tail. Even though they are very similar in size and length the smallest of them is the house mouse.
Life Cycle of a Mouse
It could be a very serious problem having an entire life cycle happen in your home as the mouse though serve as pets may also become wild and aggressive.
- The life cycle of a mouse starts from the female experiencing her heat period for about 4 to 5 days, and under heat, she is more vulnerable to mating by the males.
- Once the female is pregnant she gives birth after 3 weeks.
- The female can give birth to about 5 to 8 pups and reproduce up to 10 times a year.
- The newborns are usually blind and hairless after birth.
- After two weeks, the newborn mice develop thin fur and slowly gains sight and mobility.
- The mouse reaches the stage of maturity and after 2 months of birth is able to mate and start a life cycle.
During the stages of the mouse life cycle, controlling them becomes very difficult for homeowners.
Read also: What do Rats Eat? The Feeding Habit of Rats
The Habitat of a Mouse
The mouse is known to prefer human homes more than the wild, yards, and fields as they have a higher chance of survival. The human home provides mice with food, water, shelter, and protection from predators. Even though mouse habitat varies, they wouldn’t want to stay far away from the humans.
You are likely to find the house mouse in the home as it prefers to live near people, though these rodents will never venture far from human home they are most likely to live in fields and the woods. As stated earlier these species of mouse seeks shelter in a home or storage area as the weather becomes harsh and very cold. Unlike the house mouse, the deer mouse is mostly found in bushy areas and woodlands, as well as, deserts, forests, fields, and grasslands. But even though the deer mouse is likely to be found in bushy areas, research has shown that the white-footed mouse is the most abundant in such areas, as well as, woodlands and agricultural environments.
Where do You Find a Mouse in the Home?
One of the reasons why the mouse wouldn’t want to stay outdoors is because of cold temperatures and this often chases them indoors. It may seem surprising to most homeowners how this uninvited guest enters into the home, well, these rodents have the ability to squeeze through small spaces and enter doorways, garages, and possibly anywhere easily accessible. You would mostly find these pests in the kitchen as they are likely to build their nests close to a food source. They can also be found in cabinets, attics, and spaces in walls.
Having a mouse in your home may not seem a serious issue. But when you see them then that obviously calls for alarm as an infestation has already begun. It is not a surprise if you find this rodent in your home as they prefer human home to the wild since they are free from attack from predators and easy accessibility to a food source. They may seem fine with the idea of feeding in your home but you obviously won’t be fine with it. Below are signs of a mouse infestation:
- Seeing mice droppings in your house is evidence of an infestation.
- Seeing nests built by the mouse for protection in your walls is clear evidence of an infestation.
- If you live in a dusty area it won’t be difficult to spot these pests/pets as footmarks can visibly be seen.
- Annoying sounds produced by the mouse can clearly be heard and indicates an infestation.
- Chewing or gnawing marks can visibly be seen on plastic, wood or even food is pure evidence of an infestation.
If you’ve ever observed any of these listed signs then an infestation is obviously taking place in your home and certainly must be handled. Below are ways of putting a halt to an already existing mouse infestation:
- Sealing of possible passages you think mouse can use to get into your home.
- The use of traps or poison to get rid is another easy method of getting rid of a mouse from your home.
If you’ve not experienced any sign of an infestation then you should apply the saying “prevention is better than cure”. Below are possible ways of preventing an infestation:
- Sealing of possible holes that seem easily accessible to a mouse with cement. Using wood is a waste of time as a mouse can chew through wood.
- Keeping your home clean and tidy is a very essential way of keeping the mouse away from your home.
Feeding Habits of a Mouse
Before the question, what do mice eat is answered, its feeding habit is stated first. The mouse is very quick and has the ability to escape from dangerous, complex situations. The house mouse rarely travels far (more than 100 feet) from its nest as it is very close to its food source, but unlike the house mouse, the white-footed mouse and the deer mouse are likely to travel farther from their nest. The house mice and the white-footed mice are good swimmers and climbers making it difficult for them to be easily caught as prey.
When living in areas very close to humans, they tend to feed on whatever is left lying around and easily accessible to them. The mouse stores its food in its nest and due to its feeding habit is considered an omnivorous rodent.
What do Mice Eat?
What do mice eat? the mouse is known to feed on numerous types of food. Below is a list of things a mouse could possibly feast on:
- Plant roots
- Their own feces
- They may even feed on each other
These are things a mouse is likely to feed on. So you see, they feed on almost anything easily accessible to them.
What do mice eat? this disturbing question has finally been put to rest in the mind of you the reader. For more info on what a mouse eats contact us.