In contrast to the cartoons you watched as a youngster, mice do not live off of cheese. Since mice are nocturnal animals that hunt at night, it might be challenging to determine what foods they are drawn to. What then do mice consume in the wild?
Because they are omnivores, wild mice will consume both plants and animals. They mostly eat seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, insects, and carrion, in addition to other items. Mice are opportunistic feeders, so they will consume anything they can. Wild mice may live in cities and will consume trash, pet food, and bird seed that they discover in yards.
Mice can’t be picky eaters because they are such adaptable creatures. Mice will modify their food based on what is naturally available during each season or in their surroundings.
The primary foods that mice will eat in the wild are described in this guide.
Let’s get going.
What do Mice eat in the wild?
1. Seeds & Grains
Mice eat a variety of things, but because they can easily access seeds and grains, they prefer them. Every kind of plant in fields and yards can produce seeds in great quantities. In order to cultivate crops, farmers and gardeners either spread them or let them fall off the plants.
Another excellent food source for mice is tree seeds. Mice frequently consume the following tree seeds:
For a little mouse, grain fields are like an endless supply of food. Grain that mice will eat includes:
A mouse’s health is maintained by the energy, vitamins, and nutrients found in seeds and grains. They will consume them right at the source or they will gather them up and store them for the winter.
Mice prefer to begin constructing little, secret stockpiles of seeds and nuts in the autumn. Since mice don’t hibernate in the winter, the theory is that when food supplies are low, they can return to devour these stockpiles.
Nuts are great for storing away since they hold their freshness for a long time and preserve nicely.
Mice like to eat the following nuts:
- Acorns, Hickory
Mice will receive energy, protein, and good lipids from these nuts. The mice require these vital minerals, particularly during the winter months when food is sparse.
3. Fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are another good source of energy, vitamins, and nutrients. Fruit and vegetables can be easily found by mice, and they will also discover them in fields and gardens. The mice will consume these straight from the crops and trees.
Berries are frequently good substitutes for fruit and vegetables in the winter when they are more difficult to find.
Fruits mice enjoy eating include:
Mice love to raid crops because they are a wonderful source of nutrients for them. A particular preference is veggies on vines and roots.
Other veggies consumed by mice include:
Mice frequently only eat a small portion of each vegetable. They can’t consume a lot since they are too little. The issue is that a few mice nibbling away at a modest vegetable crop can swiftly destroy it.
4. Plants and Fungi
It is common knowledge that mice devour the plant foliage they find in gardens. Mice can get nutrients and a supply of water from the leaves, stems, and shoots. As they emerge from the soil in the spring and summer, young plants are alluring to mice.
In the summer and fall, it is generally known that mice eat fungi in addition to vegetables. Mice receive minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium from fungi.
Fungi are abundant in fields and forests and have a rapid rate of growth.
Mice don’t go looking for insets on purpose. However, if the chance arises, they will devour them.
Mice can get a lot of protein and minerals from insects. It is a food source that is abundant in the spring and summer. Mice eat a variety of things, including plants, grains, fruits, and vegetables, all of which contain insects.
Mice will consume insects like:
Mice may easily catch small insects because they won’t put up much of a struggle. When the mouse approached larger insects, they would try to bite, sting, or release unpleasant odors. This might deter mice from attempting to consume them in the future.
Mice will frequently consume any available forms of meat when they are in a desperate situation. They are too little to go hunting for meat. However, they frequently consume animal meat, typically in the form of carrion.
Baby mice are another typical meal source that mice can use as a last resort. Parent mice may consume their young, or adjacent mice may consume young. In addition to giving the mice a food source, this also lessens future food competition.
If little bird eggs are left unattended, mice may take advantage of the opportunity to eat them.
Again, they won’t intentionally seek out bird eggs to consume, but if food is scarce, they might start behaving in this way.
Mice are coprophagic animals, as the name suggests. This indicates that they consume their own waste as food.
By engaging in this behavior, mice are able to use intestinal microorganisms to aid in food absorption. The food that they have previously broken down and expelled in their feces can be used to obtain vitamin B12 and folic acid.
A cecotrope is another word for partially digested food, and that is what mice poop. The mice can get another supply of food by eating this again, and they also get more nutrients like protein.
For the first three weeks of their lives, young mice (pups) will only consume mouse milk from their moms. They are weaned onto solid foods after this point.
The mice can begin foraging on their own with the aid of other mice once they are 3 weeks old. Baby mice are completely deaf, blind, and dependent on their mother for sustenance up until this point.
A mother mouse will frequently be nursing one litter of babies while carrying another. When the next litter is born, this frequently results in early weaning.
What do Mice eat in urban areas?
Mice are among the many creatures in metropolitan environments that rely heavily on waste as sustenance. Mice have a keen sense of smell, so they may easily find a garbage bag full with food scraps.
Mice may easily get through an open trash bag because of how well they can bite and claw. If you’ve ever visited a city, you’ve probably seen mice and rats gleefully rifling through trash bags left on the sidewalks for pickup.
Food remnants abound in trash, which the mice will happily gorge on. They are especially drawn to salty and sweet meals. The mice will cheerfully eat these items despite the fact that they are not naturally occurring. They are unaware that a large portion of the processed food they consume is junk and very bad for them.
The best course of action is to deter mice from ever accessing your rubbish in the first place. Otherwise, they’ll keep returning frequently. Only the following time, they’ll invite their friends and family as well!
Check out my tips on how to keep mice out of your house to avoid that.
10. Pet food & Birdseed
Because they won’t put up much of a struggle, little insects are simple prey for mice to capture. When the mouse got close to larger insects, they would try to bite, sting, or emit pungent odors. Attempts to devour them by mice may be discouraged in the future by this.